Day At The Track

Favorites prevail in Metro Pace eliminations

12:16 PM 16 Sep 2018 NZST
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Stag Party, harness racing Captain Ahab, harness racing
Stag Party with driver Dave Miller
New Image Media photo
Captain Ahab wins his elimination division of the Metro Pace
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Stag Party
Captain Ahab
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MILTON, ON - September 15, 2018 - Captain Ahab and Stag Party punched their ticket to next week's $890,000 Metro Pace final with impressive harness racing victories in Saturday evening's eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

A group of 17 two-year-old pacing colts and geldings were split into a pair of $40,000 eliminations.

Captain Ahab will head into the Metro Pace final a perfect seven for seven after winning his elimination in 1:50.4 for driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Tony Alagna.

A son of Captaintreacherous, Captain Ahab got away fourth in a field of eight and watched Captain Crunch cut an opening-quarter of :26.3. McCarthy sent 'Ahab' after the lead in the second-quarter, clearing to the top at a :55 half.

Captain Ahab paced his third-quarter in :27.4 with first-up pressure from Lyons Night Hawk and the six for seven De Los Cielos Deo sitting second-over.

In the stretch, Captain Ahab finished his mile with a :28 final-quarter to secure the victory. De Los Cielos Deo paced into second, getting to the leader's wheel at the wire. Goldberg finished third, while Lyons Night Hawk was fourth. The final ticket to next week's final was grabbed by Better Up.

Captain Ahab established a new career-mark with the 1:50.4 victory and has now earned $137,616 for owners Brittany Farms LLC, Brad Grant, Vince Barbera and Captain Ahab Racing.

"I kicked the ear-plugs out tonight and made him pace in the stretch because I've got so much respect for Burke's colt (De Los Cielos Deo)," said McCarthy following the victory. "I was getting flushed early, so I went ahead and put him on the front and he was fine about it."

A $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Captain Ahab will head into the Metro Pace undefeated and as the likely favourite. The Alagna trainee has collected five of his seven wins at Mohawk Park.

McCarthy is confident heading into the final, but not overlooking any of his opponents.

"It's not going to be easy. I've got a lot of respect for the other colts, so we just got to figure out the trip and hopefully it works out for us."

A $2 win ticket on Captain Ahab returned $2.50.

Casie Coleman trainee Stag Party rebounded from a second-place finish in the Champlain for an impressive 1:51 victory in the first Metro elimination.

Driven by David Miller, Stag Party took his time in the beginning, getting away sixth in the field of nine. Cruise Captain, who defeated Stag Party in the Champlain, posted a :27.1 opening-quarter before surrendering the lead in the second-quarter.

Shake That House moved third to first entering the backstretch, but was followed by Semi Tough, who overtook the top spot and led by the half in :55.4.

Miller angled Stag Party to the outside at the half and the Coleman trainee charged first-up to draw within half a length of Semi Tough at three-quarters in 1:24.

In the stretch, Semi Tough dug in gamely in an attempt to hold off Stag Party, but the Coleman student muscled by in deep stretch to win by a length and a half in a career-best 1:51. Semi Tough held second, while Shake That House was third. The top-five was completed by Lyons Johnnyjnr and Buddy Hill.

A son of Bettors Delight, Stag Party now has five wins in seven starts and has earned $197,489 for owners John Fielding, Mac Nichol, McKinlay & Fielding and West Wins Stable.

"Casie told me he just wasn't right health wise (last week) and she got him good in a week and he went a big trip tonight," said Miller when asked about the rebound victory. "She does a great job conditioning horses and getting them ready."

Stag Party was purchased as a yearling for $125,000 at the Harrisburg Sale.

A $2 win ticket on the Coleman trainee returned $3.90.

The post-positions for next week's $890,000 Metro Pace final were drawn following the eliminations. Captain Ahab and Stag Party earned their connections the right to select their post.

Here is the field for the September 22 rich final.

1. Better Up
2. Semi Tough
3. Stag Party
4. Captain Ahab
5. Shake That House
6. Buddy Hill
7. Goldberg
8. Lyons Night Hawk
9. Lyons Johnnyjnr
10. De Los Cielos Deo
AE: Captain Crunch

by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

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