Fast As The Wind Breezes To Kindergarten Crown

Published: November 13, 2021 09:19 pm EST

Driver Dexter Dunn may have been locked for life with Fast As The Wind around the final turn, but just enough room opened at the pylons for the 3-2 favourite to skim through and nail the 3-2 second choice Coach K Hanover at the line of the $300,960 Kindergarten Classic Final for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Saturday (Nov. 13) at The Meadowlands.

Fast As The Wind fired off the wings from post nine for the front but settled for the pocket as Ake Svanstedt and Coach K Hanover clicked the first quarter in :27.2. Robertsin raced third up the backside with Pretender slightly gapped in fourth to a :56.1 half.

With action dormant through the first half, Pretender pulled out of fourth to the final turn and blitzed Coach K Hanover to three-quarters and pinned Fast As The Wind to the pegs in the process. Pretender stayed to Coach K Hanover’s side through three-quarters in 1:25.4 despite losing ground overland, but off the turn Pretender surged after Coach K Hanover while Fast As The Wind needed clearance.

“He pretty quickly put me back in the two-hole there didn’t he,” Dexter Dunn said after the race. “I actually went to move onto Andy [McCarthy driving Pretender]’s back coming off the three-quarters there and Ake [Svanstedt]’s one kicked pretty hard when he saw me do that. So I thought I was going to lose a couple lengths if I had to go around Andy’s horse and I took my chance and he got up just in time.”

Luck for Dunn came at the misfortune of Andy McCarthy, whose colt lost stride as he hit the wheel of Coach K Hanover while the tempo-setter drifted off the pylons. The developed opening gave Fast As The Wind a wide enough lane to scoot into competition late and land a head in front of Coach K Hanover at the end of a 1:55 mile. Pretender’s break in stride fell as interference by Coach K Hanover, prompting the judges to disqualify him from second to fifth. Robertsin was elevated from third to second with Ken’s Walner assuming third and Pretender taking fourth.

“[Ake Svanstedt] had a glance around, I don’t know if he wasn’t happy on the front with his one,” Dunn said after the race. “But as soon as I came off his helmet, he went on a bit so we dove back in there. Fast As The Wind is just so versatile – you use him off the gate, he’ll drop in a hole, relaxes and does his best at the end of the mile.”

Fast As The Wind, a colt by Cantab Hall conditioned by Tony Alagna, now owns four wins from 14 starts and has banked $361,274 for owners Leblanc And Kribbs, Joe Sbrocco and Joe Barbera, the last of whom shared his excitement for entering The Meadowlands winner’s circle.

“It’s a very tricky ground over here,” Barbera said, “but every once in a while you get to touch it. This is sacred ground and you’ve got to appreciate it because it’s hard to get here.”

Fast As The Wind returned $5 to win.

(The Meadowlands)

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