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Favourites Prevail In Metro Pace Elims

Published: August 25, 2012 9:19 pm ET

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The top two-year-old pacers on the continent were in action Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack competing in three $40,000 eliminations for next Saturday’s $1 million Metro Pace.

Fresh off of wins in last week’s Nassagaweya Stakes divisions, favourites Apprentice Hanover, Captaintreacherous and Odds On Equuleus each returned to victory lane.

In the first Metro elimination, Apprentice Hanover front-stepped his way to the winner’s circle.

The Ben Wallace trainee and driver Jody Jamieson settled into fourth as Smokealittlesmoke (Luc Ouellette) clocked the opening panel in :26.4. When the field of eight entered the backstretch, Rocknmyjeans (Yannick Gingras) made a bid for the lead from third and the 3-5 favourite, Apprentice Hanover, tracked his cover.

As soon as Rocknmyjeans made the front, Apprentice Hanover took his shot for command, clearing after clocking the half in :55 from the outside. The colt marched past the three-quarters in 1:22.2 before stopping the clock in a new mark of 1:49.4. A late-surging Vegas Vacation (Brian Sears) was beaten one and a quarter length for second and Rocknmyjeans held on for third.

“This colt just continues to impress me in everything he does,” Jamieson said following the triumph. “I loved him in his first qualifier and he has just been awesome ever since.

“He pulled up twice down the stretch tonight and I just had to yell at him to make sure he paced through the wire,” he added. “He was really unreal tonight. I am really looking forward to next week and being able to pick my post.”

The son of first-crop sire Somebeachsomewhere, who is owned by Brad Grant, is four-for-five in his debut season. With the win, Apprentice Hanover increased his earnings to $95,592. The bay returned $3.40 to win.

In the second and fastest dash, Captaintreacherous equalled his lifetime-best with a 1:49.3 performance.

The Tony Alagna pupil got away third behind leader Johny Rock (Andy Miller), who put up the first quarter in flashy :26.2, and pocket-sitter Urbanite Hanover (Keith Oliver).

Into the backside, driver Tim Tetrick powered the 1-9 favourite, Captaintreacherous, to the front where he remained the tempo-setter, putting up fractions of :54.3 and 1:23.1 en route to a three length triumph. Johny Rock and Captive Audience (Brian Sears) got up for second and third, respectively.

“When we were training him down, he always acted like he just had a little bit extra,” said Alagna from the winner’s circle. “Every time you would ask him for a little more speed, he’d find another gear, but his strong suit has always been his temperament. He has great manners.”

With the victory, the son of Somebeachsomewhere notched his fourth straight score in five starts and lifted his bankroll to $241,337. Captaintreacherous, who was a $250,000 purchase at the 2011 Lexington Select Yearling Sale, is owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and breeder White Birch Farm. The colt paid $2.30 to win.

In the third and final Metro elimination, Odds On Equuleus rallied home off a second-over trip to lower his lifetime mark to 1:50.1.

The Robin Schadt trainee sat behind fractions of :26.3, :55.2 and 1:23.3, which were cut by Martini Hanover (Dave Miller). When Wake Up Peter (Andy Miller) launched a first-over attack at the half, Odds On Equuleus followed.

Into the stretch, Hall of Fame driver John Campbell and the 1-2 favourite vaulted off of second-over cover to score by one length over Rockin Amadeus (Yannick Gingras). Fool Me Once (Sylvain Filion) rallied for third.

“I always say, these things always get tougher as you go along,” said Campbell after the victory. “He raced well last week and was in a little tougher group tonight and had to pace home. We were lucky we missed the other two winners [Apprentice Hanover, Captaintreacherous] in our eliminations this week. That was huge as well.

“I think he will pace faster depending on the fractions,” he continued. “He’s a horse that just delivers a real good last quarter as long as you don’t use him too hard that first part.”

With the win, the son of Art Major-Latte Lady notched his fourth consecutive victory in five starts and pushed his earnings to $88,471 for owner Odds On Racing. The colt paid $3.10 to win.

The top three finishers and one fourth-pace finisher drawn by lot have advanced to the $1 million Metro Pace, set for Saturday, September 1 at the Campbellville oval. All three winners got to choose their posts for the final.

Here is the field for this year’s Metro Pace:

1. Johny Rock
2. Odds On Equuleus
3. Apprentice Hanover
4. Captaintreacherous
5. Captive Audience
6. Dress The Part
7. Rockin Amadeus
8. Fool Me Once
9. Rocknmyjeans
10. Vegas Vacation
AE: Wake Up Peter

Also on next Saturday’s heavily-staked program, which features a $75,000 guaranteed Early Pick-4 pool, the $787,000 Canadian Pacing Derby, $610,000 Shes A Great Lady and $100,000 A Spring Of Hope Invitational will be contested.

