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Alagna Scores In Metro With Exploit

Published: September 26, 2020 10:49 pm ET

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When 1-5 favourite and Tony Alagna trainee Abuckabett Hanover faltered through the stretch off a first-over grind, stablemate Exploit tipped off his helmet and surged by pacesetter Bayfield Beach to win the $720,000 Metro Pace on Saturday (Sept. 26) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Lawless Shadow lunged from post 8 for the front, clearing Bayfield Beach by a :26 first quarter before Bayfield Beach popped pocket and circled to the lead. Abuckabett Hanover, sitting sixth, edged first over before a :55.1 half with Exploit in tow and rolled towards the pacesetter as the tempo quickened to three-quarters in 1:22.4.

Spinning for the finish Abuckabett Hanover started to lose ground, prompting Exploit to fan three wide as Bayfield Beach held onto command.

“I was so shocked that Abuckabett didn’t fire—I know something’s got to be bothering him; something’s wrong,” assistant trainer Donna Lee, Alagna’s mother, said after the race. “But when I heard Exploit on the outside I’m going ‘Oh my God, we’re going to win anyway!’ I’m just shocked. It’s been a night of strange happenings.”

Exploit began to surge towards Bayfield Beach entering the final eighth and slid by in the final strides, stopping the clock in 1:50.4. Lawless Shadow finished third with No Bettor Joy fourth.

“[Exploit] was feeling real good,” McNair said after the race. “We were following the best horse in race I thought—I mean we got away like sixth and seventh, so I figured if we got out on the flow we get a pretty decent trip. He swelled right up in the last turn and kind of surprised me a little bit when he blew by them all. But he raced great.”

Returning $73.90 to win, Exploit collected his third win from eight starts, earning $386,457. Doug McNair piloted the Somebeachsomewhere colt for owners LeBlanc and Kribbs, In The Gym Partners and Joseph Barbera to win his first Metro Pace.

“We might put a little bit of whiskey in this trophy later,” McNair also said after the race.

The Metro Pace was one of the handful of major stakes events on the Saturday card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Recaps from the other races are available at the following links:

To view the results from Saturday's card of harness racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park, click the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.


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