Eleven older horses are entered to run under the lights in the $150,000 Cliff Hanger Handicap (gr. IIIT), Meadowlands' feature race Friday night. Among the entrants for the 1 1/16-mile turf race are 1999 Fort Lauderdale Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner Garbu, 1999 Jersey Derby (gr. IIT) winner Swamp, defending champion Virginia Carnival, and this year's New Hampshire Sweepstakes Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner Inexplicable.
Co-highweights Garbu and Swamp both come into the race following wins in the allowance ranks. Swamp won a one-mile turf race at Monmouth Park in August, his only victory on the year. Garbu won a particularly tough allowance race at Belmont Park in July, handily defeating graded stakes winners Middlesex Drive and Rob 'n Gin.
After winning June's New Hampshire Sweepstakes in Rockingham Park course record time, Inexplicable finished second in the Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT) and fifth in the Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT), both at Saratoga. The 5-year-old Christophe Clement trainee will be ridden by Jose Santos.
The field for the Cliff Hanger Handicap, with jockeys and weights, will consist of:
1--Swamp, Richard Migliore, 120
2--North East Bound, Jose A. Velez Jr., 118
3--Tappat, Ricky Lee Frazier, 115
4--El Mirasol, Aaron Gryder, 117
5--Private Slip, Travis Dunkelberger, 117
6--Virginia Carnival, Jean-Luc Samyn, 115
7--Buying Rain, Roberto Alvarado Jr., 117
8--Johnny Dollar, Joseph Rocco, 114
9--Inexplicable, Jose Santos, 117
10--Majestic Jove, Michael McCarthy, 114
11--Garbu, Edgar Prado, 120