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'The Captain' Scorches The Red Mile

Published: September 28, 2013 8:30 pm ET

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Saturday night's sophomore Grand Circuit stakes action at The Red Mile was kicked off by the highly-touted Captaintreacherous, and his performance didn't disappoint.

Leaving from Post 5 in the first $95,500 sophomore pacing colt division of the Bluegrass Stakes, Tim Tetrick hustled Captaintreacherous off the gate and settled the Tony Alagna trainee into the pocket behind Beach Memories (Dave Miller). The opening quarter was reached in :26.4 with the field of seven rolling along at a steady clip. Tetrick right-lined Captaintreacherous from the pocket and cleared before the half-mile marker, reached in a solid :52.4.

The first to test the outer flow was Apprentice Hanover (Ron Pierce) from fourth, making it to a length and a half of the leader by the 1:20.2 third station. As the field hit the stretch, Tetrick asked Captaintreacherous to stay on task and the lead extended. Beach Memories popped the pocket to try to make it interesting, but 'The Captain' was an easy winner by a length in a lifetime best 1:47.1. That makes Captaintreacherous the third fastest sophomore pacer in harness racing history - behind his sire Somebeachsomewhere (1:46.4) and Art Official (1:47).

“I just wanted to be in control and I settled in there [in the pocket],” said Tetrick. “Dave was putting up pretty good fractions, I could have probably followed him, but I knew I’d have to pull going into the last turn. I would let him get there and do what he wants on the front and let him set the pace in the last turn. It was a fun ride.

“[Special horses] don’t come along very often, he’s something special to watch," added the winning reinsman. "I know I get chills when I sit behind him, so I bet he’s as fun to watch too. He usually lets them get to him before he fights. Tonight was the first time I called on him at the top of the lane and he took right off, he really didn’t wait on them today."

Owned by Captaintreacherous Racing, Captaintreacherous (Somebeachsomewhere - Worldly Treasure) is now nine-for-10 in 2013 with more than $1.5 million in seasonal earnings.

“He had a really good week and was good in Indiana last week and was coming into this race in shape,” said Alagna.

When questioned about Captaintreacherous competing in the Meadowlands’ Free For All Series, Alagna said, “That’s a possibility if everything goes well. What a great way it would be to end the year, racing against aged horses and give him a chance to trip out and see where he stacks up against those, especially going into his four-year-old year.”

The only horse to defeat Captaintreacherous this season, Sunshine Beach, defeated the second grouping of glamour boy pacers in a 1:48.2 wire-to-wire victory.

Sunshine Beach got the top, while Resistance Futile sat in second and Odds On Equuleus rode the rail to get into third. Wake Up Peter was racing fourth as Sunshine Beach passed the quarter in :27.4. No one tried to contest Sunshine Beach as John Campbell had a firm hold on him through a :55 (:27.1) half-mile.

Wake Up Peter edged to the outside as Twilight Bonfire was looking for cover entering the far turn, but Wake Up Peter too was in hopes of flushing out bait. Odds On Equuleus took the trap and flushed first over, coming to within two lengths of the lead. Sunshine Beach held command at three-quarters, timed in 1:22.2 (:27.2).

Sunshine Beach began to open up on the field into the stretch. Resistance Futile was racing in second and was attempting to slingshot by Sunshine Beach. Wake Up Peter had taken third from Odds On Equueleus, but the battle was between Sunshine Beach and Resistance Futile, in which Sunshine Beach emerged with glory, winning in 1:48.2 (:26). Resistance Futile was second, Wake Up Peter was third and Odds On Equueleus was fourth.

Sunshine Beach ($4.80) is by Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Light Up by Artsplace. He trained by Mark Steacy and owned by Hudson Standardbred Inc., Conrad Leber and Diane Bertrand.

“That’s about as reasonable as your going to get in this class,” said Campbell of the :55-second half-mile clocking. “He felt real strong and I didn’t have to start him up that hard to make the front. He raced really well, but had to hold off a good horse in Resistance Futile. He kept coming, but my horse dug in until the wire. It was his first start in three weeks, so he’ll be stronger next week.”

When asked about his Sunshine Beach’s conflict with Captaintreacherous, Campbell said, “I’m sure [their rivalry] is going to materialize, either next week if they get into the same division or in the Breeders Crown, hopefully. You can’t take anything away from Captaintreacherous, he’s certainly one of our all-time greats. This horse has beat him once and it can happen again.”

The lone $122,000 dash of the Bluegrass for sophomore filly pacers was taken in a dramatic 1:49 effort from Shebestingin, circling by horses three-wide as blazing fractions were being set.

