Two weeks ago, No Drama Please was the solid favorite in the final of the New Jersey Sire Stakes-Standardbred Development Fund (NJSS-SDF) for 3-year-old colt & gelding trotters. Unfortunately for him, he faded late to finish sixth, while Cotton to You pulled off the upset.
Now, the Tom Fanning-trained trotter will seek his revenge in the Garden State Trot this Saturday at Freehold Raceway. He drew the inside post in the field of six, while NJSS-SDF champion Cotton to You will leave from post position five, for trainer Lucas Wallin and driver Jim Marohn Jr. Wallin will also send out Sovereign Deo, who broke stride after the start in the final and lost all chance. He rebounded with a runner-up finish at Pocono Downs last out.
Three new shooters will seek to challenge the NJSS-SDF veterans. Sheena’s Boy drew post position three, for Ake Svanstedt and George Brennan. He finished second in the Muscle Hill at the Meadowlands earlier in the year, and crossed the wire fourth in the Yonkers Trot, before being disqualified for breaking stride in the stretch. Last out, he went off stride in the Bluegrass at the Red Mile. If he can stay trotting here, he’s got a big chance.
Ray Schnittker will send out New Jersey Futurity winner Alternative Fact, who drew the outside post. He’s won five races in a row, most recently winning a conditioned trot in wet weather at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Jason Bartlett will be in the sulky.
Lucius Vorenus, shipping from Vernon Downs and trained by Nick Surick, rounds out the field.
The Garden State Trot is scheduled as the third race, with a post time of 1:10 PM EDT. The first of 12 races at Freehold on Saturday will be at approximately 12:30 PM EDT.