Another brilliant qualifier by Dealer who is set to debut at the Big M on Saturday night
Excitement is high in the American Dealer camp in the countdown to his American debut at the Meadowlands on Saturday night.
Lincoln Farms’ former three-year-old star lines up for New Jersey trainer Linda Toscano in the ninth race and from four on the gate, co-owner Gordon Banks says he’s definitely a winning chance.
“It’s a tough field with quite a few free-for-all types but he was super impressive again in his second qualifier last week. (Race night driver) Scott Zeron couldn’t be there last week so Linda asked Corey Callahan to sit in and attack late and he closed full of pace in a 1:50.4 mile (three seconds faster than the previous week).”
From post three (he’s in green and yellow in the video which has no commentary) American Dealer sat fourth in the running and was not eased out until well into the home stretch, taking many lengths off the all-the-way winner Tattoo Artist, driven by champion Kiwi Dexter Dunn.
He finished only a couple of lengths behind the winner and expat Nandolo, clocking 54 for his last half and 26.8 for his last quarter, easily the fastest in the heat.
“Everyone was impressed because he was never asked,” said Banks who races the son of American Ideal with his cousin Marc Hanover.
American Dealer’s time of 1:50.8 was the same as two race winners on the night, Saturday’s race rival Shvaiko and Trump Nation, and only one horse, American History ran faster, in 1:49.8.
“If the weather is good on Saturday night they might go under 1:50,” Banks said.
“It’s the second best class at the Big M with a purse of $US23,000 for horses who haven’t won more than US$20,500 in their last four starts.”
Among the Dealer’s rivals will be the ex Kiwis On The Cards (17 wins, 1:49.2), formerly trained by Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan, and Italian Delight, who won eight races for Tony Herlihy, another two in Australia, and now has a tally of 19, and a fastest time of 1:50.4.
Banks said American Dealer’s primary target remains the Borgata series which begins at Yonkers on March 21.
“There are 40 horses entered so the estimated purse for the final will be US$600,000.
“Tattoo Artist will be very hard to beat at Yonkers because he loves the front end but with the right trip I think Dealer can threaten.”
Tattoo Artist, by He’s Watching, was named Canada’s three-year-old colt of the year in 2021 and is the fastest horse ever at Yonkers with a 1:49.6 clocking last October. He has run 1:47.2 at the Meadowlands.
Zeron, 32, who will drive American Dealer on Saturday night, was the youngest driver to reach 2000 wins at 23 years of age and now with earnings of more than US$81 million is one of the top drivers at the Big M and Yonkers.
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Friday night at Cambridge
Race 3: Lincoln Lou
“He’s a beautiful little horse and I’m looking forward to seeing him run. It’s hard to know how good he is, or how far he’ll go, but I guess we’ll find out on Friday. He’s the one to beat from the draw. If he doesn’t win, he won’t be far away.”
Race 5: Commander Lincoln
“I won’t be holding my breath. He tries hard enough but he lacks a bit of high speed.”
Race 8: Onyx Shard
“It’s two and a half months since she last raced, and she didn’t grow as much as I thought she would, but I’m expecting her to go a good race. Her last two trials have been good and she’s pulled up well.”
Race 8: Obadiah Dragon
“He’ll need a good trip from five but he’s not out of it. He went a good race last time at Cambridge and would be as equal a chance as Onxy Shard.”
Race 8: Beaudiene Rocknroll
“It’s heart-in-the-mouth stuff with him until they let them go but he should step away this time. Zac (Butcher) said the gate went particularly slowly before that race and that’s why he got impatient. I thought he did well to recover for third. If he made the front, where he goes best, he’d be hard to beat.”
Race 9: Frisco Bay
“He’s a tidy horse and I’m expecting a big run. We’ve sorted the problem he had with his breathing last season and he’s right in the zone now after a second and a win at the workouts.”
Mark Dux’s comments
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 5: Argyle
11.02pm NZ time
“It wouldn’t have mattered where he drew this week, he’s in the money, barring bad luck. He’s going terrific and he gets in so well at the ratings.”