BETTOR JOY NOSE SECOND IN MATCHMAKER HEAT
Former big-winning Kentuckiana Lodge filly Better Joy was nosed out by fellow ex-Kiwi Delightfulmemphsn in a $US40,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker Heat at Yonkers, New York, on Saturday (NZ time).
Bettor Joy, racing for the Jim King jun stable, led from the two gate for driver Tim Tetrick, only to be caught on the line by the former Mark Jones-trained filly, Delightful Memphis, in 1:53 for the mile.
Delightful Memphis (Bettor’s Delight-Memphis Melody), now trained in the USA by “Nifty” Norman, became the seasonal USA leader for yearly earnings for the aged pacers after Saturday, with five wins and two seconds in eight starts, for $US92,250 in stakes.
Other NZ-breds, in Seaswift Joy and Shartin, also won other heats of the five opening legs of the Matchmaker series.
Seaswift Joy (Bettor’s Delight-Swift Belle), led throughout from the six gate and held in 1:52.2.
Formerly trained in NZ by Malcolm Shinn, Seaswift Joy now races for the Tony Alagna stable.
She has won three of her five North America starts for the year, and finished second in the other, for $48,815 in stakes.
Shartin (Tintin In America-Bagdarin), a stablemate of Better Joy in the King stable, led throughout her heat for driver
Tim Tetrick, holding by half a length in 1:52.4.
Another former Kentuckiana Lodge mare in Donegal Rundlescreek futhered her consistent USA form with a neck second in a $US35,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred Pace on the Yonkers programme.
After settling fifth, she closed well for the Anita Vallee stable for her second to Made Of Jewels As, who held in 1:53.4.
Donegal Rundlescreek (Bettor’s Delight-Boyd’s Creek) has now banked $US48,886 for the year, from a win and five placings in nine starts.
Meanwhile, Bettor’s Fire fared best among the ex-Kentuckiana Lodge pacers in Sunday’s Levy Memorial eliminations, finishing third in a three-way finish.
After trailing from the three gate, he was a neck from winner The Wall in 1:53.
Bit Of A Legend tailed the field from the outside eight gate in his elimination, finishing four lengths from winner Ideal Jimmy, who posted 1:52.8.
Christen Me, form the four gate, settled fifth but didn’t quicken, also finishing last of the eight starters, some four and a half lengths from winner, Anythingforlove A, who paced 1:53.8.
Former Wyndham pacer Luciano finished third, with fellow ex-Kiwi Pacing Major, fifth.
Former All Stars pacer More The Better (Bettor’s Delight-Lucky Pocket), from the three gate for the Ross Croghan stable, won one of the six $US50,000 elimations in 1:53.4.
He was handily placed throughout and held ex-Australian pacer Mach Doro by a neck.