New York sired three-year-old trotting colts and fillies were in the harness racing spotlight at Vernon Downs Sunday competing in the $432,000 finals of the Empire Breeders Classic.
The harness racing series for state-breds featured elimination divisions last week with the top nine finishers returning for the rich finals.
The sixth race first final was for the fillies and they raced for a purse of $217,735.
Cutup Hanover and driver Jeff Gregory left quickly from post six to take the early lead and then give way to Winning Pursuit (John MacDonald) at the opening quarter mile in :27.2. Then as the field past the half mile in :57, Glowngold and driver Jim Morrill, Jr. came first-over to challenge and following second-over was Crediama with driver Tim Tetrick.
Winning Pursuit looked to be the strong horse as the past the three-quarters in 1:25.3 but once they started down the stretch it was Crediama and Tim Tetrick collaring Winning Pursuit and passing them by for a one and one-half length victory in 1:54.1. Winning Pursuit was second with Annies List (Tyler Buter) third.
Crediama covered the one mile race in a lifetime best clocking of 1:54.1.
“She felt super tonight,” Tim Tetrick said, “Last week was the first time I ever driven her and I really liked her. She trotted well, very nice mannered and she likes to get her job done. She did everything right today. I got a second-over trip behind Julie Miller’s horse (Glowngold) and she responded well. I kicked out the plugs and went right by them. She did everything right. She is very handy, very smart and a talented filly.”
It was the second win in just three starts this year for Crediama. She is sired by Credit Winner, is trained by Trond Smedshammer and owned by the Purple Haze Stables of Fairport, NY. Crediama paid $6.90 to win.
In the ninth race final for the colts with a purse of $215,125, it was the 4/5 betting favorite, Expressive Action and driver Mike Simons who waited until the field settled down by the opening quarter mile in :27.1 and then sent his colt to the front for good.
There were three lead changes right after the start of the race as Wild And Crazy (Ron Pierce) left hard from post eight to get to the front. They were then passed by Cash For Gold (Michael Vanderkemp) and then they were passed by Cashamatic and driver Jim Morrill, Jr.
Expressive Action then became the fourth horse to have the lead before the half mile marker in :56 and he would remain in front, past the three-quarters in 1:24.4 and no one even contemplating a first-over move against the race leader.
Coming down the stretch Simons kept Expressive Action alert and they went on to win by two lengths in a lifetime best clocking of 1:54.1. Wild And Crazy closed well to be second with Hallanet (Trond Smedshammer) was third.
“He has been very good this season,” Mike Simons said, “He’s just super, he’s nice and sound and he has a good head on his shoulders. As always, everyone had an interest in leaving so I kinda just let everyone sort things through. I figured Jimmy (Morill, Jr.) wanted a two-hole trip behind the best horse in the race so I took a shot and it worked out. There are no limits to his talents. His strength is in the stretch as he thrives on passing horses. He is a little weak on the front end but when going for over $200,000 you don’t want to make the wrong move. He really digs in and likes to come off cover and then he finds another gear to kick-in.”
Bred, owned and trained by John Grasso of Hawthorne, NY, Expressive Action is sired by Conway Hall and is unbeaten in 2014 in three starts. He paid $3.60 to win.
By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com