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Control The Moment Wins Meadowlands Pace

Published: July 16, 2016 10:34 pm ET

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Control The Moment held off Racing Hill in a photo finish to win the 40th edition of the $732,050 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace on Saturday, July 16 at Meadowlands Racetrack.

Driver Brian Sears earned his second Meadowlands Pace trophy as he steered the popular O'Brien Award-winning colt Control The Moment to victory lane. Brad Maxwell, of Guelph, Ont., trains Control The Moment, who established a new lifetime mark of 1:48.2 after moving to the lead down the backstretch and holding off the Tony Alagna-trained Racing Hill and driver Brett Miller.

Racing Hill, whose connections accepted a bye to the final, advanced from third after a :26.3 opening quarter to take the lead ahead of early leavers Lyons Snyder (David Miller) and Good Living (Corey Callahan), with Control The Moment following immediately out from fourth. The 3-5 favourite swept to command and reached the half in :53.2 while Boston Red Rocks (Tim Tetrick) commenced a mild first over bid with JK Will Power (Yannick Gingras) following his cover.

Control The Moment began to open up on top past three-quarters in 1:21.2 and turned for home with Racing Hill gaining ground late out of the pocket. Digging in down the stretch, Control The Moment managed to hold off the late-surging Racing Hill for the 1:48.2 victory by a nose.

The official winning margin was one of the shortest in the history of the Meadowlands Pace; Beach Towel (1990) and Day In A Life (1998) also won The Meadowlands' signature race by a nose.

Ron Burke trainees Check Six (Matt Kakaley) and Manhattan Beach (Joe Bongiorno) stormed home from the backfield to finish third and fourth, respectively, over two lengths behind the winner. Lyons Snyder was fifth with JK Will Power, Boston Red Rocks, Talk Show (Scott Zeron), Good Living, and Another Daily Copy (Trace Tetrick) completing the order of finish.

Sent postward as the odds-on favourite after his elimination victory last week, Control The Moment paid $3.40 to win.

"It was great to get a spin with him last week and he performed really well. He raced great off-the-pace and finished up well," said Sears on picking up the drive aboard Control The Moment for the elimination. "I was real happy with how we landed in the post draw [post three] and the trip worked out perfect. Brett's horse was getting a little rough around the last turn so I kind of let my horse out a little bit. It made it pretty exciting at the wire, but he raced great, I'm really happy.

"He's definitely a top three-year-old, one of the best ones out there," added Sears.

The son of 2009 Meadowlands Pace champion Well Said is owned by the Control The Moment Stable, consisting of Maxwell, Edwin Gold, Ben Mudry, Howard Taylor, and Tara Hills Stud Ltd.

"I've had a lot of decent wins, this is the biggest by far," said Taylor in the winner's circle. "It's just unbelievable. I want to give a shout out to Ed Gold, who has put up with me for a long time, Ben Mudry, and most of all Brad. Brad did it all; he picked him out and he trained him and he's the best."

Canada's divisional champion at two, Control The Moment won eight of his nine races last year and banked $461,457. The Meadowlands Pace counted as his third win from seven starts in his sophomore campaign and helped boost his career bankroll over the million-dollar mark.

Next up on Control The Moment's radar is the Delvin Miller Adios at The Meadows.

For recaps and replays from the Meadowlands Pace undercard, click here.

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