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Alagna Discusses His Simcoe Starters

Published: September 9, 2016 1:27 pm ET

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Tony Alagna will send out three of the 10 pacers that are set to compete in the $204,040 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacers on Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack, and he has taken the time to discuss each of them.

Voracity, American Passport, and Tom Hill will all challenge and neighbor the 4-5 morning line favourite Betting Line, starting from posts seven, eight, nine, and ten, respectively.

Alagna’s inside-most starter, Voracity, has one win from 10 starts this season, which came in a conditioned race at Harrah’s Philadelphia in 1:52.2. Competing mainly on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit this year, his most recent open stakes appearance was in the $100,000 Battle of Brandywine Consolation II, where he finished fourth. He enters the Simcoe from a second-place finish in an OSS division on Saturday, September 3.

“He’s coming around,” Alagna said. “Last week was one of his better efforts; a much-improved effort. He’s coming into the race in good shape.”

Winning four of nine starts last year, including an elimination for the Metro Pace, Voracity, a son of Sportswriter from the McArdle mare Lu Lu Q, has earned $376,469 in his career, and has taken a mark of 1:51.2 over Mohawk.

“When we first started off [his three-year-old season], he wasn’t as sharp as I thought he should’ve been,” Alagna said. “He had a good winter and I expected him to come out stronger than he did in his first couple of starts, but now he seems to be rounding back into form.”

Corey Callahan will drive Voracity for owners Brad Grant, Alagna Racing, and John Fodera.

“It’s a tough bunch, but if he races as good as he has been, he can definitely pick up a cheque,” Alagna said. “He can leave for position, but he can also sit. He likes to be involved.”

Alagna’s star two-year-old pupil last year, American Passport, enters the Simcoe from a third-place finish as the 1-5 favourite in the $240,475 Empire Breeders Classic.

“He was very good in a [New York] sires stake [at Tioga Downs] and in the elimination [for the Empire Breeders Classic], but he was a little sick in the final,” Alagna said. “We scoped him and his blood work was also really out of whack. We’ve rectified his blood-work and he scoped clean training.”

American Passport has raced 11 times this year, winning two and earning $299,176 over his career.

Since failing to qualify for the North America Cup final, American Passport has raced in the Max Hempt Memorial, Adios, and Cane Pace. He broke in both the elimination for the Hempt, not qualifying for the final, and for the Adios, regaining his stride to make the $400,000 final, where he finished seventh stalking a fast pace. Then, in the Cane Pace, he trailed the field throughout, passing horses to finish eighth.

“Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for him,” Alagna said. “Or the only time he ever had luck was bad luck. He had one start where he came up sick, then he had one start where he had a bad trip. And when it seemed like we had everything solved with him, he came up sick in the Empire Breeders Classic final.”

Scott Zeron pilots the son of American Ideal, from the Four Starzzz Shark mare Star Of The Show, for owners Brittany Farms and Alagna Racing LLC.

“Although Betting Line is in another league against these horses, if he’s as good as he was in his two starts before the Empire Breeders Classic final, he’s as good as anybody in there,” Alagna said.

The final member of the Alagna Armada is Tom Hill, an American Ideal colt from the Real Desire mare Baberhood. Earning $48,265 in his career, he has raced entirely on the conditioned circuit this year, making his first move into the Grand Circuit ranks.

“He’s been really good racing against non-winners up here,” Alagna said. “He was very good on Monday night (September 5) and we decided to take a shot to see how he stacks up, so we can get an idea of where we should go for the rest of the season.”

Making five starts at Mohawk heading into the Simcoe, Tom Hill has won twice, with two seconds and a third. He has three wins over 10 starts this season.

“He’s a very talented colt,” Alagna said. “He has a lot of speed, but we’ve had to wait on him a little bit. He wasn’t quite ready to go with the better colts, but the more he races the better he gets. Now’s a good time to put him against them since he’s been so good up at Mohawk.”

Randy Waples will drive Tom Hill for owner Tom Hill.

“If he trips out, he can get money here,” Alagna said. “He’s extremely fast off a helmet; loves a covered trip. He can pace home as hard as any horse when he’s on his game.”

Alagna’s trio drew next to Betting Line, a winner of $1,792,922 including 16 wins in 23 starts. He will race from Post 10 and will be looking for his eleventh win in 12 starts this year.

“He’s in a class of his own against those kind of horses,” Alagna said. “But it’s a big field, he drew the outside and there could be a lot of activity, so we’ll see what happens.”

The Simcoe, for three-year-old pacers, has been carded as Race 10 on Saturday’s 13-race program.

The field for the $204,040 Simcoe appears below.

1. Lyons Snyder-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter
2. Major Hill-Jody Jamieson-David Menary
3. Cruise Patrol-Sylvain Filion-James Ciaran Morrison
4. Nocturnal Bluechip-Tim Tetrick-Mark Steacy
5. Magnum J-Doug McNair-Gregg McNair
6. Easy Lover Hanover-Trevor Henry-Ben Wallace
7. Voracity-Corey Callahan-Tony Alagna
8. American Passport-Scott Zeron-Tony Alagna
9. Tom Hill-Randy Waples-Tony Alagna
10. Betting Line-David Miller-Casie Coleman

To view the harness racing entries for Saturday at Mohawk, click the following link: Saturday Entries – Mohawk Racetrack.


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