EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Trainer Kelvin Harrison was in the right place at the right time when it came to Meadowlands Pace finalist In The Arsenal.
Harrison was at the Harrisburg Sale with enough money to buy one yearling. He purchased a filly, Sweetwithoutsugar, for $20,000 from White Birch Farm.
Farm manager Steve Williams thanked him and asked if he would be interested in working with a small colt the farm had bought back.
It turned out to be In The Arsenal, and the colt has earned $751,663 coming into Saturday's $706,000 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace Final at the Meadowlands.
In The Arsenal won an elimination race last weekend and has been installed as the 3-1 second choice in the field of 3-year-olds. Brian Sears will drive, starting from post No. 6.
Wiggle It Jiggleit is the heavy favorite in the race, but In The Arsenal will push him.
''This colt was great from Day 1,'' Harrison said. ''As soon as we put the hobbles on him, he was incredible. He wasn't one of those you had to teach to go fast; he was one of those you had to throttle back his speed to keep him from going too fast. He was a natural. He is a smart colt.''
Harrison, who was born in New Zealand and came to the United States in 1972, has had a long and successful career. He won the Meadowlands' top race for 2-year-old pacers, the Woodrow Wilson Pace, with Sam Francisco Ben in 1989. A mare he trained, Frightening P, became the first female to break the 1:49 barrier at the Meadowlands.
''Fifty years I've been doing this,'' said Harrison, who last sent raced in the Pace with Direct Flight in 1992. ''If I could win the Meadowlands Pace 50 years down the line, it would be amazing. Training horses is not work for me. It's not a job; it's a life. You are all in, or you're not in at all. It's a full commitment.''
In The Arsenal has five wins in eight starts this year, with the biggest being the $300,000 Rooney Final at Yonkers on May 30.
Wiggle It Jiggleit has won 14 of 15 career races for owner George Teague Jr. The 4-5 favorite has the No. 4 post against nine rivals and will be driven by Montrell Teague, the owner's son.
The Pace tops a 14-race card that includes the $443,000 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-old trotters, the $430,600 William R. Haughton Memorial featuring Free-For-All pacers, the $213,450 Golden Girls for Free-For-All pacing mares and the $201,350 Mistletoe Shalee for 3-year-old pacing fillies.
Some of the leading trotters aiming at the $1 million Hambletonian and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks here on Aug. 8 are racing in two divisions of the Stanley Dancer Memorial and a single dash for the fillies in the Delvin Miller Memorial.