Melady’s Monet to make 2021 bow at Freehold Friday

Freehold, NJ — The Friday (Jan. 15) card at Freehold Raceway once again includes the $12,000 Preferred Handicap Trot. A field of eight will line up, with an east coast trotting veteran serving as the headliner.

Melady’s Monet, for trainer Hermann Heitmann, was assigned the outside post for his 12-year-old debut. Although he’s won at tracks all over the east coast, his greatest success has come at Yonkers Raceway. All six of his wins in 2020 came at Yonkers, including two victories in their Open Handicap Trot. In his career, he’s won 67 races, while earning north of $1.7 million.

This will be his first start at Freehold since 2012, when he swept his way through the New Jersey Sire Stakes-Green Acres series. Eric Abbatiello has the drive on Friday afternoon.

Although trainer Paul Kelley did not send his best trotter, Obrigado, he still looms a threat with The Veteran. He won twice in upper-level conditioned races at Yonkers in the fall, and finished fourth in the Open Handicap at that track. Last out, he showed speed against tough conditioned trotters at the Meadowlands, and looks for a rebound from post position seven. Current leading driver Daniel Dube will be in the bike.

This race will go as the ninth race, with a scheduled post time of 3:10 p.m.

The Friday card also features the second leg of the Vinny Fusco Jr. Memorial Pacing Series, for New Jersey owned, sired, or foaled fillies and mares.

The first division, for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 68.00 and 71.50, features a full gate of nine, and will go as the fifth race. Southwind Tsunami, who won the first leg last week, will look for a repeat from post position one, for trainer Mark Capone and driver Jack Pelling.

The second division, for horses with a TrackMaster rating between 71.50 and 75.00, drew 14 entries and was split into two races. First leg winners Always Be Lucy and Tall Poppy N drew separate races, and will seek to win for the second time in a row. Always Be Lucy has post position five in race four, for trainer Kelly Hastings and driver Luke Hanners. Tall Poppy N will leave from the three-hole in race 11, for trainer Kelvin Harrison.

Post time for the first of 12 races at Freehold on Friday is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

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