from RUS MidAtlantic
East Rutherford, NJ — A field of eight trotters will be competing in the $3,000 RUS MidAtlantic Trot at The Meadowlands Saturday (Oct. 20). Post time for the non-wagering racing under saddle event will be 7 p.m., prior to the first wagering event on the card.
Four of the eight horses figure to be competing for the major spoils in this mile with a fifth horse providing a little foreign intrigue.
Funny Photo (Sophie Engerran, post six) comes into the race with a 5-2-3-0 record for the season for owner/trainer/rider Engerran. The 9-year-old altered son of Classic Photo was the winner of the RUS New York Fair Final at Monticello Raceway in early September, crossing the line in a 2:02.4 romp. Most recently, Funny Photo has a pair of second place finishes at Batavia and Saratoga.
A year off from RUS must have been what the doctor ordered for No Recess (Sietske Dijhkof, post seven) as the 9-year-old son of Rich Boy has scored two speedy victories over the upstate New York half-mile ovals. At the end of September, No Recess scored a 2:02.1 victory at Batavia while this past weekend, the gelding made an early break yet went on to win by four lengths at Saratoga in 2:02.2. The question is will No Recess be able to take advantage of the mile oval to set a new lifetime mark in victory. Kyle Spagnola is the trainer.
Normally, Hyway Marcus (Sasha Moczulski, post eight) would be the automatic selection on the RUS MidAtlantic circuit but he is meeting some speedy types here, so the outcome is far from certain. The 7-year-old Gut Instinct gelding suffered a rare miscue at Saratoga in his last start getting caught in close quarters. Hyway Marcus was able to recover and get within a length of the leader at the three-quarter pole but being parked out after the break took its toll and resulted in his tiring to finish third. Despite post position eight, he figures to be in the thick of things for his owner/trainer/rider.
One True Friend (Hillary Hartnett, post five) comes into the race with a question mark but can step up and be a factor. The lone mare in the race shows a couple of breaks of late and in her last start, Hartnett lost her irons at the start of the race requiring the horse to pull up before the finish. Despite this, the mare stayed flat before being pulled up. An early season qualifier of 2:02.1 over a sloppy Vernon Downs oval shows she belongs in the race and can be competitive should she manage to stay out of trouble. Wesley Miller trains One True Friend for owner/rider Hartnett.
A French-bred horse making his American debut under saddle? This is the case with Atout De Fontaine (Sofia Zingale, post four), an 8-year-old gelding by Oxford Du Rib–Mistina De Traqui. This horse came to the United States to take part in the France-America series at Yonkers but he made it abundantly clear he didn’t care for the American game. However, a 2:05.2 victory in a Rosecroft qualifier for trainer/rider Zingale would suggest a return to saddle is what is needed for Atout De Fontaine who has a 1:56 mile rate mark in monté racing in Europe. He is a wild card in this event.
Other starters in the race (from post one out) are Keenan (Maria Buchanan) who is making his first start under saddle in 2018 and Credit Blues (Stephanie Jacobs) who is making his first lifetime start off a 2:06.3 qualifying effort at Ocean Downs in early August. Another first timer is Puddin N Pie (Vanessa Karlewicz) who makes his debut off a second-place finish in a Rosecroft qualifier.