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Melady's Monet Wins Freehold Preferred Trot

Melady’s Monet began his 12-year-old season on a winning note Friday afternoon, taking the Preferred Handicap trot at Freehold Raceway.
Making his first start since December 11, he was sent off as the 3/1 second choice in the field of eight. In the early stages, he grabbed cover from favored The Veteran, who left to his direct inside. As soon as The Veteran cleared to the front, just before the opening quarter, Eric Abbatiello took the lead with Melady’s Monet. 
As they rounded the final turn, Melady’s Monet continued to hold sway, but The Veteran loomed menacingly from the pocket. Entering the stretch, Dan Dube ripped The Veteran off the pylons and took his crack at the leader. However, he couldn’t get by Melady’s Monet, who reported home a half-length in front. The final time was 1:57.3.
This was the 68th win in the long and successful career of Melady’s Monet, who pushed his earnings to $1,714,278 with this win. Although he’s won top races up and down the east coast, this was his first win at Freehold since 2012. He’s owned by Melady Enterprises and trained by Hermann Heitmann. 
Friday’s card also featured the second leg of the Vinny Fusco Jr Memorial Pacing Series. Duck N Roll won the lone split of the first division, for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 68.00 and 71.50. She rallied wide in the stretch to get up for the 8/1 win, for owner John Foti, trainer Izzy Estrada, and driver Luke Hanners.
The second division, for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 71.50 and 75.00, was split into two races. Western Showgirl surged from behind to win the first race, for owner Michelle White, trainer Robert Ginsburg Jr, and driver Dan Dube.
Tall Poppy N won the second race, in dominant style. She swept both of the first two legs, and will look for a final win next week. George Brennan had the winning drive, for owner Curtin Anz Stable and trainer Kelvin Harrison.
Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, with a 13-race card starting at about 12:30 PM. The card is headlined by the second leg of the Harold Kelly Memorial Pacing Series.