Holiday Road drew off to a convincing 1:56.3 victory for the duo in the first of three eliminations for the $523,600 Peter Haughton Memorial, the Meadowlands' premier event for 2-year-old trotters, on Friday night. The top three finishers in each $20,000 elimination, plus the fastest fourth-place finisher overall, advanced to the Peter Haughton Final on Hambletonian Day, Saturday, August 8.

Holiday Road [$3.00, $2.40, $2.20] took command at the quarter-pole and coasted to a 2 1-4-length margin over Wishing Stone [$3,80, $2.80] in the evening's third race. Plan B In HD [$4.80] came first up to finish third. It was the colt's second win in three pari-mutuel starts.

"My horse got used pretty good, but I was able to back down the third quarter a little bit," Sears said of the fast fractions up front [:28.1, :57.2]. "He was well in hand. I felt like he had plenty of trot to get me down to the wire. He's a big strong colt and getting better every week. He's going to be very competitive at the top of the 2-year-old ranks this year."

Holiday Road was a $115,000 yearling purchase at the 2008 Lexington Selected Sale by Peck of Newtown, PA; Jerry Silva of Long Beach, NY; TLP Stable [Tom and Lou Pontone] of Kearny, NJ; and Patricia Bolte of Moorestown, NJ. The son of Yankee Glide-Jambo is a half-brother to Ken Warkentin [$902,355, 1:52.3]. The team of Peck, Sears, Silva and TLP Stable will send out Muscle Hill in Saturday's Hambletonian eliminations at the Meadowlands. The defending 2-year-old champion is undefeated in three starts this season and looms the overwhelming favorite heading into the $1.5 million Hambletonian Final on August 8.

"He trained well and we've got a round-the-clock Hambletonian operation, making sure we dot all our i's and cross all our t's," Peck said of Muscle Hill. "We're confident, but it's a horse race. We know that."

Lucky Chucky wired the field in the first of the Haughton eliminations, race two, with John Campbell in tow. Trained by Chuck Sylvester, Lucky Chucky was the fastest of the three elimination winners with a 1:56.2 mile. Temple Of Doom got up to finish second, while Chimon rallied for third. Lucky Chucky, a son of Windsong's Legacy, is now perfect in three starts for Sylvester and co-owners Neal Goldman of Washington, Township, NJ and Amy Stoltzfus of Williamstown, NJ.

Pilgrims Taj and driver Mike Lachance tipped off cover on the final turn and flew home in a :27.4 final panel to win the third elimination in 1:57.4. Senor Glide held second, while Guard Dog closed from seventh at the top of the stretch to grab the show spot. The 1-5 favorite, Break The Bank K broke stride at the start of the race and finished seventh. Monte Gelrod trains Pilgrims Taj, a son of Broadway Hall, for Bob Bongiorno of Colts Neck, NJ; Bix DiMeo of Red Bank, NJ; Val D'Or Farms of Millstone, NJ; and Peter Heffering of Post Perry, Ontario.

A random drawing will decide the final spot in the Peter Haughton Final. Smooth Power and Homerun Hitter tied for the fastest fourth with a 1:57.4 clocking