May 28, 2011
Big Jim earned millionaire status as he cruised to victory in the $400,000 Anthony Abbatiello SBOA New Jersey Classic for three-year-old New Jersey sired pacing colts at the Meadowlands Racetrack on Saturday night.
Driven by Phil Hudon, 1-2 favourite Big Jim floated off the gate from Post 8 and brushed to command ahead of inside starter Shadyshark Hanover (Tim Tetrick) past the :27-second opening quarter mark. The son of Western Ideal-Bold Pink reached the half in :54, followed by three-quarters in 1:22.4 and cruised to victory in 1:51. High Noon (Ron Pierce) finished second and Shadyshark Hanover was third.
"I was going to [take hold of him going into the first turn] and then I said I’m going to end up being first up so I said I might as well try and take a shot to the front and then hopefully get a breather," said Hudon in the winner’s circle. "We did get a little breather so it worked out good.
"I let him pace a little bit late because I heard Pierce was coming pretty good so I was chasing him for sure. I let him pace, but that’s a good mile today — it’s pretty windy."
Big Jim, last year’s Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year in both Canada and the U.S. thanks in part to a 1:49.1 World Record performance in the Governor’s Cup, is trained by James ‘Friday’ Dean for owner Jim Carr of Hamilton, Ont.
"He did everything I expected him to do," said Carr of Big Jim’s winning effort tonight. "The only thing I’m disappointed there wasn’t enough kids in the winner’s circle. I guess I’m going to have to hire a bus and bring them down because its tough to get the kids out here. At home, they all flock to the winner’s circle."
Carr noted that the Big Jim team has not yet decided if the colt will contest the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes next at Mohawk Racetrack.
"He may miss it to give him a week off, but we’ll definitely be in the North America Cup."
Big Jim, who won his season’s debut in the New Jersey Classic prep race one week ago, paid $3 to win. With eight wins in 12 lifetime starts, Big Jim now boasts $1,046,580 in career earnings. He has been assessed as the favourite in Trot Magazine’s 2011 Spring Book.
(Standardbred Canada and The Meadowlands)
Click here to watch trainer James ‘Friday’ Dean comment on Big Jim’s New Jersey Classic prep win from May 21.