Geez Joe was in tough in his last two races and did not fare well, but the veteran returned to his winning ways Saturday night (Dec. 7) at one of his favourite tracks, taking the $30,000 Preferred for pacers at the Meadowlands.
The five-year-old gelded son of Roll With Joe-Beach Bretta finished eighth in the Nov. 23 TVG Open Pace (won by Always A Prince) and 10th in the Oct. 26 Breeders Crown (won by American History), but he got back to the winner’s circle Saturday by wiring a short–but talented–field of six in 1:50.
Geez Joe was the 8-5 post-time favourite and driver Marcus Miller sent him to the top in :27.2. There wasn’t much movement in the six-horse field and Miller was able to rate the second fraction to a :55.3 half. The flow began to form after the half with Bettor Memories leading the train at the five-eighths, but none of the horses racing on the rim would go on to hit the board.
Wheels On Fire sat the pocket throughout with Windsong Leo in the three-hole. In deep stretch Wheels On Fire was moving to the eventual winner along the inside while Windsong Leo rallied between rivals. At the wire it was Geez Joe by a hard-fought neck over Wheels On Fire with Windsong Leo third.
“He was super game,” said Miller.
Geez Joe, whose last win came at the Meadowlands on Oct. 12, returned $5.40 to his backers. The Erv Miller trainee now has 21 wins from 65 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $281,520 for owners Bay Pond Racing Stable. Three of his five wins in 2019 have come at the Big M.
A LITTLE MORE: The driver colony had a pair of stars: Tim Tetrick, who won four races, and Dave Miller, who recorded a natural hat trick after taking the ninth, 10th and 11th races
A pair of winning tickets were sold in the 20-cent Survivor Pick 10, with each being worth $4,678 for lasting six legs. Of those six, four were the post-time favourite.
All-source handle on the 13-race card totaled $2,180,523.
Racing resumes Thursday at 7:15 p.m. “Borrowing Ken’s Binoculars” and calling the races that night will be the always-entertaining Larry Lederman.