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Bettor Sweet Bids For Oil Burner Sweep

Published: December 19, 2008 6:59 pm ET

Last Comment: December 19, 2008 7:54 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

When trainer Joe Poliseno added Bettor Sweet to his barn three months ago, he knew the horse was going to require patient handling.

Experimenting with the temperamental pacer’s equipment has proven effective, as Bettor Sweet has since won four of nine starts for Poliseno. On Saturday night, the gelding aims for a sweep of the Oil Burner Series as the 5-2 favorite in the $63,500 final. He will start from post two with Cat Manzi in the sulky. The Oil Burner, Race 6, shares the stage with the $51,000 Snow Angels Final for fillies.

Bettor Sweet, a three-year-old son of Bettors Delight, first caught Poliseno’s eye over the summer.

“He was stabled a couple of barns over from me here at Gaitway Farms with Joe Caraluzzi,” he said. “I knew he was for sale for awhile. He’s a very fast horse but made breaks here and there. I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy him. I watched him race at the Meadowlands last July and he won in 1:49.3. I was actually going to buy him two months prior to when I did purchase him, but he raced at Tioga Downs and made a break. I wasn’t quite sure why and neither was Joe Caraluzzi. I thought maybe it was greenness or rigging him a little differently might help. I mean, he had plenty of potential and speed. Plus, he’s able and willing to go - that’s 90 percent of it.”

Poliseno arranged the purchase of the colt – the sale price was $175,000 – for owner John Cancelliere of Clark, New Jersey.

“I told [John] we could buy this horse and we would have ample opportunity to make some money with him,” Poliseno said. “I think the horse can develop into a solid older horse. We can race him wherever. There is plenty of money available in just overnights.”

Bettor Sweet entered Poliseno’s barn in mid-September and the trainer began tinkering with equipment to accommodate the pacer’s unusual habits.

“I raced him the same way Joe Caraluzzi had him the first time and when I trained him he was cross firing a bit,” Poliseno said. “So, I changed his back shoes. He was jumping things with his back legs. Some horses are actually pretty talented that way. I also put a Pelling Pacifier on him, which are basically goggles with the screen material, and went from a Kant See Bak to a closed bridle. That seemed to work pretty good.

“When you asked him for speed, he would try too hard, try to go too fast too quickly,” he continued. “Plus, being green, he was goofing around with his tail between his legs, so I put a piece of rubber on the crupper. I took his hopples in probably an inch. He’s still kicking the walls and spooks from stuff, but he’s getting older, getting more experience and that’s helping him calm down."

Poliseno also feels that Bettor Sweet’s partner on the track has a lot to do with his progress.

“Another huge factor is Cat Manzi,” he said. “His experienced hands have taken care of the horse and taught him how to race. This horse definitely needs that. It really means a lot to have Cat driving a young horse like this. When you’re sitting behind him he has a very good gait. It’s hard to tell how fast you’re going. He’s learning and he’s really smooth gaited now. He was a good horse who just needed time.”

Bettor Sweet scored the biggest win of his career when he upset the field in the $390,000 Progress Pace on Nov. 11 at Dover Downs.

“In the Progress Pace elimination, something happened to him that I’ve never seen before,” Poliseno said. “He came back after the race and his gums were bright red and eyes were bloodshot. One veterinarian told me it was kind of like a colic where the blood flows back to the head. The next week in the final he acted really good. We benefitted from the fast fractions, but he did make up a lot of ground, made a huge four-wide move on the final turn and was really trucking at the end.”

Bettor Sweet made his next two starts in the Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands, but failed to pick up a check in the final won by Somebeachsomewhere. He bounced back to win the first two rounds of the Oil Burner Series.

“In the first leg of this series, I knew he could win on the end front end,” Poliseno said. “He went a little too much and got a bit tired. Last week, from Post 10, he was a little far back and I really didn’t think he was going to reach it. The horses finishing right next to him, Valentowner and Boodle Boy, will both be tough [in the final]. It’s a very good field. I would love to see him get away in the middle and work out a cover trip.”

Poliseno will point Bettor Sweet toward the Aquarius Series next. In addition to the Oil Burner favorite, the 45-year-old trainer, who works in partnership with his wife Ellie Sarama, also campaigned Pennsylvania Horse of the Year Philos Hanover this year.

“He made $308,441 racing in overnights only, which is quite a feat,” Poliseno noted.

$63,500 Oil Burner Final
PP, Horse, Driver, Trainer, Odds
1, The Awful Truth, B Sears, H Rohr, 8-1
2, Bettor Sweet, C Manzi, J Poliseno, 5-2
3, Rocknroll Band, J Campbell, K Rucker, 9-2
4, Stretch Artist, G Brennan, J Anderson, 15-1
5, Valentowner, D Miller, M Gelrod, 8-1
6, Boodle Boy, Y Gingras, R Bellamy, 12-1
7, Major General, A Miller, E Miller, 7-2
8, Auctioneer, E Goodell, A Montini, 12-1
9, Handsome Prince, R Pierce, K Kidd, 6-1
10, Camshaft Hanover, D Dube, D Pinkney Jr, 15-1

Winter Wonderland Holiday Bash Set For Saturday

The Meadowlands hosts the ultimate kickoff to the holiday season in Pegasus Restaurant on Saturday night.

Join us for complimentary appetizers, Grey Goose drink specials, live music by Crisis 2.0, Wii tournament, hi-def photo booth, free handicapping contest... and of course, the world's greatest harness racing!

The holiday cheers begins at 6:30 p.m. Donate a new clothing item to our clothing drive and receive free admission.

The Winter Wonderland Holiday Bash is presented by Meadowlands Racetrack, WDHA-FM, Investors Bank and Atlantic Health.

Click here for more information.

(NJSEA)

December 19, 2008 - 7:54 pmNICE TO SEE O.S.S. HORSE

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

NICE TO SEE O.S.S. HORSE " AUCTIONEER " CONTEST THE FINAL....GO AUCTIONEER !


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