Periculum rallies to take Big M feature

East Rutherford, NJ — Racing over a track that saw horses go wire-to-wire for five straight races starting in the second, backers of Periculum could not have been all that happy in the early stages of the Friday night (May 24) feature at The Meadowlands, an $18,000 high-end conditioned event for trotters.

After all, the 8-5 favorite was sitting last in the field of six as 17-10 second choice Betterinpinehurst was racing on the point, sailing past the quarter in :27.3 and half in :55.4.

Delayed Hanover was now put in play and went up after the leader using effective, steady trot, and as he cut into the leader’s edge, Periculum was in perfect position to pounce, getting a live tow second-over.

Periculum posted an easy 4-1/4 length score in 1:51.1. Lisa photo.

At three-quarters, which went in 1:24, a tired Betterinpinehurst clung to a narrow advantage over Delayed Hanover, who grabbed the top at the head of the lane, but Periculum tipped off his cover a short time later and sailed past that foe on the way to an easy 4-1/4 length score in 1:51.1 using a final quarter of :27 to do it. Delayed Hanover finished second with Purple Lord third.

“He’s a fast horse,” said winning driver Mattias Melander of Periculum, who is trained by his brother Marcus. “He did everything I could ask for today. The final quarter, that’s the best part of his game. It was my fault last week (when he broke in the Cutler). I moved him too fast. He should be good the rest of the year.”

A 5-year-old Muscle Hill-Amour Heiress stallion, Periculum returned $5.20 to his backers, and in the process, lifted his lifetime numbers to seven wins from 36 starts, good for earnings of $476,013 for owners Brixton Medical Inc. and Holly Lane Stud East Ltd.

Fast Filly: The Linda Toscano-trained Sarasota Hanover (Stay Hungry-Surfside Sexy) rocked the clock in the sixth race conditioned event for fillies and mares, going wire-to-wire in a scintillating 1:48.1. The time was just one-fifth of a second off the track 3-year-old filly pacing record of 1:48, established by Tall Drink Hanover in 2019.

“I have always loved this filly,” said Toscano. “She’s big and strong, great-gaited with a ton of talent. I made a few changes in her routine and bridle this week and it looks like we have her on track now.”

Sarasota Hanover was driven by Scott Zeron, who led the driver colony with four winners on the night, and paid $3.80 as the 4-5 favorite.

A Little More: Jenn Bongiorno, Frank Calcagni and Travis Kolaczynski led the trainer colony with two winners apiece.

All-source handle totaled $2,691,514 on the 14-race program, which represented an increase of 19 percent over the corresponding card from a year ago, when $2.25 million was pushed through the windows.

The 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 continues to be a great play at The Big M. Those with winning tickets on a formful sequence that saw winner’s odds of 1-1, 9-5, 7-5, 8-5, 4-5, 2-1 and 2-1 collected $1,544.98.

Racing resumes Saturday at 6:20 p.m.

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