In her attempt to leave, Ms Caila J Fra got a little rough-gaited and went off stride as the field marched to the first turn. They were led by Aunt Caroline briefly, as Power Pack Hanover was floating her way to the top. Mistresstothestars was wide briefly, but took to the inside as Power Pack Hanover led the field through a quarter in :26.3.

Belle Boyd tracked Power Pack Hanover in her sweep to the front, but could not clear heading down the backstretch. The physical quarrel up front turned the half-mile into a sprint. Mistresstothestars entered the flow second over and Shebestingin went third over as Power Pack Hanover put away Belle Boyd through a :52.4 half (:26.1).

Mistresstothestars went three-wide, as did Shebestingin behind, to get closer to the faltering leader, Power Pack Hanover. Mistresstothestars was first over heading to three quarters, while Shebestingin was three-wide and ready to fly. Three-quarters was timed in 1:21.2 (:28.3).

Shebestingin took the lead into the stretch and kicked away by open lengths from Parlee Beach closing into second. Authorize was behind a wall of horses, weaving her way into third and Aunt Caroline, off the pocket ride, was in fourth as Shebestingin won impressively, scoring in 1:49 (:28.3).

Shebestingin ($5.40) is by Bettors Delight out of the mare Armbro Tussle by Abercrombie. She is owned by Val D’or Farms, Ted Gewertz and L & L Devisser, trained by Joe Holloway and David Miller was in the bike.

“It worked out great, David gave her a great trip,” said Holloway. “When Ms Caila J Fra made a break, it changed the complexion and John’s filly [Power Pack Hanover] was a little grabby and just kept going, but we were in a great spot. Once she had the lead at the head of the stretch, I felt confident. We trained her very tight, but it’s always tough to train one for race conditions and she was going to be out the whole mile, so she raced very good.”

Holloway also confirmed that Shebestingin would return for the Glen Garnsey Memorial next week.

The first of a quartet of $76,750-plus freshmen pacing colt Bluegrass divisions was won by Western Vintage, who flew into the stretch and by all rivals to triumph in 1:49.4.

Doo Wop Hanover got the lead, with A Plus Hanover getting away in second and Some Major Beach into third. Doo Wop Hanover was unpressured past the quarter, timed in :27. Some Major Beach pulled to the outside from third heading towards the three-eighths pole and was about to clear the lead passing the half in :54 (:27).

Doo Wop Hanover fought back at the pylons, parking Some Major Beach on their march around the far turn. From sixth, Western Vintage took to the outside and rapidly made his way towards the front. Thats My Opinion tracked his rush, as Western Vintage was within two lengths of the lead at three-quarters in 1:22.1 (:28.1).

Within the blink of an eye, Western Vintage rolled to the front. Doo Wop Hanover was left in his wake, while Some Major Beach was proving valiant in a first over journey, holding onto third and On Golden Ponder angled off the pylons and began a bid. Western Vintage coasted his way to the wire and scored in in 1:49.4 (:27.3). On Golden Ponder closed to finish second, Some Major Beach was third and Somewhere Fancy finished fourth.

Western Vintage ($3.20) is a colt by Western Ideal out of the mare Major Harmony by Art Major. He is owned by Perry Soderberg, trained by Nancy Johansson and Yannick Gingras was the driver.

“We had to change things up a little bit, he went pretty hard up at Mohawk and he grabbed on a little bit, so we tried to settle him down. This is a good track to race him from behind and that’s the tactics we decided on,” said Soderberg.

When asked about purchasing Western Vintage for $7,000, Soderberg said, “Western Ideal is a stud in New Jersey and the New Jersey Sires Stakes program hasn’t been the strongest, so that’s probably the main reason. He did have a scar on an ankle behind that may have gotten some people off of him, but those are the only two things I can think of. He has a good pedigree and is a nice looking horse.”

When asked about returning for next week’s International Stallion Series, Soderberg said, “We have to talk about it, but I don’t think so. We've got the Breeders Crown coming up and that’s very important.”

Division two of the freshmen stakes was taken by Limelight Beach, sneaking up the pylons to pass a drifting So Surreal to win in 1:49.4.

Limelight Beach got the lead, with Sir Sams Z Tam getting away in second and Beat The Drum in third. Limelight Beach led by the quarter in :27.1. Down the backstretch, Somestarsomewhere pulled first over from sixth and began progressing in hopes of cover. That came in So Surreal, who led the two-wide flow in a charge after Limelight Beach in a half-mile of :55.4 (:28.3).

