Watch our American Dealer jump out of the trail and obliterate them at The Meadowlands
Former star Lincoln Farms’ three-year-old American Dealer has been set for the richest free-for-all series in North America next month after a brilliant qualifying run at The Meadowlands last Saturday.
In temperatures of below 2 deg Celsius and into a 60km an hour headwind, the little bulldog clocked a brilliant 1:53.6 mile, reeling off by far the fastest last half and quarter of the four qualifers and better even than the 13 race winners on the night.
Driver Scott Zeron eased American Dealer (No.4 in the green saddlecloth) out of the trail on the home turn and powered away by five and a half lengths, recording closing sectionals of 54.8 and 27.4. (Note there is no commentary on the video of the qualifier)
The sectionals trumped that of the fastest race winner of the night, ironically named American History (55.4, 28.4), though his overall time was not as fast.
Co-owner Gordon Banks, who races the horse with his cousin Marc Hanover, described the run as super impressive and said his New Jersey trainer Linda Toscano simply loved the horse.
“She says he is a very cool dude and she likes his big gait and attitude. He’s good natured, enjoys his work, and he has already picked a girlfriend in the barn!
“He’s a lovely little guy, but he thinks he’s a giant. Our job is to keep him feeling that way.”
Banks says American Dealer is expected to trial again at the Meadowlands on Saturday.
“Then the plan is to race him once at the Meadowlands and then at Yonkers, before contesting the Borgata Pacing Series which starts in late March.”
The series, formerly known as the George Morton Levy, comprises five preliminary rounds of $50,000 races on March 21, 28 and April 4, 11 and 18, the highest points scorers making the final on April 25.
With an entry fee of $5000 per horse plus a $1000 starting fee for each leg, which comprise three or four divisions, and $200,000 added to the total, the final purse is expected to be between US$500,000 and US$600,000, says Banks.
The stake totalled US$609,000 when ex Kiwi Bit Of A Legend won the Levy Final in 2016.
“The best free-for-all horses in training will be in and there are usually about 50 of them.
“It’s an 800 metre track so barriers will be critical. We believe he will like the track (being a small horse) but time will tell.
“Yonkers has had track maintainance and surface problems, but hopefully it will be a safe, good racing surface for the series.”
Banks said the event was the richest in North American for the older horses and only a few two-year-old and three-year-old stakes races had larger purses.
“The Breeders Crown is US$600,000 and the Canadian Pacing Derby is about the same.”
American Dealer, originally raced by a Lincoln Farms’ partnership, was a terrific competitor for Ray Green, winning 10 races, climaxed by a hat-trick in Brisbane last July when he bagged the Rising Sun Consolation, the South East Derby and Queensland Derby.
He placed in five of seven further starts under the care of Nathan Purdon in Victoria before flying to the States at the end of the year, the paucity of suitable races in New Zealand ruling out a proposed return to Green at Lincoln Farms.
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Why Lincoln Farms had to buy lot 68 - his older brother Lincoln Lou is ready to rock
Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
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.”