East Rutherford, NJ — Yacht Seelster had never been driven by George Brennan, and a week ago, the Nik Drennan trainee displayed blazing speed before getting nipped at odds of 70-1 on the money by Colossal Stride A, yet somehow, with a new driver and a different tactic, Yacht Seelster won the Saturday night (March 20) feature at The Meadowlands.
“They were leaving too fast for me,” said Brennan of the early stages of the $20,000 high-end conditioned pace. “I’m looking for the best trip I can get. And it looked like it was going to work out for me.”
Lexus Witha View A (Andrew McCarthy) flew off the gate to grab the lead at the quarter in :27.1 as Tito Rocks sat the pocket with 9-5 second choice Ashley Locaz N (Dexter Dunn) on the move going after the lead. Brennan and ‘Yacht’ sat fifth, right in behind the 8-5 public choice Colossal Stride A (Scott Zeron), waiting for that one to make a move.
“I slid in behind him,” said Brennan. “I thought he was the horse to beat.”
Colossal Stride A had such a quick burst of speed down the backstretch that Yacht Seelster had to catch up to his cover, and when Ashley Locaz N did not relinquish the top to Colossal Stride A, Brennan was sitting pretty.
In mid-stretch, after three-quarters was timed in an unspectacular 1:23.4, Brennan tipped Yacht Seelster off his cover and gunned down Colossal Stride A at the wire after Ashley Locaz N weakened in the lane.
“I didn’t know if I had enough to get there,” said Brennan. “But [Colossal Stride A] was pretty tough, and some others were swarming in on the outside. I thought I could get up.”
Racing in the five-path for the final eighth, Yacht Seelster got there by a head in 1:51. Colossal Stride A was second with a fast-closing Franco Totem N gabbing the show spot. As the 5-1 fourth choice in the betting, Yacht Seelster returned $13.80 to his backers. The 6-year-old son of Shadow Play-Yankee Athena, who is owned by Donald Lindsey, Paul Kleinpaste and William Alempijevic, now has 16 wins from 87 career starts and earnings of $236,600.
A COOL DOZEN: All-source wagering totaled $3,147,829. There have been 12 Saturday night programs at The Big M this year, and all 12 have seen betting surpass the $3-million plateau.
A COOL HALF-DOZEN: The 20-cent Pick-6 did not see many big prices, but those with winning tickets cashed in huge nonetheless. With a $7,384 carryover serving as the catalyst, the pool totaled $43,520 when all bets were taken. After a sequence that saw winner’s odds of 3-2, 5-2, 5-1, 4-1, 9-5 and 8-5, those who hit walked away with $6,568.
A LITTLE MORE: Five drivers accounted for 10 of the 13 winners on the program as Simon Allard, Yannick Gingras, Corey Callahan, Andy McCarthy and Todd McCarthy all scored twice. … Racing resumes Friday at 6:20 p.m.