Day At The Track

Mister Big targeting Ben Franklin

09:56 PM 12 Jun 2008 NZST
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Mister Big
Mister Big - in a World Record at Harrah's Chester
World Wide Racing Photos - 2008 Ben Franklin elimination

Joseph Muscara's Mister Big, fresh off a performance in which he paced the fastest mile in history on a five-eighths mile oval, can expect an immediate challenge to his supremacy from seven rivals in Sunday's $500,000 Ben Franklin final at Harrah's Chester Casino and Racetrack.

This past Sunday, Mister Big was ultra impressive as he took an elimination for the Franklin in 1:48.1, which now stands as the all-age, all-sex record for a five-eighths mile track.

The five-year-old son of Grinfromeartoear checked in three and one-quarter lengths in front of his nearest competitor while in hand at the finish for driver Brian Sears.

Things are not expected to be quite so easy for Mister Big in the final.

In the other Franklin elimination, Joseph Alborano's Artistic Fella scored a sharp, 1:48.2 victory and just missed equaling Mister Big's world record by a scant one-fifth of a second behind the guidance of Tim Tetrick.

The five-year-old Pacific Fella stallion's finish time was almost certainly impacted by a relatively slow opening half of :55.

Mister Big will have more than just seven other top pacers to contend with in the Franklin final. He will have to overcome the far outside post position eight, with his primary nemesis, Artistic Fella, benefiting from the advantageous post three.

Mister Big will open on the board as the 8-5 favorite. He will once again be handled by Brian Sears for trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr.

Listed as the 2-1 second choice in the morning line is Artistic Fella. The trainee of Steve Elliott will retain the services of Tim Tetrick in the sulky.

The complete field for the Franklin final, with driver and program odds are: 1. Total Truth (Yannick Gingras, 12-1), 2. Won The West (Greg Grismore, 12-1), 3. Artistic Fella (Tim Tetrick, 2-1), 4. Tivoli Hanover (Tony Morgan, 15-1), 5. Mr Feelgood (Andy Miller, 8-1), 6. Special Report (Larry Stalbaum, 9-2), 7. Sharky Osborne (Eric Goodell, 20-1), 8. Mister Big (Brian Sears, 8-5).

A special first post of 3 p.m. has been set for Sunday’s 13 race card at Chester.

Don Bielak, Harrah's Chester Casino and Racetrack

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