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Young Stars Ready To Shine In Metro

Published: August 29, 2012 9:58 pm ET

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Odds On Equuleus’ name derives from a constellation, which might be appropriate because he is one of the stars in Saturday’s $1 million Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack.

But the colt will have company when it comes to trying to shine brightest in the 25th edition of the event for two-year-old pacers.

Odds On Equuleus won his Metro Pace elimination last Saturday, as did Captaintreacherous and Apprentice Hanover. Thanks to their victories, they earned their connections the reward of selecting their starting spot for the final. Odds On Equuleus will leave from post two, Apprentice Hanover from post three and Captaintreacherous from post four.

All three horses have won four of five races this season. Each was favoured in his elimination.

Captaintreacherous, who won his elim with a 1:49.3 mile that equaled both his career best as well as this season’s fastest mile by a two-year-old pacer, has won four consecutive races since losing his debut by a neck to Odds On Equuleus.

Odds On Equuleus has won four in a row since finishing third in his debut in a New York Sire Stakes race at Monticello. He captured his Metro elim by one length over Rockin Amadeus in a career-best 1:50.1. He has never led a race until the final quarter-mile and is the only horse in the Metro field to pace :26.3 or faster for his final quarter-mile in each of his wins.

“I think he will pace faster depending on the fractions,” said John Campbell, a four-time Metro Pace winner who drives Odds On Equuleus for trainer Robin Schadt and owner Odds On Racing. “He’s a horse that delivers a really good last quarter (mile) as long as you don’t use him too hard in that first part.

“Down the stretch (in the elimination) I asked him pretty hard; I wanted to make sure he won and there was a horse coming up the rail with some pace. Being able to pick your post is huge in these big races. These things always get tougher as you go along. We were lucky, we missed (Captaintreacherous and Apprentice Hanover) in our elimination, and that was huge as well.”

Odds On Equuleus is a homebred son of Art Major out of the mare Latte Lady, a stakes-winner who is a full sister to near-millionaire Driven To Win. Odds On Equuleus’ third dam, Miss Donna Mayo, is the mother of standouts Shes A Great Lady and The Big Dog, who was second to Gothic Dream in the 1996 Metro Pace.

Prior to the Metro elims, Odds On Equuleus won a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes at Mohawk.

Captaintreacherous, driven by Tim Tetrick, enters the Metro with two stakes wins to his credit this month; August 4 in the $309,050 Woodrow Wilson and two weeks later in his division of the Nassagaweya. He won the Wilson by 10-1/4 lengths in 1:49.3 at the Meadowlands, setting the track record for a two-year-old pacer.

“When we were training him down he always acted like he had a little bit extra,” trainer Tony Alagna said. “Every time you asked him for a little more speed, he’d find another gear. His strong suit has always been his temperament. He has great manners. He just (relaxes) completely and then when they come at him he’s ready to go again.”

Purchased for $250,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, Captaintreacherous is a son of Somebeachsomewhere, who won the Metro Pace in 2007 and shared Canadian Horse of the Year honours with Tell All at the end of the season. In 2008, “Beach” was Horse of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada. Captaintreacherous’ dam, Worldly Treasure, is a full sister to Worldly Beauty, who was a two-time divisional champion filly that earned nearly $2 million lifetime.

Captaintreacherous is owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and White Birch Farm.

“With what this horse has accomplished so far, our expectations are very high,” Alagna said. “But when you’re dealing with any kind of athlete at this level, we’re going to play it a start at a time and hopefully finish out the year and have a great 3-year-old.”

Apprentice Hanover, who also won a division of the Nassagaweya, was victorious in his Metro elim by 1-1/4 lengths over Vegas Vacation in a career-best 1:49.4. He was purchased by owner Brad Grant from trainer Jack Darling after the colt’s second start. The colt’s only loss was a third-place finish in a non-stakes race when he was a half-length behind Dress The Part, another Metro hopeful.

“This colt just continues to impress me with everything he does,” driver Jody Jamieson said. “I loved him in his first qualifier and he’s just been awesome ever since. He would probably be undefeated if I hadn’t gotten him in such a bad spot there a couple starts ago and he finished third. He was really unreal (in his elimination). I’m really looking forward to (Saturday).”

Apprentice Hanover, purchased for $90,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, is another son of Somebeachsomewhere, out of the mare Allamerican Nadia. His dam won the 2002 Breeders Crown for three-year-old filly pacers, upsetting Worldly Beauty at 48-1 odds, and is a half-sister to 2002 Woodrow Wilson winner Allamerican Native.

In his Metro elim, Apprentice Hanover got a little lazy in the stretch after opening up a six-length advantage.

“He’d gone a big effort and no one was around him and the driver was falling asleep on him,” Jamieson said. “I just had to yell at him to keep him going, but he was very good and I’m very excited.”

The Metro field also includes New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Johny Rock, who has won four of seven races and finished no worse than second this year, and Vegas Vacation, who has a win to go with four second-place finishes – three to Apprentice Hanover and one to Captaintreacherous.


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.


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