EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Neither first-over pressure from Papi Rob Hanover nor nearly a length deficit in upper stretch could deter a resurgent Tall Dark Stranger ($3.00), who gave his all to reclaim the lead in the final yards of the $636,650 Meadowlands Pace on Saturday night (July 18) at The Meadowlands.
The 3-year-old son of Bettor's Delight and Precocious Beauty advanced gradually off the first turn, cleared for the lead with five-eighths to go, and he controlled a :53.2 half while in line to Yannick Gingras. On the far turn, Tall Dark Stranger faced a stout challenge from the uncovered Papi Rob Hanover, and the pair threw down nearing three-quarters in 1:20.4.
Papi Rob Hanover wrested command away from Tall Dark Stranger off the home turn, and while Allywag Hanover loomed a major late threat off second-over cover, Tall Dark Stranger proved toughest of all and battled valiantly to prevail by a neck in 1:47.2. Papi Rob Hanover finished second, and Allywag Hanover stayed on for third.
Nancy Takter trains Tall Dark Stranger, an 11-time winner in 12 career starts, for Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. The Pace win pushed Tall Dark Stranger's earnings over the $1 million plateau.