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Betterthancheddar Sets Cane Pace Record

Published: September 10, 2011 10:18 pm ET

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Canadian owned and trained Betterthancheddar prevailed by a neck to take the first jewel of the pacing triple crown -- the $342,875 Cane Pace for three-year-olds -- in a stakes record on Saturday night at Pocono Downs.

Firing off the gate from Post 7 in the nine-horse field, Betterthancheddar and driver Yannick Gingras landed the lead while Shadyshark Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) rolled up alongside and took over command past the blistering opening quarter mark of :25.4.

Shadyshark Hanover remained in control through hot middle splits of :53.2 and 1:20.4, but as he moved into the stretch Betterthancheddar slipped up the passing lane with Townslight Hanover (Andrew McCarthy) to his inside.

Betterthancheddar fought hard to the wire, holding off Townslight Hanover to win by a neck in 1:49.2, equalling his lifetime mark. The time of the mile established a new stakes record, besting the 1:50.3 mark set last year by One More Laugh at Freehold Raceway. Powerful Mist (John Campbell) came on for third.

Favourite Roll With Joe (Tim Tetrick) tried a three-wide move around first over Eighteen (Corey Callahan) approaching the three-quarters mark but ended up sixth.

Betterthancheddar paid $10.20 to win as the 4-1 third choice.

Unraced at two, the son of Bettors Delight-Lady Ashlee Ann has won five times in 11 starts this year for trainer Casie Coleman and owners Steve Calhoun of Chatham, Ont. and the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Ont. The lion’s share of the purse boosted his bankroll to nearly $250,000.

The Cane Pace was originally scheduled to take place at Freehold Raceway, but was moved to Tioga Downs earlier this year and then to Pocono Downs due to extreme weather conditions and flooding this week at Tioga.

The Cane Pace is followed by the Little Brown Jug (September 22) and the Messenger Stakes (November 12) in making up the Pacing Triple Crown. Ten horses have won the Pacing Triple Crown, most recently No Pan Intended in 2003.

Four $200,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championships were featured on Saturday’s undercard and resulted in some speedy performances, including two world records.

Two-year-old trotting filly Sand Violent Blu kicked off the PASS action by setting a 1:54.3 world record for trainer Tye Loy and owner Bill Sanders of McDonald, Tennessee.

The homebred daughter of Tom Ridge-Sand Lavender Blu and driver Brett Miller left from Post 3 and reached the top at the opening quarter mark in :28.3. The 1-2 favourite proceeded to the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:25.2 before kicking home for her sixth victory in eight starts.

Sand Violent Blu shaved three-fifths of a second off Honorable Daughter’s world record on a five-eighths mile track, which was set in 2008 at Dover Downs.

Oasis Dream (Dave Palone) finished second off a pocket trip and Blue Yonder (Yannick Gingras) followed in third.

The consolation went to the Tom Haughton-trained Voluptuous Ronda (Broadway Hall-Hawaiian Delight) and Dave Palone in 1:56.4.

Shes A Great Lady Stakes runner-up Economy Terror followed up that performance by equalling the 1:51.1 world record for two-year-old pacing fillies, set by Fancy Filly in 2009 at Harrah’s Chester.

Economy Terror and driver George Napolitano Jr. swept to command at the :26.1 opening quarter with Marty Party (Dave Palone) hot on her heels. The 1-2 favourite gave way to Marty Party during the second interval and played follow-the-leader through a half in :55.2. Mcsauna (Tim Tetrick) then moved underway from fourth flushing Economy Terror back out as they approached three-quarters in 1:23.2. Economy Terror out-duelled third place finisher Marty Party in the stretch and held off Destinys Chance (Yannick Gingras) to win by half a length.

Chris Oakes trains the Western Terror–Mattatonic filly, who earned her fifth win in seven starts, for Pennsylvania owners Chuck Pompey, Howard Taylor and Edwin Gold.

So Easy Baby (Mcardle-So Easy) and Andrew McCarthey pulled off an 11-1 upset in the consolation, winning in 1:53 for trainer Erv Miller.

The Ron Burke-trained Sweet Lou rebounded from his only career loss (by just a nose) almost two weeks ago with a 1:51.1 career-best score in the two-year-old pacing colt championship.

With the inside advantage, 2-5 second choice Sweet Lou and driver Dave Palone took control of the field and carved out fractions of :27.4, :56.3 and 1:23.2 en route to the victory over slight favourite Easy Again (Montrell Teague), who rallied off cover, and the pylon-skimming Star Recruit (George Napolitano Jr.).

The son of Yankee Cruiser-Sweet Future, now six-for-seven in his career, is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Pennsylvania, and Lawrence Karr and Phillip Collura of New Jersey.

Special Forces (Real Desire-Special Magic) and Tim Tetrick won the $50,000 consolation in a matching 1:51.1 clocking for trainer Brian Brown.

In the non-wagering two-year-old colt trot final, Stormin Normand battled with stablemate Pekoe Fashion throughout the mile and delivered a career-best 1:54.2 victory for trainer Jim Campbell and Pennsylvania owner Fashion Farms LLC.

Stormin Normand and Dave Palone worked their way to command from Post 8 and reached the opening quarter in :28.1 with Pekoe Fashion (Matt Kakaley) rolling up alongside and taking over en route to the half in :57. As the new leader neared the next marker in 1:25.4, Go Tapaigh (John Campbell) moved underway from fourth prompting Stormin Normand to move out around the turn. The son of Broadway Hall-Idole Normand blew past his barn buddy in the stretch to score a two and three-quarter length victory, his fifth in six career starts. Go Tapaigh finished second over Pekoe Fashion.

A pair of non-wagering $60,000-plus divisions of the Shady Daisy -- imported from Tioga Downs as well -- were also contested prior to the card in which Mark Kesmodel trainee Krispy Apply and Tim Tetrick advanced to the lead from fourth past the half and won by four lengths in 1:50, and the Ross Croghan-conditioned Drop The Ball and Yannick Gingras matched that time with a wire-to-wire one and three-quarter length score.

Millionaire pacer Dial Or Nodial just missed the track record with his career-best 1:48.3 winning performance in the $50,000 Open Pace, also for Campbell and Fashion Farms LLC.

Driven by Dave Palone, Dial Or Nodial pulled the pocket at the :26.2 opening quarter and swept to command ahead of Golden Receiver (Anthony Napolitano). The five-year-old gelded son of Western Ideal-Smart Dialing reached the half in :53.3 and three-quarters in 1:21.2 with first over One More Laugh (Tim Tetrick) up to the leader’s saddle pad. Dial Or Nodial kicked away around the turn and held off another late surge from One More Laugh to prevail by half a length. Foreclosure N (George Napolitano Jr.) finished third.

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