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American History Tops Open Pacers

Published: October 26, 2019 10:19 pm ET

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Improving with time, four-year-old pacer American History established himself as one of harness racing's heavyweights winning the $657,895 Breeders Crown Open Pace on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

The son of American Ideal and Perfect Touch is trained by Tony Alagna and owned by Toronto's Marvin Katz, Kentucky-based breeder Brittany Farms and partner American History Racing.

Driver Joe Bongiorno hustled American History off the gate from post three and was the first to the quarter pole, pocketing outside leaver This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) during a sizzling :25.4 opener. Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley) settled briefly into the three-hole after leaving from post seven but didn't sit long. He gained a short advantage on the outside as the pacers hit the half in :53.4 before clearing to command.

Meanwhile, Brian Sears made his move with 6-5 favourite McWicked, fresh off back-to-back victories in the Allerage and Dan Rooney, providing cover to a parked out Jimmy Freight (Scott Zeron).

American History continued to track Dorsoduro Hanover past three-quarters in 1:21.3 with McWicked looming on the outside. Powering through as a clear path opened along the pylons, American History prevailed by two lengths in 1:48.3.

He returned $12.10 to win as the 5-1 second wagering choice. Dorsoduro Hanover held off late-closer Always A Prince (David Miller) by a half-length for the runner-up honours while McWicked finished back in fourth.

"There's really no words to explain my excitement and I couldn't do it without Tony and his owners having faith in me," said Bongiorno, celebrating his first Breeders Crown triumph. "This is a fantastic horse and I'm just so grateful."

With major wins against older rivals in the Bobby Quillen Memorial last month capped off by tonight's Breeders Crown, American History is living up to Alagna's early assessment of his talent. Alagna noted his trainee has gained maturity developing into a top pacer throughout his four-year-old campaign.

"Even early in the year, even though he wasn't getting the wins, he was third, fourth to aged horses and he was putting in great miles, pacing huge last halves, had a lot of bad post positions but now he's a mature four-year-old," said Alagna. "He's later in the year and he's going with these guys and he's showed that he's so versatile, he can do it on any size racetrack. He's just a special animal. He's finally showing everybody he's the horse we thought he was all along.

"He just gets better as he matures and Joey's done a great job with him and he's got a lot of confidence in the horse and you can tell that tonight. Not many people would have done what Joey did, but it was a winning move and it worked."

American History has now won five of his 18 starts this year while pushing his seasonal earnings over the $500,000 mark. He now has 16 victories lifetime and more than $1.1 million in the bank.

Matt Kakaley was happy with the effort from runner-up Dorsoduro Hanover, a Breeders Crown winner at three.

"I thought my horse raced giant; big fractions, two moves to the front," he said. "The move down the backside is going to be a little tiring with the wind. It was a pretty good half. He raced great, he did."

Casie Coleman noted that McWicked hit a tendon during that race, which is something he normally doesn't do when competing.

"He had to leave hard out of the outside post, 25 (seconds) and a piece, and ended up first-over again and Brian (Sears) said that headwind is pretty strong out there," said Coleman. "He said he was happy with him, he raced good, that’s just a big mile in a big headwind first-over into it.

"He also hit his tendon tonight, which he’s never done before. I don’t know why, but that’s going to cause him to slow up a little bit too. That’s new for him. He doesn’t wear any boots and he usually doesn’t hit, so I’m not sure why he did that tonight but he did. That’s obviously going to falter him a little bit also. Obviously I’m disappointed he didn’t win but with an outside post and the headwind, the conditions, I thought he raced good enough. Now knowing that he hit that ankle, he’d be affected by that a little bit."

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