Captaintreacherous, the biggest star in harness racing, is the 6-5 favorite for the $635,750 Meadowlands Pace.
He will start from post 5 against nine rivals in the richest race for 3-year-old pacers in the U.S. next Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
Post positions were drawn Saturday night following the $50,000 Meadowlands Pace elimination.
Captaintreacherous, Twilight Bonfire and Wake Up Peter got byes into the final as the three richest money earners in the field.
The remaining 10 entrants competed for the seven remaining berths. Sunshine Beach won the elimination in 1:48. His connections were given their choice of posts and selected 2. He will be the 3-1 second choice.
Sunshine Beach paced the mile of his life to win The Pace elimination.
George Brennan put the colt on the lead approaching the half mile and the 3-5 favorite took it from there.
The only meaningful challenge came from Odds On Equuleus who was first over and dead game in the stretch. Sunshine Beach held on by a neck for his fifth win in 12 starts for Hudson Standardbred Stable, Conrad Leber and Diane Bertrand.
George Brennan picked up the drive from trainer Mark Steacy.
“Mark said he was lazy and he was very lazy, so I didn’t get him on the bit,” Brennan said. “I just let him do what he had to do. I watched his race and he came from the back at Mohawk. That just doesn’t work here. I knew I had to be up close, not necessarily on the lead, but I wound up there.”
Sunshine Beach paid $3.20 to win.
The field in post position order: Odds On Equuleus (4-1), Sunshine Beach (3-1), Resistance Futile (20-1), Twilight Bonfire (8-1), Captaintreacherous (6-5), Sir Cary's Z Tam (30-1), Johny Rock (20-1), Beach Memories (15-1), Wake Up Peter (10-1) and Rockin Amadeus (15-1).
Captaintreacherous is 5 for 5 this season, and 13 for 15 overall with $1.7 million in earnings
The Meadowlands also staged two $50,000 eliminations for the $471,800 William Haughton Memorial for Free-For-All pacers.
Warrawee Needy and Sweet Lou took the eliminations, and the right to select their posts.
Warrawee Needy will have post 2 as the 5-2 favorite following a world-record equaling win. Sweet Lou has post 3 as the 3-1 second choice.
In the Haughton eliminations, the top five made the cut for the final.
Warrawee Needy dazzled, pacing the mile in 1:46 4/5 to equal the fastest mile in the history of the sport set by Holborn Hanover and Somebeachsomewhere.
Racing second-over around the final bend, Warrawee Needy tipped wide turning for home and wore down a very determined Golden Receiver by 1 1-4 lengths.
“I was just looking for a trip,” said Jody Jamieson who drove for his dad Carl. “The horse showed week in, week out that, off a helmet, he can be vicious. He proved again tonight how great he is.”
The 4-year-old got his 19th win in 40 starts, and became the sport’s newest millionaire. He is owned by Dr. Michael Wilson, Thomas Kyron, Floyd Marshall and Carl Jamieson. He paid $4.80 to win as the 7-5 favorite.
The Ron Burke-trained entry of Foiled Again (third) and Hugadragon (fifth) also advanced to the final, along with fourth-place finisher Razzle Dazzle.
Sweet Lou won the other elimination in 1:48 4/5 to give Burke three entrants in the Haughton final.
It was a game bounce-back effort for the 4-year-old after some subpar efforts.
He was back with a vengeance, grinding first over to wear down Pet Rock by a neck in a 25 3/5 quarter with Yannick Gingras at the lines.
“I was confident in my horse,” Gingras said. “The goal was obviously to win the race and make the final. At the top of the stretch I wasn’t sure I could outsprint Pet Rock. All the way around he felt really strong. He was just waiting for me to call on him.”
Gingras has a tough decision to make. Will he drive elimination winner Sweet Lou or the richest pacer in the sports history, Foiled Again?
Closing in on $2 million in career earnings, Sweet Lou won for the 20th time in 39 starts for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Lawrence Karr and Philip Collura.
Bolt The Duer, trapped in for much of the stretch drive, was third followed by Up The Credit and Aracache Hanover.
In the third draw of the night, I Luv The Nitelife will be the 4-5 favorite from post 2 in the $184,250 Mistletoe Shalee for 3-year-old filly pacers. She has already captured the Fan Hanover and the Lynch Memorial this season.
There were four divisions of New Jersey Sires Stakes for 2-year-old pacers ahead of next weekend’s $150,000 finals.
In the colt and gelding divisions, Western Vintage and In The Clear posted wins.
Western Vintage is now 2 for 2 following the 1:52 1/5 score over Sweet Rock with Gingras at the lines for trainer Nancy Johansson.
In The Clear held off Shark Leap Hanover by three-quarters of a length in 1:53 4/5. Andrew McCarthy drove for trainer Aaron Lambert.
In the filly divisions, Rockingcam Park and Fiyonce prevailed.
Rockingcam Park surged past Bolt of Thunder by 2 1-2 lengths to stay perfect at 2 for 2 with Andy Miller the pilot for trainer Ron Coyne, Jr.
Fiyonce edged Ideal Helen, the 1-5 favorite, by a head in 1:52 4/5 with Gingras in the sulky for Burke.
At the betting windows, it was a great Meadowlands Pace Elimination night. Total handle skyrocketed from $1,926,293 in 2012 to $2,813,229 in 2013, for an increase of 46-percent. The Meadowlands continues it’s momentum toward its signature weekend. Friday night features the Miss Versatility for the Open Mare Trotters and Saturday features the most loaded Meadowlands Pace card in recent memory. That program includes The Meadowlands Pace, William Haughton Memorial, Mistletoe Shalee, Stanley Dancer Memorial, Del Miller Memorial and four Two Year Old New Jersey Sire Stakes Championships. Post Time for both Friday and Saturday night is 7:15 P.M.
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