Its Academic Prevails In Cashman Photo Finish

Its Academic
Published: August 5, 2023 04:54 pm EDT

Canadian-owned trotter Its Academic overcame another outside post and prevailed in a photo finish over rival Venerate to take the $278,000 John Cashman Memorial on Saturday afternoon (Aug. 5) at The Meadowlands.

Driven by David Miller, Its Academic was parked from an outside start at the back of the nine-horse field tracking Venerate and Brian Sears before those two trotters powered past race leader Rattle My Cage (Tim Tetrick) through the stretch and hit the line together in a photo finish. Sprinting his final quarter in :26.3, Its Academic nosed out Venerate for the 1:51.2 victory, with favoured Southwind Tyrion (Ake Svanstedt) diving inside down the lane to take third over stablemate Rattle My Cage, who had set fractions of :26.4, :55 and 1:23.2.

"That was the plan all of along," said Miller of his winning strategy to follow Venerate. "If he'd of left and made the move towards the front, I was going to follow him. I thought he was the horse I had to beat and I just wanted to be close to him."

Although, the three-time Cashman-winning driver noted that he was a little concerned about his position sitting last with horses stacked up in front of him.

"They were waiting on cover, but they still went a good half, you know, :55. I was getting a little concerned being last and being stacked up, but in the last turn, he felt so good and, like I said, I stayed with Venerate right until the very end and he got by him. He's an incredible horse."

Its Academic earned his fourth straight victory and is now six-for-nine this season for trainer Ron Burke and owner Brad Grant of Milton, Ont. 

The Uncle Peter-Annapolis six-year-old had bested Venerate in their last showdown in the Crawford Farms Open Trot on July 1 and overcame an outside post to defeat Rattle My Cage in Plainridge Park's Spirit Of Massachusetts in his more recent start on July 23.

Its Academic, who finished fourth in last year's edition of the Cashman, paid $7.60 to win as the 5-2 second choice.

The millionaire trotter improved his lifetime record to 28-16-13 from 75 starts.

Click on the following link for coverage of the 2023 Hambletonian and a replay of the day's stakes events.

Have something to say about this? Log in or create an account to post a comment.