East Rutherford, NJ — Odds-on favorite Manchego seized control into a quick clip and withstood a game charge from Beads to narrowly take the $269,750 John Cashman Memorial Trot on Saturday (Aug. 7) at The Meadowlands.
Beads crossed to the top past a :26.4 first quarter to pocket early leader Gangster Hanover into the backstretch while Manchego vacated her spot from fourth and marched for the lead. The Nancy Takter trainee cleared moving to the half while stablemate Ready For Moni ranged uncovered into a :54.3 half.
Around the final turn, Ready For Moni loomed closer to Manchego while carrying Lindy The Great in tow. Manchego clicked past three-quarters in 1:23 and drifted slightly off the pegs through the straightaway, opening a gap where Beads lunged through late. Beads took a slight lead in the final yards, but Manchego edged back to the front late to claim a tight photo in a 1:50.3 mile. Lindy The Great came off cover for third and Gangster Hanover took fourth.
“I thought it was maybe a dead heat, but a win by a whisker … I’ll take it,” said Barry Guariglia, owner of Manchego, after the race. “A good job by Dexter.”
“I actually thought I got beat, to be honest,” winning driver Dexter Dunn said after the race. “I went back in the paddock there [and] thought David nettled me right on the line. I was a little worried at three-quarters – she just didn’t give me the usual strong kick that she does, but probably her greatness showed through for fighting on the straight like she did. They know where the winning post is; she was certainly sticking her neck out there.”
A 6-year-old mare by Muscle Hill, Manchego won her sixth race from seven starts this season and her 39th from 63 overall, earning $3,142,935 for owner Black Horse Racing. She paid $2.80 to win.