Freehold, NJ – Many of Freehold Raceway’s regulars were in the spotlight on Saturday (Jan. 9) as the Harold Kelly Memorial Pacing Series kicked off.
Local horsemen flooded the box for the first leg of this series, which is restricted to horses and geldings owned, sired, or foaled in New Jersey. The first division, restricted to horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 68.00 and 71.50, attracted 23 entries, and was split up into three races.
Reuben Tune Ups took his division of the first leg at 9-1, taking charge after the three-quarter point and holding on. He went the mile in 1:58, for owner-trainer Ann DePietro and driver Jim Marohn Jr.
Officer Blue Chip prevailed in his split, winning a stretch battle with Our Art and Heaven for the win at odds of 7-1. Jack Pelling had the winning drive for owner-trainer John Urbanski, while stopping the clock in 1:58.3.
The third and final grouping of that division’s pacers went to 2-1 second choice Test Ride, who drew off in the stretch to win impressively by 4-3/4 lengths. Marohn had the winning drive again, for owner Symon Spicer and trainer George Beck. The time was 1:56.2.
Meanwhile, the second division of leg 1, for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 71.51 and 75.00, drew 25 entrants, and was also split into three races.
Taste Of History took them gate-to-wire in his division, winning at 2-1 for owner-trainer Edwin Quevedo and driver Austin Siegelman. He paced the mile in 1:56.1.
Later on the card, Go Sue Me retook the lead around the second turn and held on to win his division of the first leg at 7-2 odds. Steve Smith was in the sulky; the time was 1:58.3.
The final division of the second division’s first leg went to the 2-1 favorite Clint Westwood, who rallied wide in the stretch to win in 1:58.2. The winner is owned by Alma Iafelice, trained by Bill MacKenzie, and driven by Dan Dube.
Horses who competed in the first leg earned points for their division’s finals, which will take place on Jan. 23. The winners earned 50 points, with second place getting 25, third earning 12, fourth receiving 8, fifth nabbing 5, sixth picking up 3, seventh obtaining 2, and eighth getting 1. They’ll have a chance to earn more points in the second leg, next week.
Dube and Austin Siegelman each won three races. In addition to his win on Clint Westwood, Dube won race eight on Maching Time for trainer Izzy Estrad, and the 10th race on Lyons Steel for trainer Dennis Watson.
Siegelman won two for trainer Mike Posner, pulling the race seven upset with 24-1 longshot Mister Indiana and the ninth race with favored Vasari N. Siegelman’s win on Taste of History rounded out his set of wins.
Live racing resumes at Freehold on Thursday(Jan. 14) starting at 12:30 p.m.