JM’s Finaltreasure was expected to dominate the New Jersey Sire Stakes – Standardbred Development Fund harness racing final for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers at Freehold Raceway on Oct. 16. He did just that, winning by one-and-a-half lengths in 1:53 4/5.
Leaving from post position four in a field of six, Joe Bongiorno wasted little time and put his drive right on the early lead. He paced the opening quarter in :27 4/5 seconds, then slowed things down for a first half-mile in :58, according to a press release.
As the horses moved to three-quarters, Camouflage Money, who won the first leg, made a first-over move to the lead. Shakertown, who was in the pocket, loomed just off the leader on the inside. However, JM’s Finaltreasure held them all at bay and cruised under the wire easily. Shakertown held on for second.
JM’s Finaltreasure is owned by Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva – Purnel and Libby, and Phillip Collura, trained by Ron Burke, and driven by Bongiorno. He has won six races from 12 starts lifetime, with earnings of almost $240,000.
Earlier in the day, a field of six competed in the second leg of the NJSS-SDF for 2-year-old filly pacers.
Counterparty Risk went gate-to-wire for the victory, pacing the mile in 1:56. Vinny Ginsburg had the winning drive for owners Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Bottom Line Racing, LLC, and trainer Tony Alagna.
Im the Muscle was on the muscle at Freehold Raceway on Oct. 15 as he won the Preferred Handicap trot by three-quarters of a length.
Leaving from post position five, Dan Dube briefly dropped his drive into the pocket, but changed his mind and came after early leader Justlikehim. He cleared to the front just after the first quarter and set early fractions of :28 for the first quarter and :57 for the opening half-mile.
As the horses neared three-quarters, favored Top Flight Angel moved off the pylons to challenge the leader, but Im the Muscle held his ground on the pylons.
In the stretch, Im the Muscle shook off the challenge of Top Flight Angel and established a clear advantage.
Although he encountered several strong late challenges, including Spruce Creek and Take a Wish, the wire came in time for Im the Muscle. The final time was 1:56 3/5.
Im the Muscle is owned by Thomas Ceraso Jr. and trained by Paul Stafford. He has now won 30 times from 99 starts lifetime, with earnings of $329,000.
Jim Marohn Jr. and Luke Hanners each won three races on the Oct. 15 card.
Marohn got a natural hat trick, winning race 8 with Be Best and race 9 with Lincoln Tunnel, both for trainer Carmen Auciello, and race 10 with Powerful Pulse, for owner-trainer Marianna Monaco.
Hanners won two for trainer Izzy Estrada, taking race 1 with Doc Halladay and race 5 with Pappy Rocks. In between, he won race 3 with So Take That for trainer Alex Goldin.
Live harness racing at Freehold Raceway resumes on Oct. 22 at 12:30 p.m., according to the press release.