If divine luck is on his side, Lightning Power might have more than a ghost of a chance when he runs on Halloween at Meadowlands Racetrack.
The 7-year-old gelding is one of nine horses entered in the The Grey Ghost, a $35,000 starter handicap reserved strictly for horses grey or roan in color, on Saturday night. The mile and a sixteenth turf race is an annual Halloween treat for fans that look forward to the flashy field’s charge to the wire. The Grey Ghost is race six on the nine-race program, while the $60,000 Witches Brew for filly and mare sprinters is slated as race eight.
“He’s drawn outside, which will make it a difficult race for him,” Sherwood said. “He’s a tricky horse to ride. Tomorrow night, [Jose] Lezcano will ride him, so he will probably be made the favorite, but he needs a trip. He’s got no speed coming out of the gate. He comes out of the gate with his head on the ground. He’ll probably be coming from last and he’s not a horse with a long run.”
Lightning Power came four wide and rallied to finish in the 2008 Grey Ghost, just 3/4 length behind the winner Highland Cat.
“He should have won the race last year,” Sherwood said. “Jose Velez rode him in a short field and he got into daylights for a short time, but then he was done. This year it is a better field and it should be an interesting race with an all-grey field on the green lawn.”
Though Lightning Power has just five wins in 50 career starts, he has earned $183,040 for Sherwood and his owner-breeder Patricia Andros Carlo.
“He’s honest, but he finds it hard to win,” Sherwood added “He’s a homebred and he’s made $180,000 - if they all did that, this game would be easy. He’s seven now, and he’s an old battler.”
Lightning Power’s earnings serve as a financial resource for Story Book Meadows, a ranch ministry for disadvantaged children, teens-at-risk and adults, founded by Patricia and her husband, Gary Carlo, in Ocala, Florida. Although the Carlos built their farm with the intention of boarding, breeding and training Thoroughbreds, over time they felt that Story Book Meadows should fulfill a different need in their community. Trish became certified in equine-assisted therapy and created the ministry with her husband in 2008. Lightning Power, his sire, Light Years Ahead, and brother Light Days Ahead, who raced Thursday night at the Meadowlands, are among the active and retired racehorses that participate in the mentoring program.
“Although I am no longer breeding Thorougbreds, we are using our retired racehorses in our new emotional therapy programs,” said Andros, an experienced horsewoman who has spent her whole life working in various parts of the horse industry. “I still have Light Years Ahead, who behaves like an old gelding when children come to visit the farm. Light Days Ahead's mother [Rose a Day] is also part of the program here at the farm.”
For more information about Story Book Meadows, go to http://www.storybookmeadows.org.
The field for the $35,000 Grey Ghost Handicap:
Post, Horse, Age/Sex, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1, Last Noble, 3/G, Dave Cohen, 115, William Badgett Jr.
2, Il Postino, 3/C, Pedro Cotto Jr., 114, Skip Einhorn
3, Spartan King, 3/C, Kendrick Carmouche, 116, Michael Trombetta
4, Cozzene's Destiny, 4/C, Eddie Castro, 117, Mark Hennig
5, Dancin' Dixie Cat, 4/G, Joe Bravo, 120, Timothy Seeger
6, Carry the Day, 4/G, Maylan Studart, 112, Gary Contessa
7, Goldie Lane, 4/F, Elvis Trujillo, 115, Anthony Pecoraro
8, Raynicks Fan, 5/G, A Mariano, 118, Ramon Preciado
9, Lightning Power, 7/G, Jose Lezcano, 118, Colin Sherwood
Pegasus Perfect Place To Pre-Game on Halloween
Start Halloween night in style at Meadowlands Racetrack's Spooktacular Costume Party in Pegasus Restaurant.
Come in costume and receive FREE admission and live racing progr, October 31. Festivities include complimentary snacks and candy, drink specials, Rock Band and Wii games, a virtual rollercoaster, photo booth and music courtesy of 105.5 WDHA-FM. Prizes will be awarded for best costume, plus, partygoers can compete in a free handicapping tournament for cash and iPods.
On the track, the annual Grey Ghost Handicap features a phantasmal field of all grey horses, while the wickedest fillies will fly in the Witches Brew Stakes.
Party begins at 6:30 p.m. First race: 7 p.m.
For more information, go to http://www.MeadowlandsRacetrack.com.
Servis and Sacco Star on Meadowlands Thoroughbred Insider
On this week's Meadowlands Thoroughbred Insider, host Mike Curci previews the Halloween weekend stakes action, with a look at Friday's John Henry Stakes on the turf, and Greg Sacco discusses his chances with Piscatelli in the $2 million dollar Breeders’ Cup Juvenile World Championship on November 7. Meadowlands leading trainer Jason Servis also gives a few tidbits on his weekend runners. Plus, racing analyst Darin Zoccali joins Mike for a look at the Friday Horses to Watch as well as an early look at the Breeders’ Cup on November 6 and 7.
To listen, click on the link under Handicapping on Meadowlands Racetrack’s web site http://www.meadowlandsracetrack.com or go to http://www.NJhorseracing.com.