East Rutherford, NJ – During a span of four starts beginning in early September, Chin Chin Hall was a force to be reckoned with, winning three out of four starts.
Since then, the Nifty Norman trainee has hit a rough patch, losing four straight, but you could cut him some slack, as in those races the winners were Warrawee Roo, Ecurie D DK, When Dovescry, and in the TVG Open, Forbidden Trade, when he finished second missing a head.
But Saturday night (Dec. 4) at The Meadowlands, ‘Chin Chin’, a 5-year-old gelded son of Cash Hall-Canland Hall, got back into the win column, storming home to beat a talented field in the $42,000 featured Preferred for trotters.
It wasn’t easy, as 2-5 favorite Back Of The Neck was sent to the lead and cut out fractions of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:24.4, but when he faltered in mid-stretch, Chin Chin Hall, who swung three wide at the head of the lane after going a third-over trip, got rolling late and gunned down Gotwuteverittakes nearing the wire in a thrilling finish to win by three-quarters-of-a-length in 1:52.3. Dunbar Hall finished third.
“Tonight he was really good,” said winning driver Todd McCarthy. “And the trip just worked out perfect. He has a little back class.”
To get the victory, Todd had to get past brother Andy in deep stretch. “It’s a little difficult getting by him sometimes,” said Todd. “But it felt good to get there.”
As the 7-2 second choice, Chin Chin Hall paid $9 to win. He now has nine victories from 23 starts this year. Lifetime, he’s 14-for-49, good for earnings of $795,795 for owners Oldford Racing and David McDuffee.
THE CLAIM GAME: Owners Matt Morrison and Brian Gordon wrote some big checks to take home a pair of high-priced claimers.
They took Komodo Beach out of race six, Leg One of a $75,000-$100,000 claiming series, for $142,500. The 3-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere-Imagine Dragon will now race out of Noel Daley’s barn after finishing third in a three-way photo.
Three races later, in another division of the same series, they took Save Me A Dance for $125,000. The 4-year-old son of Heston Blue Chip-Dance Hall Girl will now race for the Travis Alexander stable after a second-place finish.
THREE FOR TEAM BONGIORNO: The sister-brother team of trainer Jenn and driver Joe Bongiorno scored three times on the night, all with horses who have some serious talent.
Prince Edward Island shipper Dustylanegoliath exploded home off cover to win a low-end conditioned pace in a lifetime-best 1:51.4 in scoring for 14th time from just 28 starts.
J M Mandamin overcame post 10 in taking a $75,000-$100,000 claimer for pacers in a lifetime-best 1:48.4 before Vettel N made it four wins in his last five Meadowlands starts, hitting the finish in 1:49.1 in a $150,000 claiming pace.
A LITTLE MORE: Mark MacDonald and Tim Tetrick recorded driving doubles on the program while Edwin Quevedo and Ron Burke each trained a pair to victory lane. … For a second straight night, one winning ticket was sold in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 wager, with that shrewd player cashing in for $9,348. … All-source handle totaled $2,121,525. … Racing resumes Thursday (Dec. 9) at 6:20 p.m.