by Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ
Freehold, NJ — EL Love was a wire-to-wire winner and Northern Obsession tipped out three-wide in the stretch to win their respective $35,750 divisions of the Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday (May 2) at Freehold Raceway.
Riina Rekila, driver and trainer of EL Love, sent the Yankee Glide filly to the lead off the gate and repelled challenges throughout the mile to score a 2-3/4 length victory over 3-5 favorite Riley’s Dream in the fifth race. It was 4-1/2 lengths back to Rules Of The Road in third.
EL Love ($8.20), who won both of her starts at two, is now two-for-two at three for a bankroll of $28,453. The mile in 1:58 was a career best for Finnish owner and breeder Erkki Laakkonen.
Two races later, the seventh, 2-5 Jewels In Hock and 9-5 Blk Thai Optional broke stride in the first turn, leaving it to a trio of longshots to battle with 22-1 Northern Obsession ($46.20) a half-length winner over Southwind Cartier, the Muscle Hill filly who won the 2014 Marion Dancer Trot. Jewels In Hock recovered from her early break to finish third by 1-1/4 lengths. The time of the mile was 2:01.
Northern Obsession, driven to victory by Eric Abbatiello, picked up her second straight win for trainer Gilberto Garcia-Herrera of Columbus, N.J., who co-owns the daughter of Conway Hall with Barbara and Donald Arnstine of Sacramento, Calif. Overall, the filly has two wins, three seconds and five thirds from 14 starts for career earnings of $50,813.
- Habitat wires the field in Dexter Cup at Freehold (Saturday, May 02, 2015)
Habitat made life easy for driver Yannick Gingras in Saturday’s $133,170 Dexter Cup, taking the lead after the first turn and cruising to a 3-3/4 length win over Divisionist in 1:56.4 at Freehold Raceway.
- Fate led Rekila and E L Love to Freehold (Monday, May 04, 2015)
Riina Rekila cannot explain it, but something compelled her to make her first trip to New Jersey to drive in a race with E L Love in the Lady Suffolk Stakes. Whatever forces were at work, it proved to be a worthwhile journey.