L & L Devisser’s Gold Dust Beach literally took advantage of the breaks and pulled off an upset in Saturday night’s (July 30) $250,000 American National Three-Year-Old Pace Final at Balmoral Park.
Overlooked at 14-1 odds, Gold Dust Beach ($31.40) rallied for a 1:51.2 victory with driver Jason Dillander.
It was another longshot (52-1) Cheyenne Bodie (Dean Magee) who came on with a rush to be second, just a neck behind the Joe Seekman trained winner. Odds On Duane (Tim Tetrick) at 17-1 was third, a half-length behind.
The overwhelming 1-5 favorite Stonbridge Regal (Tony Morgan) went off stride before the start and again at the half and was eliminated.
“When I saw the favorite running and knew my chances were a lot greater, that’s for sure,” said a smiling Jason Dillander in the winner’s circle. “I thought my horse deserved a little more credit that he got but withgetting all the play, and deservedly so, my horse went off higher (odds) than he probably should.”
In the 58th consecutive running of the American National sophomore pace Chevie Cash (Dale Hiteman) shot out from the pole position and grabbed a quick lead. The 42-1 longshot got away with an easy :28 first quarter and when the 5-1 second choice Team Hutch (Pat Berry) came first up to get the lead, the Illinois champion needed a quick :26.3 second quarter to take command.
“I knew someone was going get torched getting the top from Chevie Cash and I’m glad it wasn’t me,” said Dillander. “I didn’t realize the second quarter was that fast,” added the 29-year-old driver.
Team Hutch still had the lead at the 1:23 three-quarter pole but he was starting to shorten his stride. Mandala Quest, who provided cover for Gold Dust Beach, pulled even with the leader before both Gold Dust Beach and Odds On Duane rushed past.
“Halfway down the stretch I thought we were going to be battling for second,” said Dillander. “But when my horse saw that other horse (Odds On Duane) put his head in front, my horse came back.”
Gold Dust Beach needed to dig in to also hold off the fast closing Cheyenne Bodie and nail down season win No. 5 in 11 starts for his Holland, Michigan owners. The $115,000 winner’s share of the purse increased the Jenny Beach Boy colt’s 2005 earnings from $46,762 to $161,792.
The fifth race winning trifecta of 6-7-1 returned $4,426.80.
Balmoral Park Publicity department