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Jack Pelling Grand Slam at Freehold, including charity feature race

 Jack Pelling Grand Slam at Freehold, including charity feature race


The unusually warm weather on Saturday in Freehold, New Jersey wasn’t the only thing heating up. Driver Jack Pelling was on fire as he visited the winner’s circle four times on the eleven-race card.

His first win was with 3-1 Fred’s Night in race three. Being parked out from for the first quarter was no hindrance for the Sal Sciarrino trainee who flew past the field and continued to draw further away from the rest of the pack until he crossed the wire in 1:56.3.

In race seven, Pelling faced no challengers as he led the way around the oval in 1:55.3 aboard 3-5 favorite Noch Ten from post one for trainer Mike Fiumenero.

Race eight was the $12,000 preferred handicap pace which was also the Toys for Tots Pace. The race was sponsored by Peter and Mary Grandich who raised donations to the charity organization that distributes toys to less fortunate children at Christmas time. Pelling left from post five with 2-1 Lyons Steel and the pair settled in fifth on the rail. The early leader, Exotic Sand, driven by Tyler Miller, reached the quarter in :28.1 then slowed the pace and reached the half in :58.3. This was when Pelling pulled his mount second-over. His cover soon settled in second on the rail behind the leader, who reached the three-quarter pole in 1:26.2. Pelling then urged the eight-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven from first-over past the leader in the stretch and crossed the wire first in 1:55.0. Lyons Steel is no stranger to the winner’s circle; this victory was the 48th of his career, out of 207 starts. He is trained by Dennis Watson. Not only was this Pelling’s third win of the day, but it was his second consecutive year winning the Toys for Tots Race.

Pelling fell ¾ lengths shy of victory in race nine with the Jenn Bongiorno-trained Gratian Hanover. But he was determined to win one more time on the card so he steered Gaius Crastinus to victory for the second week in a row in race ten from post two. The ten-year-old gelding took advantage of a perfect pocket trip at 7-2 and completed the mile first in 1:57.0. John Novello was the winning owner and trainer.


Freehold Raceway hosts live racing every Friday and Saturday starting at 12:30pm.