Freehold, NJ — Heading into the final for the New Jersey Sire Stakes-Standardbred Development Fund series for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters at Freehold Raceway on Friday (Oct. 8), the only question appeared to be if Delgado could set another track record. He lowered the mark for 2-year-old geldings to 1:57 in leg one of the series, then matched that mark in victory in leg two.
As it turned out, a track record was set, but by Delgado’s stablemate.
Saverio Hanover, trained by Ron Coyne Jr., became the fastest 2-year-old trotter in Freehold history, winning by a half-length in a blazing 1:56.
Leaving from post position one, driver Dan Dube blasted Delgado to the lead and opened up a huge advantage. No one tried to go with him, and as they moved past the half-mile point it looked like Delgado was in a world of his own. He was 13-1/2 lengths in front, after setting the opening quarter in :27.3 and the half in :56. At this point, the world record for 2-year-old geldings of 1:55.4 seemed within reach.
As they neared three-quarters, Delgado began to tire. He still held a massive advantage, but his strides were shortening. Second choice Brave By Design and Saverio Hanover were there to pick up the pieces, and as they turned for home they rolled by the exhausted leader. Saverio Hanover held off Brave By Design, and crossed the wire a winner. Delgado was third, beaten 1-1/2 lengths.
Coyne co-owns the winner with Blair Corbeil, while Vinny Ginsburg had the winning drive. Saverio Hanover has now earned $46,725, with two wins from six starts.
A few races earlier, Gertrude was the 1-5 favorite in the final for 2-year-old filly trotters on the basis of impressive wins in the first two legs of the series.
Leaving from post position two, Tyler Miller initially elected to tuck back into the pocket and let Pretty Interesting set the early fractions. After an opening quarter in :28.4, Miller elected not to wait any longer and popped Gertrude out of the pocket and retook the lead. Once he established control with his filly, Miller slowed things down dramatically, going the half-mile in :59.3. This backed up the rest of the field and gave Gertrude a big edge. As they turned for home, she pulled away from the others easily and crossed the line 1-3/4 lengths in front. The final time was 1:57.3.
Gertrude has now won five times from nine starts, with earnings of $111,364. She’s owned by Andy Miller Stable Inc. and trained by Julie Miller.
Live racing continues at Freehold Raceway on Saturday (Oct. 9), starting at about 12:30 p.m.