EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – After taking the Friday night feature with 7-5 favorite Betalady, harness racing driver, aka "The Captain", also scored in Saturday night's marquee event, winning the $27,500 Winners Over/Open on the pace with 11-1 outsider Shnitzledosomethin at .
Not only did Callahan drive well, he had a big decision to make well before the race even began. Should he drive Shnitzledosomethin, or Lyons Steel, whom he guided to the winner's circle in the weekly feature last week?
"It was a tough choice," said Callahan. "Lyons Steel has been good to me the last few weeks, but [Shnitzledosomethin's trainer] Dylan Davis is one of my main guys and his horse has a lot of back class. I mean, he's won one out of every three races lifetime and he showed what he is tonight."
Callahan left the gate from post five in the eight-horse field and found a seat in third out of the first turn as Lyons Steel hit the quarter in :27.1. Stars Align A, an Ohio invader making his debut for the Nancy Takter barn, took the lead shortly thereafter, and led the field past the half in :55.1 and three-quarters in 1:22.2, seeking to become the seventh consecutive winning favorite on the card after being sent to the gate at odds of 3-5.
Coming out of the far turn, the top two were unchanged with Tulhurstsantanna A parked in third, as Callahan hoped for some room sitting behind the pocket-sitter with Shnitzledosomethin.
He found some, swerving to the three-path after straightening away, before charging home to victory lane, hitting the finish three-quarters-of-a-length in front of a stubborn Tulhurstsantanna A in 1:49.2. Hesa Kingslayer N exploded home in :25.4 to grab the show dough. Stars Align A weakened to fifth with Lyons Steel sixth.
"I was able to sneak out of there," said Callahan. "And he paced home hard and got the job done."
Shnitzledosomethin, a 6-year-old son of Fred And Ginger-Summer N Sand who returned $24.20 to his backers, increased his Meadowlands winning streak to three in upping his lifetime numbers to 23 victories from 73 starts, good for earnings of $831,333 for owners Howard Taylor, Edwin Gold, Abraham Basen and Richard Lombardo.
A LITTLE MORE: All-source wagering totaled $3,124,835, the ninth consecutive card where wagering exceeded the $3-million mark. Through the first two months of 2021, the $3-million barrier has been busted 13 times. During all of 2020, $3 million or more was bet on 11 occasions. … Dexter Dunn won three times to lead all drivers, and in the process, upped his Big M leading dash-win total to 48. … Callahan had driving doubles on both Friday and Saturday. … Racing resumes Friday at 6 p.m.
By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations