Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing
Five-year-old pacer Joey James has derived considerable benefit from a spell and has been produced in fine fettle by trainer Brad Lynn for impressive victories at his first two appearances in his current campaign.
Joey James was a well-supported $5 second fancy when he lined up at barrier two on the front line in the Jim Hand Hall Of Fame Inductee Handicap over 2503m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Punters were keen to support Joey James after his splendid first-up victory at Pinjarra when he rated 1.55.9 and beat Miss Boudica over 2185m.
The polemarker Pontevivo was slow to begin and dropped back to the rear, and punters gasped when the $3.30 favourite Blitzembye galloped badly off the 20m back mark and settled down 100 metres behind the pacemaker and $6 chance Yankee Lincoln.
Deni Roberts, sporting her new sulky with flashy bright pink wheels, was quite content to take the sit behind Yankee Lincoln. Blitzembye made up his lost ground and he moved forward to be eighth, three wide, at the bell.
Blitzembye sustained his strong run to be fourth with 550m to travel and into second place 300m later. The third quarter of the final mile was run in 28.5sec. and Roberts did not panic, waiting until the field approached the home turn before urging Joey James forward.
Joey James burst to the front 100m from the post and won by a half-length from $7.50 chance Deeorse, who finished solidly after racing three back on the pegs. Yankee Lincoln held on to be third, with the final 400m being covered in 27.6sec.
Joey James was bred and is owned by Lynn’s wife Katrina, and the gelding, by American stallion Heartland Hanover, has earned $57,823 from nine wins and ten placings from 39 starts. He is the first foal out of the Bettors Delight mare Soho Honolulu, whose dam Jupiters Darling won the Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park in February 2005 and retired with earnings of $142,720 from 14 wins and 22 placings from 84 starts.