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Betterthancheddar Wins A Thriller In Des Smith Classic

Published: July 15, 2012 11:00 pm ET

Last Comment: July 16, 2012 9:36 pm ET | 5 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The 31st edition of the Des Smith Classic featuring seven of racing’s ultimate warriors was contested at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday evening, and it turned out to be a real knock ‘em down and drag ‘em out thriller from start to finish.

All eyes were on Betterthancheddar, who was sent off as the odds-on favourite, and he didn’t disappoint an army of backers despite a gritty performance from a first-over Foiled Again.

George Brennan blasted Betterthancheddar off the gate from Post 5, but Doug McNair was leaving just as quickly with Aracache Hanover from Post 2. Those two scrapped to the mid-way point of the opening turn before Betterthancheddar worked his way to the lead and hung up an opening panel clocked in :26.2. Betterthancheddar cruised in front of the grandstand and proceeded to take the group to the half in :54.4 while feeling steady pressure from Foiled Again and Brett Miller.

Those two pacing titans went toe-to-toe across the backstretch, and little separated them as they streaked past the three-quarter pole in 1:21.1. The nip-and-tuck battle continued all the way down the lane and as the wire approached fans found themselves on the edge of their seats as the heavyweights hit the wire in 1:49.4. The photo finish camera was put to good use and after close examination the ORC Judges posted Betterthancheddar’s number on top over a dead-game Foiled Again. Machal Jackson rounded out the top three finishers in the $176,500 tilt.

“It seemed like about an hour-long photo,” said trainer Casie Coleman. “That was a slugfest right there and Foiled Again is a really good horse. Both horses raced unbelievable.

“He gets a bit of a break now at Darlene Hayes’ farm and then we’ll get him ready for the Canadian Pacing Derby next,” Coleman added.

Steve Calhoun of Chatham and the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, ON share ownership on the four-year-old son of Bettors Delight-Lady Ashlee Ann, who improved his 2012 record to 6-1-0 from his first seven starts of the season. The 16-time winner, who turned in his 10th sub-1:50 win to date, upped his lifetime earnings to $1,222,866 with the victory.

To view results for Sunday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Sunday Results – Rideau Carleton Raceway.

July 16, 2012 - 9:36 pmCongratulations to the NCRHHA

Congratulations to the NCRHHA and Rideau Carleton for putting on a great night of racing. Thanks as well to the owners of the Des Smith competitors for bringing such a great field of horses to Ottawa. It was bittersweet to see such a great crowd on hand on a beautiful evening of exciting racing!

July 16, 2012 - 5:12 pmCongratulations to

Congratulations to Betterthancheddar and Casie Coleman. Great race

July 16, 2012 - 2:01 pmRideau is like Yonkers but

Tim P. SAID...

Rideau is like Yonkers but the opposite...Yonkers the advantage easily goes to outside horse even though their poor camera angle shows an inside horse easily ahead by a foot but Rideau the outside horse needs to be ahead by 4-6 inches I think in order to win a photo based on their camera angle...So YES at the finish line Foiled Again was slightly ahead based on the RACE camera angle but during the SLOW-MO replay it's the camera right on the finish line down lower and this angle slightly shows BTC ahead at the wire...I use to bet my buddies on photo finishes back in the day and for this one I would have said 80% chance BTC won and 20% it was a dead heat.

July 16, 2012 - 9:17 amHe was a co winner at best.

norm files SAID...

He was a co winner at best.

July 16, 2012 - 9:04 amI was present at Rideau

I was present at Rideau Carleton last night.
After the exciting race, my friends and I attempted to find the location where the photo finish was posted ... even a request to the Rideau information desk was unsuccessful. This would have been nice to see since many of the people in the dining area thought that Foiled Again had won it based on the slow-motion replay that Rideau provided.
Perhaps Standardbred Canada could post this photo finish along with this article?

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