There were both betting favorites and long shots that prevailed as Harrah’s Philadelphia hosted four $260,000 Championship Finals for two-year-old trotters and pacers Sunday afternoon.
The fastest mile of the four finals was in the 12th race for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings as Allstar Partner was not only able to lead from start to finish for driver Corey Callahan, but was also able to handle a first-over challenge for half of the one mile race by Let’s Drink On It.
Callahan sent Allstar Partner right to the lead from post four with McWicked (Andy Miller) leaving from post six and grabbing the two-hole trip as they raced to the opening quarter mile in :26.4.
Then it was Let’s Drink On It and driver Tim Tetrick the first to show, coming first-over at the half mile in :55.3 with Limelight Beach (Dave Miller) following his outside cover. On to the three-quarters in 1:23.1, Let’s Drink On It kept inching up on race leader Allstar Partner, but that all came to an end as the field started down the stretch to the finish.
Let’s Drink On It spit out the bit and began to fade fast and Sometimes Said (John Campbell) moved up from fifth place and mounted a challenge but it was too late as Callahan had the race measured with ease for Allstart Partner, who went on to win by two and one-quarter lengths in 1:52. Sometimes Said was second with McWicken third.
Trained by John Butenschoen, it was the sixth straight victory for Allstar Partner and his seventh win in nine starts this year for the VIP Internet Stable of Piscataway, NJ and Michael Foti of Brigantine, NJ. The two-year-old gelding by Four Starzzz Shark paid $3.00 to win as the betting favorite.
Betting fans were not impressed enough by Cooler Schooner’s last two victories, including a world record mile nor Lifetime Pursuit’s five wins in six starts as they made Designed To Be the betting favorite in the 10th race $260,000 PASS Championship Final for two-year-old trotting fillies.
And the betting fans were right!
Tipped out three-wide on the final turn and then kicking in the afterburners, Designed To Be and driver Andy Miller romped by five opening lengths in winning the championship final in a lifetime best time of 1:54.3.
The race started off with none other than Cooler Schooner and driver John Campbell leaving from post eight and going right to the lead with A Perfect Gem (Marcus Miller) sitting the two-hole trip. Past the opening quarter mile in :27, then the half mile in :55.2, Cooler Schooner led the way.
In the backstretch Juniata Hanover and driver Matt Kakaley came first-over and following their cover was Designed To Be. But the live cover was not good enough after the three-quarters in 1:25.1 as Miller moved out with Designed To Be and by the top of the stretch was in second place and collaring Cooler Schooner as they started down the home stretch.
From there is as easy as pie as Designed To Be pulled away from the field and cruised to the finish. A Perfect Gem was second and Struck By Lindy (Dave Miller) closed well to be third.
Owned and bred by Al Libfeid of Pickering, Ontario and Marvin Katz of Toronto, it was the third win in six starts for Designed To Be. The daughter of Donato Hanover is trained by Julie Miller and paid $5.20 to win.
In the 9th race $260,000 Championship Final for two-year-old pacing fillies it was a long shot that ruled the day as 15-1 Southwind Silence and driver Yannick Gingras upset the race favorite Gallie Bythe Beach (John Campbell) with a stunning 1:52.2 victory.
It was Southwind Silence who was first to show out of the starting gate, grabbing the early lead but that was short lived as Tyra and driver Tim Terick wanted the top and got it at the opening quarter mile in :26.3.
Meanwhile, Gallie Bythe Beach was in third place and Campbell then sent the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere to the front before the half mile marker in :55.1. The field then raced down the backstretch through the three-quarters in 1:23 with only Ron Pierce and Beach Body coming first-over but they could not even come close to the race leaders who were cutting awesome fractions.
Then in the stretch the fast early fractions caught up to both Gallie Bythe Beach and Tyra as Southwind Silence and Gingras out kicked both of them in the stretch to win by one length. Gallie Bythe Beach was second with Tyra third.
Sired by Well Said and trained by Ron Burke, it was the second win this year and a lifetime mark for Southwind Silence. She is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Kar and Di Scala, Jr. At 15-1 odds, Southwind Silence paid $33.80 to win.
There was nothing super special in the 11th race $260,000 PASS Championship Final for two-year-old trotting colts. Just watch Don Dorado and driver Tim Tetrick leave out of post position two, cut the entire mile race and hold the field at bay in winning in 1:56.2. Simple as that.
Monte Cristo Spur (Richard Stillings) was able to get the two-hole trip as they raced to the opening quarter in :27.1. Then as the field came to the half mile marker it was Exodus Hanover and driver Andy Miller) coming first-over in :57 but at first it seems they were rating themselves on the outside as Exodus Hanover could not even collar Monte Cristo Spur in second place.
Then after the three-quarters in 1:25.2 it became evident that Exodus Hanover was not going to get the job done and Monte Cristo Spur was running out of gas as Tim Tetrick has Don Dorado on automatic pilot and they went on to win by one and one-half lengths. Auspicious Hanover (Charlie Norris) closed from fifth place at the top of the stretch to be second and Exodus Hanover stayed game in finishing third.
Trained by Robert Baggitt, Jr. for breeder/owner Michael Walker of Davison, Michigan, it was the fourth win in just six starts for Don Dorado. The son of Donato Hanover went off at odds of 2-1 and paid $6.80 to win.
By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com