A pair of seasoned veterans from the Indiana breeding program dominated the second race of the day Saturday, Feb. 4 at Freehold Raceway. A Real Miracle and Rockinwiththebest finished one-two in the $4,200 conditioned pace.
Rockinwiththebest, a 10-year-old son of Rockin Image, left briskly for the lead for driver Vincent Ginsburg and reached the quarter in :29.2 while fellow Indiana sired A Real Miracle and driver Austin Siegelman went to the back of the six-horse field. There was no change at the half in 1:00.0 but Van Diesel and Tyler Miller moved out to lead the outer flow. However, the outer flow stalled forcing Tigers Way and Eric Abbatiello three wide at the three-quarters in 1:29.3.
A Real Miracle had a decision to make. Stay two wide behind Van Diesel with hopes he would eventually move up, or follow Tigers Way three wide heading into the final turn. A Real Miracle stayed inside and eventually, Van Diesel cleared Santanna Tony along the inside which gave A Real Miracle the room to also clear the horse on the inside and dipped to the inside himself poised for a great stretch drive.
In the stretch, A Real Miracle went to work, gaining ground with every stride on Rockinwiththebest. In the end, A Real Miracle was an easy winner in 2:00.1, a one and one-quarter length winner over Rockinwiththebest. Van Diesel finished third.
A Real Miracle paid $4.00 for the win. The 13-year-old son of Real Desire is owned by Lases Racing of Michigan and trained by Darryl Cutting. JW Standardbreds, Billie Schwartz, Michael Graziano, and Jay Rosenberg bred the gelding.
A Real Miracle is now two for three in 2023. His career began in California as a two-year-old and he competed in Indiana as a four-year-old before continuing his trek east. His career best time of 1:50.3 was taken as both a six-year-old and an eight-year-old, both miles recorded at Pocono Downs. He has not missed a year of competition since his two-year-old season and now has $583,000 in earnings with 56 wins from 316 starts. He shows pacing a mile under the 1:50 time barrier at Pocono Downs in 2016.
Also a winner on the Saturday program at Freehold was J S Peyton, wrapping up the card for a victory in the $9,000 Handicap Trot. Starting from the center of the track for Newton Jogi Sheridan, the Indiana gelding was parked to the half in :57.1 before clearing to the lead and opening up on the field, winning by three and one-half lengths in 1:57.2. Gruden and Tony Beltrami finished second over Finnick Odair for third with John Calabrese in the bike.
JS Peyton paid $5.00 for the win. The eight-year-old son of Swan for All is owned by Mo Coo Inc. and trained by Candace Brandstatter. David Yoder and Daryl Lehman bred the gelding, who began his career on the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit for the Jack Myers Racing Stable before being sold as part of a dispersal.