Prince Of Tides’ highlights Open Space Pace Day at Freehold

Freehold, NJ — Freehold Raceway hosted a jam-packed 13-race card on Saturday (Sept. 21), in celebration of Open Space Pace day. The event, created to highlight the importance of maintaining open space in New Jersey, began with a parade through downtown Freehold. While there was plenty of fanfare off the track, there was lots of excitement on the track as well.

Prince of Tides was perhaps the most impressive stakes winner on Saturday. He dominated the $35,000 Homegrown Pace for 3-year-old male pacers, winning by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:52.3. Sent off as the 1/9 favorite, he was parked out for the first three-eighths of a mile. Driver George Brennan finally cleared him to the lead nearing the half-mile, and his many backers were wondering what kind of toll that early trip would take on him. As it turned out, Prince of Tides only got stronger as the race got longer, his lead increasing heading up the backstretch the final time. A runner-up in the Adios behind Southwind Ozzi a few starts back, Prince of Tides has now won nine times from 18 starts, with more than $250,000 in earnings. He’s trained by Ross Croghan and owned by Let It Ride Stables, Dana Parham, and Howard Taylor.

Two divisions of the second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes-Standardbred Development Fund for 2-year-old male pacers were held, and both resulted in upsets. In the first division, Rockin Jukebox came rolling up the passing lane to win at 13/1. He scored in 1:56.2 for owner/driver Russell Foster and trainer Megan Foster, picking up his first-lifetime win in the process. 

Rockin The Gates rocked the field in the second division, winning at 4/1. Driver Andy Miller gave him a great trip, rating just off early leader Villiam, then rocketing past him in the stretch and holding off the late rally of Paddy All Day to win by a nose. The winner took the first leg of the series at 12/1 on opening weekend and finished fifth in the Renaissance Final last week. Columbo, the winner of that race, made an early move and flattened out to finish fourth. The winner is owned by Glenn Dyke, Doug Johnson, and Steve LeBlanc, and trained by Steve LeBlanc.

Lucy Lightyear continued her winning ways in the Renaissance elimination for 2-year-old pacing fillies, winning handily in 1:56.3. Trainer/driver Stacy Chiodo put her on the early lead, shrugged off an early first-over challenge from Sus, and drew off to victory. The NJSS-SDF champion is owned by Timothy Tobias. The top seven finishers in that race will square off in next Saturday’s final.

JK American Beauty won the non-betting stakes on the day, the Homegrown for 3-year-old pacing fillies. She went gate-to-wire in 1:54.2 for owner 3 Brothers Stables, trainer Nancy Johansson, and driver Jordan Stratton.

The Standardbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey and Trotpac sponsored a $20,000 open pace, and it turned out to be a thriller. Here Comes William went to the lead and set blazing early fractions. It looked like he was clear turning for home, but Ballerat Boomerang, the only New Jersey-sired horse in the field, rallied wide and got up to win by a nose. He went in 1:52.3 for owners Engel Stable of Illinois and JL Benson Stables, trainer Nick Surick, and driver Joe Bongiorno.

Live racing resumes at Freehold on Friday (Sept. 27), with a first post time of 12:30 p.m.

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