East Rutherford, NJ — Real Cool Sam iced the field in Saturday's (Aug. 3) $324,550 Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters, beating Rome Pays Off by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:53.1 at The Meadowlands for his fifth victory in as many starts. Expectations was third.
Real Cool Sam's time was a track record and equaled the world record for a 2-year-old gelded trotter.
Real Cool Sam, the 1-2 favorite, took his time getting to the front in the Haughton. Rome Pays Off was the early leader, but saw Synergy take the top spot prior to the half. Real Cool Sam and driver David Miller were fifth at the half and followed the first-over cover of Expectations around the final turn before drawing off in the stretch.
Fashion Farms bred and owns Real Cool Sam, a son of Muscle Hill out of Cooler Schooner, trained by Jim Campbell. He has earned $216,998 this season. The horse was named in honor of late Meadowlands Racetrack announcer and broadcaster Sam McKee by Fashion Farms' owner Jules Siegel, who credited McKee with keeping him cool during nervous moments prior to his horses racing.
"He was a real good friend of mine," Siegel said. "He used to come down to the apron and watch me walking around as nervous as I was.
"I really appreciated what Sam did. I realize he did things for a lot of people, but to me it was a very personal thing. I know other people have done the same thing (naming horses in McKee's honor), but for me it was something special."
In the $310,700 James Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old female trotters, Hypnotic AM remained undefeated with a two-length win over Sherry Lyns Lady in 1:53. Hello Tomorrow finished third.
Hypnotic AM, bred and owned by Anders Strom's Courant Inc., is 4-for-4. She is trained by Marcus Melander and was driven to victory by Brian Sears.
The 2-5 favorite Hypnotic AM was fourth through the first half of the race, which saw Hello Tomorrow led to the first quarter before yielding to Crucial at the midpoint. Sears moved with Hypnotic AM and was alongside Crucial at three-quarters before kicking home to victory.
"It's a fantastic group of fillies this year, and for her to win first-over like that in 1:53 is fantastic," Strom said.
Hypnotic AM, by Chapter Seven out of Daydream AM S, has earned $196,932.
by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA