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Stars Out For Shes A Great Lady, CPD, Metro Pace Elims

Published: August 21, 2012 3:43 pm ET

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If Adriano Sorella wins “the big one,” the $1-million Metro Pace, with Vegas Vacation, plenty of other people, 40, to be exact, will be flying high courtesy of the two-year-old pacer's owner.

Eight months ago, Sorella vowed that if the son of Bettors Delight-Dont You Smile wins the richest race on the continent for two-year-old pacers, set for Saturday, September 1 at Mohawk Racetrack, he would treat trainer Casie Coleman and her entire staff with a trip to Las Vegas.

The 39-year-old resident of Milton, Ont. has owned standardbreds for over six years, but decided last year he wanted to own yearlings. He decided to start with two. Coleman returned from the 2011 Canadian Yearling Sale with a pacing filly, Bright Bikini, and pacing colt, Jere.

“That was where I was going to stop, and then Casie sent me a message when she was in Lexington,” explained Sorella. “She said, ‘Oh my gosh, I just bought a yearling named Vegas Vacation. This is the perfect horse for you. Do you want in on this?’ I was away on vacation and got her message and I just replied back with, ‘Heck yeah!’”

In January, Sorella flew to Florida where Coleman was stabled for the winter. He wasn’t the only one who liked the strapping yearling that stood before him.

“A couple of people that work for her that were down there at the time, they looked at me and said, ‘This horse reminds us a lot of Betterthancheddar,’” Sorella recalled. “I was like, ‘Come on, it’s a yearling, how can you compare this to a horse like Betterthancheddar? It’s like night and day.’ But they said, ‘This horse looks a lot like Betterthancheddar.’”

Betterthancheddar, a Coleman pupil who is also a son of Bettors Delight, is a 17-time winner with a $1,247,866 bankroll.

Sorella then turned to Coleman and said, “You know I have always wanted to win ‘the big one,’ right? If this colt can ever win the Metro, I will take you and your entire staff on a Vegas vacation.'”

When Coleman responded with a laugh, Sorella confirmed his promise. “I’m serious, if we win the Metro with this horse I’m taking everybody to Vegas.”

Why make such a generous offer?

“I am not the richest person in the world, but I’ll break my bread to share it is the way I look at it,” Sorella offered. “These guys have been great. Casie’s staff is awesome and they are such nice people. For me, it’s like, 'let's do this together.' This is for all of us. It’s not just me and a horse. I am so excited right now. I didn’t even think we would get this close.”

The gelding is closer to making his owner’s dreams come true. But first, he must finish in the top three, or be the one lucky fourth-place finisher that will be drawn by lot, in one of three $40,000 Metro eliminations this Saturday at the Campbellville oval to advance to the lucrative final.

Vegas Vacation, who has one win and three second-place finishes in four starts with $45,281 in earnings, enters his elimination fresh off a runner-up performance to the highly regarded Captaintreacherous in a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes.

2012 Nassagaweya Stakes (Division) - Captaintreacherous - 1:51.3

“I’ve been watching (Vegas Vacation) the last couple of weeks and in that race I just saw something I had never seen him do before,” said Sorella, who shares ownership with West Wins Stable, Anthony Beaton and Phyllis Saunders.

“They did a couple of changes on him and told me that he is looking a little bit better. When (driver Brian) Sears came around and I guess he popped the plugs on him, he just shifted gears. With a :26.1 final quarter I was like, ‘Whoa. Where did this come from?’ We knew he was good, I just didn’t know how good.”

Sorella admits he’s never been so happy for a second-place finish. It means his young charge is ready to tackle his Metro competition.

“We know that he’s getting better and better,” he continued. “He’s on his 'A-game' right now. Hopefully, they can keep it going for the next couple of weeks because there would be nothing better than for all this to come true.”

A dream come true, Las Vegas style.

Also on the 13-race program, aged pacers will compete in a lone Canadian Pacing Derby elimination. The top eight finishers will advance as Foiled Again and Golden Receiver have received byes to the $787,000 final. Included in that group are defending champion We Will See and highly touted Betterthancheddar.

Two-year-old pacing fillies will also contest two Shes A Great Lady eliminations. The top five finishers will advance to the $610,000 final. Both finals will take place on Saturday, September 1, the same night as the final of the Metro Pace. First-race post time for Mohawk's Saturday card is 7:10 p.m.

To view the entries for Saturday night's card of harness racing, click one of the following links:
Saturday Entries - Mohawk Racetrack
Saturday Program - Mohawk Racetrack

(with files from WEG)


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