Freehold, NJ --- Golden Receiver and River Shark, the opening-round winners in the Presidential Series, will meet in the second of two divisions in the second leg of the series this Saturday night (Jan. 21) at Meadowlands Racetrack.
Last week, Golden Receiver won by one length from post eight over Annieswesterncard in 1:48. The time was the fastest January mile in the history of the Meadowlands. River Shark captured his division by 3-1/4 lengths overVintage Master in 1:48.4. Both horses are 2-for-2 this year.
“I try not to get fixated with times, but it’s impressive to do that in January,” said Mark Harder, who trains Golden Receiver. “He’s a good horse. I didn’t expect (1):48, but I thought he could win the race. The way he did it was nice.”
Golden Receiver, a 7-year-old gelding driven by Brian Sears, has won four consecutive races dating to last year. He has been a top open horse at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and was third in last year’s Dan Patch Invitational. Owned by Stable 45, Richard Taylor, Stephen Springer and Nina Simmonds, he has won 38 of 98 career starts and earned $688,733.
“He’s a really, really nice horse,” Harder said. “He’s just not a top half-dozen horse. When he stays away from those horses he can outfoot them, like he did the other night.
“He’ll come off a helmet, but he’s got such tremendous gate speed that in 50 yards he can be in front of the field. You can take advantage of that. When you draw outside, what do you do from out there? It’s hard to beat those horses sitting last.”
River Shark, trained by Mark Ford and driven by Tim Tetrick, has won 23 of 78 career races and earned $755,357. He is owned by Ford, VIP Internet Stable, Robert DiNozzi and El Lobo LLC. He won the 2010 Aquarius Series final and the 2009 Suslow Series final.
“Anything can happen,” Harder said. “River Shark was good, but it looks like (Golden Receiver) is the horse to beat, so it’s nice to have that one.”
Vintage Master and Annieswesterncard are among the seven horses in the first Presidential division Saturday. Vintage Master, who is heading to stallion duty at Winbak Farm of Canada following the series, has won $2.1 million lifetime.
“I thought he raced good,” trainer Jimmy Takter said. “He came first up and raced well. I expect him to race better Saturday. If he gets a good trip he can always pop up.”
Vintage Master’s career wins include the 2010 Ben Franklin Pace, 2009 Adios and 2009 Cane Pace.
“He’s a very consistent horse and he had some really great moments,” Takter said. “Making $2.1 million, there’s not too many horses doing that. He’s had a good run.”