So Surreal rushed up to the leader and cleared to command into the far turn. Limelight Beach was left in the pocket and Somestarsomewhere was to fight his own battle first over. Ari Allstar was tracking him second over, while Sir Sams Z Tam was locked at the pylons. So Surreal led by three-quarters in 1:23.2 (:27.3).

So Surreal began to drift on his way for home. Limelight Beach was left with open road at the pylons and he swept by to take command. Somestarsomewhere was keeping up in third and Ari Allstar was trying to surpass his cover in the final strides, but Limelight Beach had enough to win in 1:49.4 (:26.2). So Surreal held on for second, Somestarsomewhere was third and Ari Allstar finished fourth.

Limelight Beach ($20) is a gelding by Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Benear by Badlands Hanover. He is owned by James Stambaugh, Milton Leeman and Charles Wingfield, trained by Brian Brown and David Miller was in the bike.

“The track is very fast tonight. I mean, they are getting over it pretty easily and putting up some big numbers, but the horse raced well,” said Miller. “When I first started driving him this year, I thought a lot of him and I thought he could go with any of them. He kind of went flat there [in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Final] for awhile and there was no reason, he was sound and healthy, but he surely bounced back tonight.”

An off the pace journey proved right for Smack Talk in the third division, pacing past colts with ease to take his Bluegrass in 1:50.4.

A quartet of freshmen launched off the gate, but were led by Stevensville into the first turn. Gold Rocks floated up alongside him and cleared the lead before the quarter while Somesizesomestyle was caught on the outside passed the first station, timed in :27. Passing three-eighths, Smack Talk tipped to the outside from sixth and began marching his way towards the lead. Stevensville was flushed out by Smack Talk passing the half, which Somesizesomestyle posted in :54.3 (:27.3).

Into the far turn, Stevensville was gradually making progress towards command. Gold Rocks was stuck in the pocket and Sometimes Said was third over, prepared to follow Smack Talk three-wide. Somesizesomestyle was still on top at three-quarters in 1:23.2 (:28.4). Smack Talk swung three-wide into the lane and took command with ease. Sometimes Said flew off cover as well and was applying pressure to the new leader. He was drawing closer to Smack Talk nearing the sixteenth pole, but the wire came in favour of Smack Talk, holding off the favourite Sometimes Said in a 1:50.4 (:27.2) mile. Hes Got It was third and Wicked Business closed for fourth.

Smack Talk ($10.80) is a colt by Cams Card Shark out of the mare Chippie Gabby by Artiscape. He is owned by Daniel Haist and conditioner John Williamson, while Ron Pierce was the pilot to Smack Talk’s maiden-breaking victory.

“Certainly was [great to break his maiden], great track to break it on too,” said Williamson. “The plan wasn’t to keep him a maiden, but with him, this track fits him to a tee. He’s a big colt.”

Closing out the freshmen action was Odds On Rhodonite, stalking a second over trip and sweeping by horses into the stretch to win in 1:50.2.

Carracci Hanover was sent for the lead with Somewhere In L A protecting the cones in second and Ideal Fashion getting away in third. Ideal Magic was forced to go to the front with nowhere to tuck in, so he applied pressure to Carracci Hanover through a :28 first quarter. Ideal Magic cleared the lead entering the backstretch and was uncontested as he sprinted to the half-mile pole in :54.4 (:26.4).

Ideal Fashion pulled to the outside from fourth and was quickly making his way to Ideal Magic’s wheel into the far turn. Odds On Rhodonite tracked him second over while Somewhere In L A was waiting for room to shake loose. He eventually tipped third over and had nowhere to go at three-quarters in 1:22.3 (:27.4).

Ideal Fashion was grinding his way to a narrow lead at the head of the stretch. Ideal Magic had no more to offer at the inside while Odds On Rhodonite made a big rally past his cover three-wide. Journeyman was closing down the center of the track from last and Carracci Hanover had room to pace at the pylons. Down to the sixteenth pole, Odds On Rhodonite had an unobtainable lead and went on to win in 1:50.2 (:27.4). Journeyman was second, Carracci Hanover was third and Pierce closed for fourth.

Odds On Rhodonite ($17.80) is a colt by Western Ideal out of the mare Odds On Helen by Real Artist. He is owned by Mark Winship and Amy Giberson, trained by Nick Giberson and Corey Callahan was the driver.

“The only thing [the trainer] told me going in was that he hadn’t been stretched out as of yet,” said Callahan. “He said put him into the race, race him like he’s supposed to be in here and that’s what we did and he proved he was supposed to be in there. I got a really good trip out of [the fast fractions], he did the work late and held on for the win.”

(With files from The Red Mile)

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