Sgt Papa Daddy and Brett Beckwith turned in a commanding performance Friday, Dec. 29 in the $7,500 claiming event at The Meadowlands. The duo rallied home by open lengths for the win in 1:53.3 through light rain.
Sgt Papa Daddy was selected as the early morning line favorite when the gate folded and he went out for the lead. He sat on the outside midway through the first turn before moving over to the inside before the quarter in :27.3. Odds On Boca Raton and Steve Smith were not satisfied to take a seat early on and moved onto the lead, but Sgt Papa Daddy was back out and moved around them before the half in :56.0. Tax Seeker and Corey Callahan led the outside charge around the final turn, but Sgt Papa Daddy was strong on the front end. He opened up early in the stretch and rallied home in :28.4 for the win by three and one-half lengths over Henry The Dragon and Eric Davis, who moved up on the outside for second. Odds On Boca Raton finished third.
Sgt Papa Daddy paid $2.80 for the win. The nine-year-old son of Rockin Image is trained by Bill MacKenzie, who co-owns the gelding with Donald Witkowski and Lawrence Miller, all of New Jersey. Merlin Van Otterloo of Iowa bred the Indiana sired horse, who was claimed out of the event. VIP Internet Stable of Durham, NC will own Sgt Papa Daddy moving forward.
Sgt. Papa Daddy completes 2023 with nine wins on the year. His career best time of 1:50.3 was taken as a five-year-old at Vernon Downs. Overall, he has 53 wins in 140 lifetime starts with nearly $350,000 in earnings.
Sgt. Papa Daddy only made three starts at two, beginning his career at Running Aces and taking a freshman mark of 1:55.2. From there, he found his way to the East Coast where he has raced for the past seven years, competing at Yonkers, Vernon Downs, and even some time at Pompano Park. He has changed hands numerous times over his career, making his 12th move to a new stable with the claim in the race at The Meadowlands. He raced for the MacKenzie Stable since August of this year.
Closing out the Friday card at The Big M was another Indiana sired contender as Swan Flyer scored his seventh win of 2023 for driver Corey Callahan. Trained by Ron Burke, the four-year-old son of Swan for All moved to the lead down the backstretch and never looked back, winning the conditioned trot in 1:53.0. Chiplosive and Marvin Luna finished second over Velvet Style and Daryl Thiessen for third.
Swan Flyer paid $7.60 for the win. He is owned by FAC Racing, Joe DiScala Jr., and Yannick Gingras. Oakwood Farms bred the gelding, who was unraced at two. Overall, he now has 12 career wins and is nearing $200,000 in career earnings. He follows in the footsteps of his famous half sister, May Baby, who has more than $700,000 on her card for Cheyenne and James Yoder and is still racing. The latest win for Swan Flyer is a new lifetime mark and makes him the second fastest foal from his family behind May Baby.