from the Meadowlands Publicity Department
East Rutherford, NJ — After battling past a knee injury that kept him off the racetrack for a year, Casimir Camotion should find an easier task in the Presidential Series at the Meadowlands.
The three-week series for free for all pacers kicks off Saturday night (Jan. 12) with a $50,000 first leg and culminates in a $100,000 final on January 26. Casimir Camotion, trained by Bruce Saunders, drew into race five, the first of the night’s two divisions. He will start from post seven with George Brennan listed to drive.
The 8-year-old millionaire returned to the racetrack in December and has four solid starts under his belt. He was runner-up in two legs of the William Penn at Harrah’s Chester and third in the Penn Consolation. He was second in last week’s $46,500 Open at the Meadowlands, clocked in 1:51.4.
“He had a slab fracture of his right knee late in 2006 and had surgery Thanksgiving Day that year,” Saunders explained. “It was a complicated surgery. Then the x-rays showed he had some compression in the bone and had a second surgery. He was in his stall for six months and hand walked. Through his competitive spirit, tenacity, Mother Nature and some good fortune, he came through it and was back in training. Not severe training, and he does take the occasional bad step, but he’s doing pretty well. He seems to be handling his knee fine, despite the fact that I had a vet look at it in July and he called it a ‘train wreck.’ He’s going to need some starts for him to get where I want him to be. Knees are funny, and he’s a chancy proposition at best.”
Casimir Camotion has won 28 of 98 career starts and $1.3 million. Bill Matz and Cary Potkin, who race as M&M Harness Racing of Nanuet, New York, purchased the pacer for $140,000 at the Harrisburg Sale in 2003 and he went on to be one of the sport’s most consistent top Open pacers. Originally campaigned by Pat Lachance, Bruce Saunders took over training duties on January 21, 2006 and he and Casimir Camotion went on to finish third in the Presidential Final that year. Once he was back in training, Matz and Potkin decided to enter the veteran in the Harrisburg Mixed Sale last November. He brought $47,000, so the partners decided to buy him back and campaign him for the 2008 season.
Mr Feelgood, the 2006 Little Brown Jug winner, also made a return to racing this season after getting a lukewarm reception at stud. Trained by Jimmy Takter, he is among the contenders in the second Presidential division, race 10.
“I got him back to train in July,” Takter said. “I was surprised how much he had filled out from (age) three to four. He is a gorgeous horse. Remember that as a 3-year-old, he beat Mr Big (2007 Older Pacer of the Year) more often than not. I would think he’ll need a start or two, but he’s definitely a player.”
Mr Feelgood has won 10 of 35 career starts and more than $700,000.