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THE CAPTAIN CAPTURES THE MEADOWLANDS PACE

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Captaintreacherous won the $635,750 Meadowlands Pace on Saturday night with another impressive effort.

Sent to the lead entering the backstretch, The Captain led the rest of the way in a lifetime best 1:48 1/5. The leading star in harness racing is a perfect 6 for 6 on the season, shining brightly once again on the biggest night in harness racing.

Tim Tetrick won his third Pace; it was the first Pace starter for trainer Tony Alagna.

The Pacer of the Year in 2012, Captaintreacherous is 14 for 16 overall and another championship is certainly within his grasp.

He paid $3.20 to win.

Odds On Equuleus was second with Sunshine Beach third in the richest 3-year-old pace in the U.S.

The Pace was a case of total domination. Once put on the lead, Captaintreacherous was relentless. Odds On Equuleus bravely ranged up to challenge but The Captain had plenty left. He pulled away in the lane, beating Odds On Equuleus by 3 1-4 lengths.

“My horse, whenever he sees somebody, he’ll go,” Tetrick said. “Luckily tonight he didn’t have to do that. I asked him at the top of the lane and he took off for me. He’s been good all year. He keeps getting the job done and I’m so happy that he does.”

This was another stellar effort in a nearly flawless career unfolding according to plan for trainer Tony Alagna and co-owner Myron Bell.

“Last year Myron and I sat down and we decided, before he started his first race, to race him 10 times and we raced him exactly 10 times,” Alagna said. “It’s been a team effort, Myron and I and the partners, Everything has worked out well so far.”

The Pace victory put Captaintreacherous in very select company. He is only the third colt to win the Woodrow Wilson here at 2 and return to capture The Pace the following season. The other two are both in the Hall of Fame: Niatross and Nihilator.

Tetrick was back in the winner’s circle one race later with I Luv The Nightlife in the $184,250 Mistletoe Shalee, the companion event for 3-year-old filly pacers.

She earned her sixth win in seven starts this season for trainer Chris Ryder and owners Richard & Joanne Young. I Luv The Nightlife beat Charisma Hanover by a half length for her 10th win in 17 starts.

Pet Rock won the $471,800 William R. Haughton Memorial Free-For-All final in a stakes record 1:47 performance.

Pet Rock and driver David Miller brushed past Golden Receiver down the backstretch only to quickly face a challenge from Warrawee Needy, fresh from his world-record win in last week’s Haughton elimination.

This was Pet Rock’s night as he fended off that bid and paced home in a 26 3/5 final quarter for his second win in six starts this season. He finished three quarters of a length better than Bolt The Duer with Sweet Lou third.

“My horse, he felt strong,” said Miller who drove for trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr. “When I asked him through the stretch, he just sprinted away. He was pacing strong, right through the wire.”

In addition to the winner’s purse share, Pet Rock also earned 35 points in the inaugural TVG Free-For-All Series that culminates with a $500,000 final at The New Meadowlands Racetrack on Nov. 30.

Pet Rock, a 4-year-old, is 12 for 33 for owner Frank Bellino.

The road to the $1.2 million Hambletonian and the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old trotters here on Aug. 3 made a final stop with the Stanley Dancer and Del Miller Memorials.

Brian Sears drove both winners.

Royalty For Life is hitting his best stride in the nick of time with the Hambletonian rapidly approaching.

In a season littered with breaks, Royalty For Life finally put it all together with an impressive win in 1:52.

Caught very wide early, Royalty For Life cleared Corky down the backstretch and responded gamely in deep stretch when Spider Blue Chip challenged. Royalty For Life dug in to win by a head, his first victory in four starts this year.

“I just really believed he needed to start racing,” said trainer George Ducharme. “He was just feeling too good.

“We’re going to sit down and see how he comes out of the race, maybe get him a prep race before that (the Hambletonian) but let the horse tell us what he needs.”

Deweycolorintheline was third.

Royalty For Life, 8 for 18 overall, is owned by Alfred Ross, Raymond W.J. Campbell, Jr. and Paul Fontaine.

Bee A Magician dazzled in the $265,500 Miller for fillies with a world record 1:51 mile to stamp herself the overwhelming favorite for the Oaks.

Sears turned her loose entering the final turn and Bee A Magician took it from there. She glided under the wire 4 1-2 lengths clear of Frau Blucher to run her season mark to 7 for 7, and 17-1-1 in 20 starts.

“She’s just a big strong filly,” Sears said. “She’s built just the way you want them. She gets over the ground so easy.”

The dominant effort sparked speculation that Bee A Magician might bypass the Oaks to tackle the boys in the Hambletonian.

“It’s a tricky question,” trainer Nifty Norman said of the Hambletonian buzz. “The fact the format is two heats in one day for a filly is probably a little too much. We’ll probably discuss it some more.”

It will be an interesting chat with owners Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman and David Mc Duffee.

Mistery Woman was third.

There were also four $150,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes finals for 2-year-olds.

Cee Bee Yes nipped Dancing For Money by a nose in the trotting filly division. Andy Miller drove for wife Julie as Cee Bee Yes was clocked in 1:56 3/5. She is now 2 for 2 for owners Jason and Douglas Allen.

Hill I Am improved to 3 for 3 with a stakes record 1:55 4/5 victory in the trotting colt division. Corey Callahan was at the lines for trainer Dennis Laterza and owner Roy Dobbins. Hill I Am repelled a stiff stretch challenge from Southwind Spirit to win by one length.

Western Vintage took the pacing colt championship to remain unbeaten in three races with another dominant score. He beat In The Clear by four lengths as the overwhelming 1-10 favorite.

Yannick Gingras was in the sulky for trainer Nancy Johansson and owner Perry Soderberg.

Bolt of Thunder got her first win in three starts, pulling a 6-1 upset in the pacing filly division.

She beat Fiyonce by 1 1-2 lengths with John Campbell driving for trainer Larry Remmen and owner Robert Hamather.

The time was 1:53 1/5.

The betting windows produced results not seen for some time.  The Total Handle of $4,311,546 was not only an increase of $831,958 or 24-percent from the $3,479,588 bet on Meadowlands Pace one year ago, but it was the first time The Meadowlands eclipsed $4 Million on a non-Hambletonian Day card since Meadowlands Pace night, 2010.

The Ima Lula kicks off for the four-year old mare trotters on this upcoming Saturday night as The Championship Meet continues through Aug. 3, Hambletonian Day. In addition, The Miss Hot to Trot contest will take place this Saturday night.  Racing resumes Friday night at 7:15 p.m.


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