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NJSS-SDF Finals Conclude at Freehold Raceway

NJSS-SDF Finals Conclude at Freehold Raceway
October 21, 2023, by Katie Eick, for Freehold Raceway
Two, $70,000 NJ Sire Stakes Standardbred Development Fund finals for 2-year-old pacers took place at Freehold Raceway on Saturday, October 21, 2023.
The first of the two was for colts in race five where 6-5 co-favorites Caviart Justice (Nancy Takter) and Wish You Well (Nifty Norman) faced off again. Both colts only raced in one leg and won their division. They previously faced off in the Renaissance Final for 2-year-old colt pacers on September 23, 2023. Wish You Well was victorious over Caviart Justice by one-and-a-half lengths.  
Wish You Well continued his streak in the SDF final after leaving from post 7 with Jason Bartlett in the sulky. He went four-wide in the first turn where he faced off with Caviart Justice and Corey Callahan who took the early lead from post 3. By the time they reached the quarter-pole in :27.2, Wish You Well had cleared to the front and continued to set the pace and led the pack to the half in :57.2. Bet on Mac (Sam DePinto) steered by Austin Siegelman pulled as they approached the half and tried to challenge from first-over but was unsuccessful and remained parked for the second trip around the half-mile oval. Wish You Well continued to set the pace, reaching the three-quarter-pole in 1:26.0 and the finish in 1:54.4.
Arbitrage Hanover rallied late for team Pelling to finish second. Bet on Mac held on for third. Caviart Justice was fourth.
In race eight, Bartlett was slated to win again by the bettors in the final for fillies, as his mount was 1-5 Pulp Fiction (Michael Hall) from post 3. However Miki In Luv (post 6) and Dan Dube came out on top for trainer Ron Coyne Jr. In the first turn, it was 33-1 I’m A Believer (Mark Ford) who captured the early lead from post 5. Always B Merry (Nifty Norman) settled in behind her from post 1, followed by Pulp Fiction and Miki In Luv. There was no movement as the field paced single-file behind I’m A Believer who reached the quarter in :28.0 and the half in :57.4. After the third turn, Pulp Fiction pulled to first-over and Miki In Luv took cover behind her. The pack reached the three-quarter pole in 1:26.1. The four fillies that controlled the 1-4 spots the entire race battled side-by-side down the stretch. But it was ultimately 7-1 Miki In Luv who got the best of them and paced in 1:55.1 and paid $16.40 to win. I’m A Believer was second, followed by Pulp Fiction then Always B Merry. An exacta paid $103.40 and a trifecta paid $371.90.


These races concluded the stakes calendar at Freehold Raceway for 2023 but there continues to be live racing on Friday and Saturday afternoons starting at 12:30pm.