by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations
East Rutherford, NJ — Mike Merton may not know how to play the guitar, but he knows how to drive a Stratocaster.
Stratocaster, a 7-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover-C D’s Girl, proved his 10-hole win in last week’s elimination was no 13-1 fluke, as he scored as the slight 3-1 favorite in Saturday night’s (Oct. 20) feature at the Meadowlands, the $17,500 Dash for the “G” Notes Pace final.
The Allen Sisco trainee got away fourth in the early going, as Pumped Up Kicks hit the quarter in :26.3. Merton swung Stratocaster off the rail from fourth at the three-eighths and gradually made his way toward the front.
He poked a head in front approaching three-quarters after racing uncovered, got clearance at the head of the stretch, and had little trouble holding off the late-closing Roger Mach Em by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:52.3. Credit Risk finished third.
Stratocaster won for the fifth time this year in 30 tries for owners Oldford Racing LLC, and has now won 36 of 169 lifetime, with earnings of just over $218,000.
THE WONDER FROM ‘DUNN’ UNDER: Driver Dexter Dunn, a native Australian, recorded three wins on the card. … Twenty-year-old Mitch Cushing, who won once during the entire 2017-2018 meeting, also made three visits to the winner’s circle.
A LITTLE MORE: Merton, Pat Berry and Vinny Ginsburg all recorded driving doubles, meaning five drivers accounted for all 12 winners on the card. … It was a big weekend for Ginsburg, whose three-bagger Friday gave him five winners over the course of the weekend. … All-source wagering totaled $1,822,040. … Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.