It was Scott Zeron Night at Mohawk Raceway as the young driver captured both $40,000 divisions of the Canadian Trotting Classic Saturday and now must make a tough decision of which horse to drive next week in the $700,000 final.
Your So Vain picked off race favorite Royalty For Life in deep stretch to pull off an upset victory in the first of the two elimination divisions.
The 2/5 wagering favorite, Royalty For Life, and driver Brian Sears came flying out of the starting gate along with Smilin Eli (Tim Tetrick) and Royalty For Life took command and led the field to opening quarter mile in an easy :27.4. The field then raced Indian-style past the half in :56.3.
As the field came to three-quarters in 1:24.4, All Laid Out and driver Yannick Gingras moved first over to challenge and all this time Your So Vain and driver Scott Zeron was on the outside in sixth place.
As they started down the stretch Sear looked over his shoulder briefly to see that All Laid Out was not gaining ground and Smilin Eli was stuck behind him, so whether Sears was caught napping in the stretch with a comfortable lead aboard Royalty For Life or Your So Vain had just too much speed built up for anyone to stop him from winning, victory was not to be.
Scott Zeron had fanned out three-wide from sixth place on the final turn and once with a clear path the three-year-old son of Donato Hanover flew down the stretch to win by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:52.4. Royalty For Life held for second with Smilin Eli third. Also making it to the final are All Laid Out fourth and Pine Credit (Corey Callahan) fifth.
"He's always had the ability, there has just always been an issue and I think Brad has the issues fixed," said owner Paul Van Camp, who is looking forward to competing against the sport's top three-year-old trotters next weekend. "There are some unbelievable horses," he noted. "Royalty For Life, Smilin Eli, they're awesome, Corky, Master Of Law, it's just and honor to race against horses like this."
It was the second straight win and third victory this year in seven starts for Your So Vain. He is trained by Bradley Maxwell and is owned by the P G Van Camp Stable of Port Perry, Ontario. Sent off at odds of 9/2, Your So Vain paid $11.40 to win.
The second division saw Punxsutawney and driver Corey Callahan go right to the front with Corky (Dave Miller) taking the two-hold spot to the opening quarter mile in :27.3. Callahan then quarter moved with Corky to take the lead and by the half mile marker in :56.2 was when Scott Zeron came first-over with Master Of Law giving live outside cover to Wheelin N Dealin (Sylvain Filion).
Corky was comfortable on the lead at the three-quarters in 1:25.3 as the field began to bunch up for the stretch drive to the finish. Down the stretch Master of Law and Zeron were able to pass Corky who began to fade but Punxsutawney and Callahan found clearance and nearly collared Master of Law and Zeron coming to the wire but Master Of Law was able to hold on to the wire and win by a head in 1:53.4.
Wheeling N Dealin was third with Corky fourth and Toocool Forschool (Jody Jamieson) finishing fifth to make the CTC final.
So now what or who does Scott Zeron decided on driving for the Canadian Trotting Classic Final next week?
“The one benefit of having driven the two elimination winners,” Zeron said, “is that they get to choose their posts. I will have to wait and see what the connections and owners decide on.”
It was the sixth straight win in seven starts this year for Master Of Law. The son of Deweycheatumnhowe is trained by Frank Antonacci and is owned by the Lindy Racing Stable, Brittany Farms and Adam Victor and Son Stables. Sent off as the 3/5 favorite, Master Of Law paid $3.30 to win.
“When you are sitting there at 3/5 everyone wants to follow you,” Zeron said about coming first-over. “I was fine coming first-over. He hasn’t really faced Grand Circuit colts until tonight. I knew how talented he is and Frank Antonacci wanted to take his time bringing this colt around. He is a little bit tough to handle in a race so we took it nice and easy with him. He has great endurance and can trot all day.”
The field will line up as follows for the $686,000 final.
1) Wheeling N Dealin
3) Master Of Law
4) Your So Vain
5) Toocool Forschool
6) Royalty For Life
7) Pine Credit
9) All Laid Out
10) Smilin Eli
By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com