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Stay Hungry Devours His Rivals

Published: October 28, 2017 9:18 pm ET

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As Indiana-sired horses looked to sweep the first three Breeders Crown finals on Saturday night, a determined Stay Hungry and driver Doug McNair played the spoiler in the $600,000 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Colt Pace Final.

Stay Hungry (5) and driver Doug McNair winning the Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Colt Pace on October 28 at Hoosier Park.

McNair sat off the front with his elim winner as Western Passage (Brett Miller) and Shnitzledosomethin (Peter Wrenn) took turns on the lead through the :26.1 opening quarter. Karpathian Kid (David Miller) made a bid for the front and eventually cleared Shnitzledosomethin just before the :54.3 half.

With Lost In Time (Scott Zeron) first up in the outer flow, Western Passage was right-lined from third and cleared to the front as the third quarter was reached in 1:22.3. That left Lost In Time first up with Stay Hungry on Zeron's helmet. Around the final turn, McNair angled Stay Hungry into the three path and his horse responded with a strong brush to collar Western Passage. Shnitzledosomethin found room up the inside and made a bid for the front but Stay Hungry would not be denied and got to the wire a head in front for the 1:50.4 victory. Show honours went to Closing Statement (Brian Sears).

"It worked out. I moved him pretty early there in the last turn and usually that doesn't work out at a track like this with a nice long stretch but he was just great tonight," said McNair. "When I moved him, he knew what to do and he raced awesome."

The Breeders Crown win was McNair's first.

"It's exciting; I think I've been in about five or six of these Breeders Crowns and never won one so it's a big thrill for me."

A $150,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Stay Hungry (Somebeachsomewhere - My Little Dragon) now boasts six wins from eight lifetime starts with purses of $459,310. Tony Alagna trains for Brad Grant of Milton, Ont., and Irwin Samelman of Las Vegas, Nevada.

"I'm so happy for Brad Grant because he had patience with this colt early when he wasn't ready to go," said trainer Alagna. "I said we'll send him to Canada, we'll let Brad see him, we'll let Doug get used to him, we'll start our stakes schedule from there and shoot for the Metro. He tied up in the Metro, wasn't himself, took him to Lexington, he had bad luck running up on a horse and making a break. So I knew he needed the Madison County. I talked to Brad about bringing him over here and getting a start over the track and he's turned everything around right back where we thought he'd be."

When asked if the colt was done for the season, Alagna said that decision has yet to be made.

"We'll see how he comes out of it and how things go from there. Brad and I talked last night about racing him in the Governor's Cup. As long as he comes out of it well, we'll ship him home and shoot for the Governor's Cup. That will be it for the year."

Grant noted that he was confident with the colt despite the setbacks in the Metro and Lexington.

"Tony and I talk a lot and we were confident with the colt, really believed that he deserved to be here and that he could get it done and he did," said Grant. "It's rewarding, my dad won this with Bettors Delight, and to win it tonight means a lot.

"At the head of the lane, I was a little worried having to go three-wide but he's showed up every race for us this year. Dougie gave him a great drive."

The other Breeders Crown recaps from Saturday's card at Hoosier Park can be found in the 2017 Breeders Crown News Centre.


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