Betterthancheddar Wins Lone 'Derby' Elim

Betterthancheddar continued his near perfect four-year-old campaign with a 1:49.1 victory in the lone $50,000 Canadian Pacing Derby elimination on Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack.

The son of Bettors Delight has tasted just one defeat this season from nine starts for trainer Casie Coleman and owners West Wins Stable and Steve Calhoun.

Driver George Brennan elected to use off-the-pace tactics as defending Canadian Pacing Derby champion We Will See (Luc Ouellette) set the pace though panels of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:22.1, before Betterthancheddar came first over to wear down the tempo-setter en route to a one length victory. Bettor Sweet (David Miller) finished second over Alsace Hanover (Randy Waples).

“You never know how there going to come back as aged horses,” Brennan said following the win. “He’s come back really strong, probably better than our expectations and she [Casie Coleman] races him sparingly, which helps and he’s answered every call.”

Betterthancheddar, who has captured the Ben Franklin and Des Smith already this season, increased his career bankroll to $1,272,866. The 19-time winner returned $3.70 to his backers.

The top eight finishers will join Foiled Again and Golden Receiver, who received byes to the $787,000 final.

The field will line up as follows:

1. We Will See
2. Hypnotic Blue Chip
3. Alsace Hanover
4. Golden Receiver
5. Betterthancheddar
6. Foiled Again
7. Bettor Sweet
8. St Elmo Hero
9. Aracache Hanover
10. Sparky Mark

World Record Lowered In Shes A Great Lady Elims

I Luv The Nitelife, sent off as the 4-5 post time favourite, set a new world record in her $35,000 Shes A Great Lady elimination at Mohawk Racetrack in a sizzling 1:50.1.

Driven by Jack Moiseyev, the rookie pacing filly settled in the three-hole in the early going as longshot, Belle Boyd (Jody Jamieson) held the lead past the opening quarter in :26.4.

Heading towards the half, Jerseylicious (Corey Callahan) angled out of the pocket and took over command, but the lead would not last long as I Luv The Nitelife struck the front at the mid-way point in :55.

The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Lisjune continued to lead her rivals past three-quarters in 1:23 before exploding down the stretch to score the four and a quarter length victory. Cult Status (Tim Tetrick) came from off-the-pace to finish second, with Victoria Semalu (Yannick Gingras) finishing third.

“We have just been so happy with her. She’s been racing so well,” trainer Chris Ryder said following the win. “I figured Jack [Moiseyev] knew what he had between the shafts and I had a bit of confidence. We are just going to keep doing what we’ve been doing the last three weeks because she’s just getting better and better and Jack’s been raving about her.”

Richard and Joanne Young own the two-time winner, who has now banked $97,474. The bay filly has crafted a 2-1-1 record from five starts this season. She paid $3.60 to win.

Richard Young, who is scheduled for a sinus operation on September 5 and unable to fly was asked if he would be at Mohawk next week for the Shes A Great Lady final. Young replied that he "will take mucho drugs, take a chance and fly up."

Young, his wife Joanne and daughter Brittany partnered with Woodbine Entertainment Group to establish the A Spring Of Hope Invitational for aged pacing mares and will have world champion Put On A Show aiming for glory next Saturday as well after missing the inaugeral edition last season due to an injury.

In the other Shes A Great Lady elimination, L Dees Lioness, driven by Scott Zeron, found the wire first in 1:50.2, one-fifth of a second off the World Record now held by I Luv The Nitelife.

The daughter of first-crop sire Somebeachsomewhere settled away in third before the :27 opening quarter mark, set by Macharoundtheclock (Jody Jamieson).

Zeron angled his charge off the pylons and guided L Dees Lioness to the front before the half in :55.

Post time favourite Parlee Beach (Randy Waples) began the first-over journey, but could not match strides with the tempo-setter past three-quarters in 1:23.

As the fillies turned for home, Zeron asked his charge for more pace and the three-time winner responded by fending off all challengers in deep stretch to win by one and a quarter lengths in a new lifetime best. Macharoundtheclock stayed for second, over Parlee Beach.

“When we first started racing her, I tried off-the-pace tactics just to teach her to come home strong and she was, but we were always in the wrong spot,” Zeron said from the winner’s circle. “Lately, I’ve been a little more aggressive with her and she’s proven us right.”

Trained by Casie Coleman for owners Lawrence Dumain and Carlo Lattinelli, L Dees Lioness increased her rookie earnings to $93,937. The bay has crafted a 3-2-1 record from six starts this season. She paid $5.70 to win.

The field for the $610,000 final, which is slated on Metro Pace night, will begin with the following post positions.

1. Victoria Semalu
2. L Dees Lioness
3. I Luv The Nitelife
4. Beach Of A Time
5. Belle Boyd
6. Mattie Terror Girl
7. Cult Status
8. Macharoundtheclock
9. Parlee Beach
10. Miss Lauren

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Mohawk Racetrack.

(With files from WEG)

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