Day At The Track

Odds-on favorites upended in EBC filly elims

06:00 PM 11 Jun 2016 NZST
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Fad Finance Earn Your Wings
Fad Finance (in background, Trond Smedshammer in silver cap) upset the favorites
Foto Won Photo
Earn Your Wings (alone, Jason Bartlett in red and white jacket) upset the favorite
Foto Won Photo
Vernon, N.Y. -- Commanding favorite Non Stick was handed her first career defeat in her Empire Breeders Classic elimination on Friday (June 10) at Vernon Downs, while Fad Finance ($22.60) and Earn Your Wings ($18.20) copped minor upsets in the harness racing preliminaries for next week's marquee trotting event.
 
In the first $12,500 elimination, trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt sprinted to the fore with 1-10 favorite Non Stick, and the pair were unchallenged through splits of :26.4, :56.4, and 1:25.3. At head-stretch, the then-undefeated daughter of Lucky Chucky faced pressure from the two who most directly tracked her, as Straight A Student (Mark MacDonald) emerged from the pocket and Fad Finance (Trond Smedshammer) fanned deeper yet. Fad Finance vaulted to a narrow lead in mid-stretch, battling to maintain a lead over Straight A Student for a 1:54.1 triumph. Non Stick and Lindylicious (Chris Lems) rounded out the top four in the first elimination.
 
Smedshammer also trains Fad Finance, a 3-year-old Credit Winner filly, for the Purple Haze Stables, Marc Goldberg, and the Rojan Stables.
 
In the second elimination, Earn Your Wings (Jason Bartlett) took full advantage of a pocket trip, swinging out at head-stretch to duel clear of pacesetter Swinging Royalty (Lems) for a 1:54.4 win. Open Access (Matt Kakaley) rallied belatedly into third, while Goosebump Hanover (Jim Morrill, Jr.) held fourth.
 
Anette Lorentzon trains Earn Your Wings, also a 3-year-old Credit Winner filly, for the SRF Stable.
 
Of the two fifth-place finishers in the eliminations, Dazzling Dollars draws into next week's $234,375 final.
 
The following ten 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings advance directly to the $222,975 Empire Breeders Classic final:
 
Dante
 
Just For Today
 
Omaha Set Hut 
 
Reve Royale
 
Sir Royson
 
Smalltownthrowdown
 
Southern Palms
 
Sweet Royalty
 
Thats a Bad Boy
 
The Royal Harry.
 
Both finals will be part of a special Sunday evening card at Vernon, on Father's Day, June 19.
 
Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (June 11). Post time is set for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.
 
by James Witherite, Vernon Downs
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