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Pace Elims To Captain Crunch, Bettors Wish

Published: July 6, 2019 10:02 pm ET

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The finalists have been decided for this year’s Meadowlands Pace following a set of speedy eliminations held Saturday evening at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

The Pepsi North America Cup champion Captain Crunch cruised to a handy victory in his $50,000 elimination for the tandem of driver Scott Zeron and trainer Nancy Johansson.

Workin Ona Mystery took the early lead and had the field chasing him past the opening quarter in :27.1. As expected, Zeron wasted no time moving Captain Crunch to the lead in the backstretch. Once he cleared to the top, the odds-on favourite then clicked off middle splits of :55.2 and 1:22.4. A :25.4 closing quarter was enough for Captain Crunch to fend off Workin Ona Mystery by a half-length margin in 1:48.3.

Also advancing to the final are U S Captain, Captain Ahab and Reigning Deo.

“Nancy always keeps her horses fresh, so I wasn’t concerned (that he had been off for three weeks),” said winning driver Scott Zeron. “Once I saw (we went) :27 to the first quarter and everything was going nice and steady, I was comfortable with any kind of fractions. He’s just a different type of animal.”

Owned by 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms, Captain Crunch now boasts a 4-for-5 record this season and a 10-for-15 record in his career. The talented sophomore pushed his earnings over $1.2 million with the victory.

Bettors Wish was in charge most of the way in his elimination, as well, and he poured it on late en route to winning in an eye-catching clocking of 1:49.1 with Dexter Dunn in tow.

Best In Show and Hurrikane Emperor battled to the quarter pole in :27 before the latter cleared to the top. Hurrikane Emperor was quickly overhauled by Bettors Wish in the backstretch, however, and once he cleared he proceeded to wheel the field through middle panels of :55.3 and 1:23.2.

Bettors Wish found another gear in the lane for Dunn, who watched the Chris Ryder trainee scoot home in :25.4 to win by 2-1/4 lengths over Best In Show. Rounding out the top five finishers were Hurrikane Emperor, Captain Trevor and Escapetothebeach.

“I think we are in a good spot,” said winning trainer Chris Ryder. “I suppose we won’t be favoured next week. But I think we’re dangerous.”

Sent off as the 1-2 favourite, Bettors Wish improved this year’s record to 5-1-0 from six attempts for owners Chris Ryder, Bella Racing Ltd, Fair Island Farm Inc and Kenneth Solomon. The son of Bettors Delight-Lifetime Star is a 10-time winner to date with earnings exceeding $800,000.

Here's the field for next Saturday's final:

$682,000 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace
1. Captain Crunch
2. Escapetothebeach
3. Captain Ahab
4. Bettors Wish
5. Hurrikane Emperor
6. Reigning Deo
7. Best In Show
8. U S Captain
9. Workin Ona Mystery
10. Captain Trevor

(With quotes from the Meadowlands)

To view results for Saturday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Saturday Results – Meadowlands Racetrack.


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