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Greenshoe Rebounds In Zweig

Published: August 17, 2019 9:08 pm ET

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Sent the 1-9 favourite, Greenshoe returned following his runner-up effort in the Hambletonian to down his competition in the $330,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs on Saturday, Aug. 17.

Greenshoe floated for the front off the wings but got outkicked by Marseille and Dont Letem entering the first turn, tucking into third moving to the first quarter in :27.1. Driver Brian Sears edged the Marcus Melander-trained Father Patrick colt off the pylons passing a :56.3 half and loomed towards Marseille circling the final turn.

Sears sat still as Greenshoe cleared command past three-quarters in 1:25.1 and expanded his lead through the stretch. Stablemate Green Manalishi S, tracking the favourite's cover, gave pursuit from second while Marseille clung to third in the 1:52 mile.

"I was really happy with the way my horse was behaving," Sears said after the race. "I got away in a decent spot but [I'm] more or less pleased with the way he handled himself tonight. He knows what it's all about and I was pretty confident [at the three-quarter pole]."

Winning his sixth race from eight starts this season and his eighth from 12 overall, Greenshoe has accrued $778,223 in earnings for owners Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist and Morten Langli. He paid $2.20 to win.

Facing little pressure, The Ice Dutchess controlled the speed at every post to win the $135,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial for fillies in 1:52.3.

Driver Yannick Gingras pushed the Muscle Hill filly towards the top while Starita secured second moving to a :27.1 opening quarter. Race-favourite Evident Beauty sat fourth before getting flushed first over by Miss Trixton approaching a :56.2 half.

The Ice Dutchess maintained a two-and-a-half length lead while Starita chased from second approaching three-quarters, timed in 1:25.1. Evident Beauty gained ground on the leader through the lane but hit the finish two lengths behind the winner with Starita settling for third.

"Well I thought she was the best horse in the race," John Floren, owner of The Ice Dutchess through Coyote Wynd Farms, said after the race. "I thought she should go to the front and that's what Yannick thought as well. We kind of raced her off the pace a lot this year because she likes the front. We were gearing up for the [Hambletonian] Oaks [but] it didn't work out. But it's really nice to be here in Vernon tonight and win the Zweig. That's a great, great prize for us."

Trained by Nancy Johansson, The Ice Dutchess won her fourth race from eight starts this season and her ninth from 19 overall, earning $555,890. She paid $5.80 to win.

Special Honor sat third in the on-gait quartet and pounced on pacesetter and race-favourite Cloud Nine Fashion rounding the final turn to get a neck up in the $35,000 Zweig Filly Trot Consolation.

Cloud Nine Fashion led uncontested through a :27 opening quarter and a :56.3 half with Beautiful Sin sitting the pocket. Driver Brian Sears tipped the Julie Miller trainee off the cones from third entering the far turn and ranged towards the leader approaching three-quarters in 1:25.4. Beautiful Sin gapped the leader from the pocket turning for home while Special Honor dug into the leader’s margin. Special Honor drew alongside Cloud Nine Fashion in the final strides and edged past before the finish, with Beautiful Sin settling for third.

A homebred for Brittany Farms LLC, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, Special Honor won her first race from nine starts this season and her fourth from 20 overall, earning $248,610. The Father Patrick filly returned $10.60 to win.

Frosh pacing colts and geldings competed on the Zweig undercard in two divisions of the $107,000 New York Sires Stakes (NYSS). American Rebel took the opening division with a far-turn grind in 1:53.4.

Driver Tyler Buter positioned the American Ideal colt behind tempo-setter Major Betts and pocket-sitter Cigars And Port moving to a :27.2 opening quarter. Cigars And Port soon circled from second to the lead and faced no challenge heading towards a :56.4 half.

Buter angled American Rebel first over entering the final turn and drew within a length of the lead passing three-quarters in 1:26.2. He stalled wide of Cigars And Port at the head of the stretch while Major Betts tried to slip through a tight seam at the pylons. Major Betts eventually had enough clearance to overtake Cigars And Port nearing the finish but got nosed by American Rebel to his outside.

“Halfway down the lane there I thought Timmy [Tetrick on Cigars And Port] was going to hold on, [but] then I pulled [American Rebel’s] plugs and got into him a little bit and he took right off,” Buter said after the race. “We were getting home in :27.2, so they were flying and he dug in when I asked him to go.”

Owned by Harmon Racing Stable LLC and Robert Robinson, American Rebel won his fourth race from eight starts, earning $114,047. Patti Harmon conditions the $7.80 winner.

Freedom Warrior floated wide towards the top before sweeping past the leader entering the stretch to win in the second NYSS division.

Teton Sunset led the field to a :27 opening quarter but soon lost the lead to Groovy Joe rushing first over from fourth with Splash Brother on his back. Splash Brother edged to the front after Groovy Joe cleared and led the field through a :56.4 half. Freedom Warrior, tracking the leader’s wide moves until left uncovered, approached Splash Brother and stuck a head in front when passing three-quarters in 1:24.4. Freedom Warrior strode clear of his competition through the lane while Groovy Joe pulled the pocket to give pursuit to the eventual winner in a 1:52.3 mile. Hurrikanekingjames rode the pylons for most of the mile but rallied through the center of the course for third.

“That wasn’t really the plan there,” driver David Miller said of Freedom Warrior’s trip after the race. “[Kevin Lare] told me to just kind of get him out of there on his own—I guess he gets a little too aggressive if you try to push him out of there. We got jammed up around the first turn; everybody kind of moved. I was following Timmy [Tetrick driving Splash Point and] I was hoping he wouldn’t clear the lead but I got left first up. My horse just dug in—he raced awfully game.”

Conditioned by Lare for owner Forrest Bartlett, Freedom Warrior won his second race from six starts this season, earning $82,623. The American Ideal gelding paid $6.00 to win.

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