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Meadowlands: 'Diamond' Flexes Muscle In Big M Feature
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'DIAMOND' FLEXES MUSCLE IN BIG M FEATURE
By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – When it comes to the Meadowlands, Muscle Diamond is very much a horse for the course.

The 6-year-old son of Muscle Hill-Windylane Hanover thrashed five overmatched opponents in the Friday night feature at the mile oval, the $20,000 Preferred Handicap for trotters.

Winning driver Andy McCarthy did not rush the 1-9 favorite to the top, opting instead to make his way steadily to the lead while racing on the outside at the three-eighths before hitting the half in :55.4. A sleepy :29.1 fraction followed as Pappy Go Go – seeking his third straight win – put up a fight from first over, but the Brett Bittle-trained Muscle Diamond rebuffed that challenge before hitting the wire 1¾ lengths in front of a fast-closing Tyson. Pappy Go Go held on for third.

Muscle Diamond, who set his lifetime-best of 1:50.1 at the Big M in late June before taking the Vincennes on Hambletonian Day in 1:51, completed his mile Friday in 1:52.2 to stay perfect in three Meadowlands starts this year. He paid $2.20 to his backers in winning for the 17th time in 51 lifetime starts while upping his earnings to $755,199 for owners C. Keller III, C. Keller IV, E. Bittle and B. Bittle.

A LITTLE MORE: McCarthy had the hot hand all night, taking four races on the card. ... One lucky simulcast player at Pompano Park had a huge night. He or she was the only player to have all 10 winners in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 and walked away with $10,221. ... Six favorites hit the winner's circle on the 10-race card, and in two of the races where the public choice lost, the winner's odds were 6-5 (race four) and 2-1 (race eight). ... All-source handle on the program totaled $1,723,596. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Four finals of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-olds sit atop the marquee, with purses that total almost $900,000.
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