East Rutherford, NJ — Atlanta tuned up for next week’s TVG Mare Trot by winning the Saturday night (Nov. 16) feature at The Meadowlands in dominant fashion. The fastest trotter in Big M history by virtue of her 1:49.1 clocking on July 6 of this year, Atlanta toyed with a talented field in the mile oval’s featured $30,000 Preferred for trotters. JK First Lady also captured the only elimination for the $400,000 Three Diamonds final in 1:52.2.
Sent to the gate as the 3-5 public choice, driver Yannick Gingras put Atlanta on the early lead, hitting the quarter in :27.3. After a sleepy second fraction of :29.4 followed, it was all but over right then and there.
The 4-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip never had an anxious moment, hitting the finish 2-1/4 lengths in front of the pocket-sitting-throughout Guardian Angel As in 1:52.2. Southwind Chrome rallied for third. The winner returned $3.40 to her backers.
“I couldn’t be happier with her,” said Gingras. “She trotted right to the wire better than she has in a little while.”
“The track wasn’t playing super fast,” said winning trainer Ron Burke. “There might have been a bias against horses racing on the front end. It’s the best performance Atlanta has had on the front this year. We could not have asked for anything more. She was straight all the way to the wire. I can’t take anything bad out of the race.”
Atlanta has now won 20 of her 38 career starts and earned $1,866,889 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor.
Atlanta’s stablemate, Hannelore Hanover, raced first-over at the half but never threatened before weakening and finishing last in the field of eight.
The lifetime earner of more than $3 million, who will face Atlanta when she makes her final career start in the TVG Mare Trot on Nov. 23, had some problems in her next-to-last race.
“She bled again,” said Burke of Hannelore Hanover. “It happens intermittently. That’s why she’s not who she was before. She’s not the same because of it. That’s why it’s time to call it quits. We’ll treat her this week and she’ll be better on Saturday.”
In the sole $20,000 elimination for next week’s (Nov. 23) $400,000 Three Diamonds final was won by JK Fine Lady and Gingras in 1:52.2. The other fillies to advance include: Marloe Hanover; JK Finendandy; Baby Your The Best; The Bethinator; and Perfect Storm.
JK First Lady is trained by Nancy Johansson and the daughter of Western Ideal-JK She’salady races as a homebred for 3 Brothers Stable.
A LITTLE MORE: Tim Tetrick drove four winners on the card. … Dexter Dunn stayed hot, as after winning three on the Friday card, he won three more on Saturday. … Favorites ruled for a second straight night as eight post-time choices won Saturday after a half-dozen scored on Friday. … The 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 paid $4,060.24 to the pair of players who lasted eight legs. … All-source handle on the 13-race card was $2,412,658. … Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.