Close finish and upset in Champlain Stakes

03:18 AM 09 Sep 2012 NZST
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Despised outsider Captive Audience (8) L Dees Lioness (8) and Scott Zeron hold
Despised outsider Captive Audience (8) - and Andy Miller hang on to cause a big upset in 1:50.2.
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L Dees Lioness (8) and Scott Zeron hold - out the fast finishing I Luv The Nitelife in 1:51.4.
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A pair of Champlain Stakes took place featuring rookie colts and fillies at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night (September 8). In the $226,763 filly division, L Dees Lioness and Scott Zeron scored a narrow harness racing victory in 1:51.4.

Zeron guided the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere to command to lead her 10 rivals through moderate panels of :28.1, :56.4 and 1:24, before using a final 27.4 quarter to seal the victory. I Luv The Nitelife, who defeated L Dees Lioness in the Shes A Great Lady final in her most recent outing, finished second, beaten by a head. Nikki Beach (Tim Tetrick) finished third.

“I was slightly disappointed I lost the last race (Shes A Great Lady), it was a great stretch duel and she (I Luv The Nitelife) just outraced me that night,” Zeron said. “Tonight she stepped up and I’m happy she won.”

Trained by Casie Coleman for owners Lawrence Dumain and Carlo Lattinelli, L Dees Lioness increased her freshman earnings to $382,655. She paid $6.20 to win.

In the $261,829 division for colts and geldings, Captive Audience, driven by Andy Miller, posted the 40-1 upset in 1:50.2.

The son of Art Major led his ten rivals past the opening station in :27.2. As the youngsters marched towards the half, Rockin Amadeus (Yannick Gingras) angled out from third and took over command to lead past the half in :55.2 and three-quarters in 1:22.2.

Turning for home, post time favourite, Odds On Equuleus (John Campbell) was second over, but Miller was able show his charge clear racetrack. Captive Audience wore down the tempo-setter to score the narrow win over Rockin Amadeus with Odds On Equulues third.

“He’s a nice horse with a lot of speed to him,” Miller said after the race. “He was great in the hole and was waiting for me to pull him. Once we made it to the front, he got sort of lost because he’s green, but overall he raced very well.”

Corey Johnson trains the first-time winner for his father, Colin, and Mac Nichol. The bay increased his rookie earnings to $163,789. He paid $90 to win.

by Greg GANGLE

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