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Hot As Hill Wins Garden State Trot

The headliner of an action-packed Friday (September 10) card at Freehold Raceway was the $50,000 Garden State Trot for 3-year-old fillies. Off an impressive win in the first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes- Standardbred Development Fund series, Hot As Hill was the odds-on choice. She delivered on her promise, winning by 3/4 of a length in 1:56.4.
Leaving from the inside post position, Joe Bongiorno put his filly on the lead and cruised around most of the way. Limoges, who won the second leg of the NJSS-SDF series last week, issued a mild challenge on the final turn, but Hot As Hil held her at bay and got the job done. The winner is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Knox Services Inc, and J&T Silva- Purnel&Libby, and trained by Ron Burke. She’s now won seven times from 26 starts, with earnings of over $190,000.
Earlier in the day, in the second leg of the NJSS-SDF for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters, first leg winner Seventier got the job done once again. Leaving from the second tier for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer, he made his way to the front just after the opening quarter, and fended off stiff late challenges from Soot Hanover and Camden Hills for the win. He’s won six times on the year from twelve starts and looms as the likely favorite for the Sept. 24 final. Purple Haze Stables LLC is the winning owner. The final time was 1:57.3.
The Friday card also featured two open events for pacing fillies and mares. The Preferred Handicap went to Iron Mistress, who sat the pocket trip and got up in a 34/1 surprise. Vinny Ginsburg has the winning drive for owner J M F Racing LLC and trainer Jacob Stilwell. In the Invitational Handicap, Bronskimackenzie A, who won the Preferred Handicap last week, rallied up the inside and prevailed by a neck in 1:54.2. She’s owned by Tahnee Camilleri and trained and driven by Luke Hanners.
Sandwiched in between the pacing handicaps was the Preferred Handicap trot. Favored All Champy won by 4 3/4 lengths. He moved to the lead heading up the backstretch the final time and drew away in the stretch, stopping the clock in 1:58. He’s owned by Howard and Joshua Kaufman, trained by Sofia Zingale, and driven by George Brennan.
Live racing at Freehold continues on Saturday (September 11), with a 12-race card starting at about 12:30 PM.