Harness Racing

Roll With Joe captures Meadowlands Pace

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Roll With Joe, driven by Ron Pierce, held off champion colt Big Jim down the stretch to win Saturday's $1 million Meadowlands Pace at Meadowlands Racetrack. The three-year-old colt paced the mile in 1:48 2/5.

Big Jim, driven by Phil Hudon, was the 8-5 favorite in the 10-horse field, Powerful Mist was the 7-2 second choice and Roll With Joe was the 5-1 third pick.

Roll With Joe got away quickest from the gate, but taking the lead into the clubhouse turn was Wink N Atcha and driver Yannick Gingras. Custard The Dragon was racing in second followed by Roll With Joe and Westwardho Hanover.

Roll With Joe took the lead up the backstretch with Wink N Atcha in second, Custard The Dragon racing third and Westwardho Hanover still in fourth. Big Jim was beginning to advance with a half-mile to go.

Around the final turn, Custard The Dragon and driver Montrell Teague took over the lead with Roll With Joe second and Wink N Atcha racing in third. Big Jim quickly moved into fourth from the outside coming into the stretch.

At the top of the stretch, Roll With Joe had the lead as Big Jim mounted his rally. Pierce and Roll With Joe had just enough left to hold off Big Jim and win by a half-length over the favorite.

"Eddie (trainer Ed Hart) told me last year he had a really nice horse," Pierce said. "He was better than everybody thought he was."

Finishing third was Wink N Atcha with Foreclosure N rallying for fourth.

"He had an excellent week. He was the best," said the winning trainer.

Roll With Joe has won three of six starts this year for $957,750. In 15 career starts the colt has won five times for $1,113,127. This was the first Meadowlands Pace victory for Ed Hart, but the third in four years for the winning driver.

Last month the colt won the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes at Mohawk and later in June was second to Up The Credit in the North America Cup with Big Jim finishing third.

Roll With Joe paid $12.60, $4.80 and $4.00. Big Jim returned $3.40 and $2.80, and Wink N Atcha paid $6.60 to show.

07/16 23:39:16 ET