Major Look [$22.80, $4.20, $3.00], a daughter of Art Major-Band of Emeralds, paced the mile in a career best 1:49.3, finishing three-quarters of a length ahead of American Jewel [$2.10, $2.10] with Bettor B Lucky [$4.20] in third by a length and a quarter.
American Jewel, winner of the Fan Hanover and Lynch, had her winning streak snapped at four.
Major Look was harnessed for the Mistletoe Shalee Final by Kevin McDermott, deputized to replace his former employee and the filly’s previous trainer, Bob Riddle.
“Bob [Riddle] was going to jog her on Sunday morning and the horse ran him over out of the stall and fractured his leg and foot and shattered his kneecap,” said Kevin McDermott. “Bob deserves all the credit with this horse. Me and Andy discussed it, and we’re splitting our five percents with Bob Riddle. Believe it or not he just called me. His phone wasn’t working, and he wanted to know how she did. Bob worked with me for a long time, and I give him horses when I don’t have room. The owners and their friends had horses with me in the past, and Bob asked me to take this filly for him. He gets all the credit.”
Major Look is owned by the partnership of Joseph Balkunas of Smithtown, NY; Mark Giordano of Lindenhurst, NY and Anthony Pancella of Lindenhurst, NY. The filly now has four wins in six starts this year and seven wins in 21 career starts, banking $289,570 with the winner’s share of $95,425.
“I just know Bob Riddle did a great job getting her ready and then he got hurt the other day and handed her over to Kevin,” said winning driver Andy Miller. “Kevin has done a great job going forward with her. I think she was very good [American Jewel] but this mare beat her earlier in the year.”
Tim Tetrick, the driver of American Jewel, said his mare raced good.
“She just got beat,” said Tetrick. “She raced hard, and she’s been a contender all year. She finished second to her [American Jewel] a couple of times in the qualifiers, and she’s beat her at Vernon in her first start. She’s a really good mare. She got a two-hole trip right behind me.”
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