Fusco Finals and a Trotting Showdown at Freehold Friday
Posted 241 days
The Vinny Fusco Jr. Memorial Pacing Series, for New Jersey owned, sired, or foaled fillies and mares, wraps up at Freehold Raceway on Friday (January 22) with a pair of finals.
The final for the first division is for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 68.00 and 71.50, for a purse of $10,000. The winners of the first two legs, Duck N Roll and Southwind Tsunami, drew post positions seven and eight, respectively.
Southwind Tsunami, for trainer Mark Capone, won the first leg in a 10/1 upset, and finished fifth in leg two last week as the favorite. She’ll have a new driver Friday afternoon: Jim Marohn Jr.
After a fourth-place finish in leg one, Duck N Roll won the second leg last week with a strong rally from the back of the back. She’s trained by Izzy Estrada, and will be driven by Luke Hanners.
Little Dare Devil, If Ur Richimsingle, Princess Holly N, Live and Let Di, AP Emily’s Dance, and Fashion Writer round out the field. It’s scheduled as the eighth race, with a post time of about 3:10 PM.
A few races earlier, the final of the second division, for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating of 71.50 and 75.00 at the start of the series, will take place. Tall Poppy N, off commanding wins in the first two legs, looms large for trainer Kelvin Harrison and driver George Brennan. She’ll leave from post position three.
Western Showgirl and Always Be Lucy, who also won different divisions of earlier legs, return in the final. Off a win last week, Western Showgirl drew post position six, for trainer Robert Ginsburg Jr. and driver Dan Dube. Always Be Lucy won leg one two weeks ago, and finished second to Western Showgirl last week. This Kelly Hastings trainee drew post position five, with Luke Hanners in the sulky.
Thaneeya, Lookatmyart, Tall Poppy N, Princess Sharktank, and Hurrikane Lori Ann complete the ensemble. It will go as the sixth race, scheduled for 2:30 PM.
Sandwiched in between is the Preferred Handicap trot, featuring a showdown between two east coast trotting stalwarts. Melady’s Monet, who won the Preferred last week, squares off against Lean Hanover, coming off a second-place finish in the Open trot at Yonkers Raceway. They will leave from posts seven and six, respectively.
Lean Hanover is trained by Linda Toscano, with Jim Marohn Jr named to drive. He won the Open twice at Yonkers last year, adding to his 21-win career total. Lifetime, he’s bankrolled more than $403,000.
Eric Abbatiello will drive Melady’s Monet, for trainer Hermann Heitmann. In his career, he’s won 68 races, while earning north of $1.7 million. Last year, he won six times at Yonkers, and will look to improve his 2021 record to 2-for-2.
Allindotime, Drazzmatazz, Hashtagmadeyalook, Meadowbranch Ricky, and Dot Dot Dot Dash round out the Preferred Handicap field.
The first of eleven races at Freehold on Friday is scheduled for 12:30 PM.