Freehold, NJ — Freshman pacers take center stage at Freehold Raceway this Saturday (Sept. 14), as a field of six will contest the $87,000 Renaissance Pace. The stake will go as the third race, with an approximate post time of 1:10 p.m. (EDT).
Five out of the six horses exit New Jersey Sire Stakes competition.
Follow Your Heart, from the Aaron Lambert barn, is coming off a gate-to-wire victory in the first leg of the NJSS series on Aug. 31. He’ll leave from post position two, and driver George Brennan is expected to put him on the early lead.
Rockin The Gates won the other division of that NJSS leg, coming from behind to upset at 12-1. He’ll ride a two-race winning streak into the final, for trainer Steve LeBlanc and driver Andy Miller. He set a new lifetime mark of 1:56.2 in that last race.
In that victory, Rockin The Gates defeated trainer Linda Toscano’s Columbo by 3-1/4 lengths. Columbo won the Sheppard Final at Yonkers Raceway back in July, but has not found the winner’s circle since. The likely favorite will leave from post position four, with Jordan Stratton in the bike.
JK Lucky Charms, Rockin Jukebox, and Paddy All Day round out the field.
In addition, Saturday’s 12-race program features the $70,000 NJSS final for 2-year-old pacing fillies. Caviart Heather, who won the first two legs of the series, will seek to complete a sweep, for trainer Tony Alagna and driver George Brennan. She has post position four in the field of eight.
The first race at Freehold on Saturday is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.