Day At The Track


02:44 AM 15 Aug 2004 NZST
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The 38th edition of the $500,500 Coors Delvin Miller Adios on Saturday afternoon (August 14) at The Meadows was a record-breaker in many ways.

The victor -- Perfect World Enterprises' Timesareachanging -- set a new world, track and stakes record with his 1.49.3 score.

That was just one of numerous time records that fell during the 15 race card.

The pacing stake also attracted a record number of entrants -- 27 -- and sported a record total purse -- $500,500.

Timesareachanging also became just the second gelding to ever win the Adios. In fact, all three elimination winners were geldings.

Driver Ron Pierce, fresh off his first ever Meadowlands driving title, said after his elimination win with the Brett Pelling-trained 3-Year-Old:

"The Adios is one race I'd love to win." And win the Adios he finally did.

Turns out the third time was the charm.

"Brett and I should have won this race twice before," said Pierce.

"I was driving a horse named Mystical Prince one year that jumped shadows on the backstretch, and nearly caused a serious pile up. He was in good position and really had a good shot at it.

"Then there was the year I was disqualified," he said.

"I was driving Dream Away. I kind of floated out of there and we were going into the first turn. I was in the two hole, and a horse coming over from the six hole had a full head of steam.

“I came out, and he was going so fast, he got carried wide when I did.

"We went on to win easy, and it was a one of those calls that could have gone either way. I didn't interfere with the other horse, but the judges didn't see it that way," he said.

"I was starting to think the Adios was the hardest race in the world to win," he said.

Three elimination races earlier in the card pared down the 27 hopefuls to nine finalists.

This year, the Adios reverted to the old format where finalists earned their post positions, with elimination winners drawing for posts one through three; second place finishers for posts four through six; and third place finishers saddled with posts seven, eight and nine.

Geartogear fired out for the early lead in the final, and yielded to the favorite Georgia Pacific at the half in 54s.

That left Timesareachanging uncovered on the outside, but it didn't seem to faze the son of 1994 Adios winner Cam's Card Shark.

The pair battled to the three quarters in 1.21.4, with second elimination winner Basil Hanover following the cover of Timesareachanging.

The eventual winner began to edge away from a grudging Georgia Pacific in the stretch, while Driven To Win gained ground to nab the show spot. Basil Hanover hung on for fourth.

Timesareachanging's margin of victory was two lengths.

"He's always been a good horse," said trainer Brett Pelling.

"He's really always been brave. I can't fault him on anything."

Timesareachanging was originally the second string horse in the stable behind last year's champion 2-Year-Old I Am A Fool, who was likewise trained by Pelling, driven by Pierce and owned by Perfect World Enterprises.

That colt was retired earlier this season with an injury and will start a new career at stud shortly.

"It's awesome that this horse has stepped up," Pelling said.

"I don't think he ever would have been quite the caliber of I Am A Fool, but we'll never know."

Hometown favorite Georgia Pacific carried the hopes of owners Susan Castelli of Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, John Campbell of North Huntington, Pennsylvania, William Varney of Bangor, Maine and trainer and co-owner Randy Bendis of Bridgeville, Pennsylvania into the final.

While they didn't win the big prize, the Western Hanover gelding raced tough to finish second.

"I couldn't have drawn it up any better," said driver Brian Sears.

"He raced a tremendous mile. He got beat by a horse on a hell of a trip."

In the first elimination, Georgia Pacific roared to a 1.50 Adios and track record, and tied the world record (held by Gallo Blue Chip) for a sophomore gelding pacer on a five-eighths-mile track.

The home field advantage continued in the second elimination when Basil Hanover and Mike Wilder came rolling three wide off the turn to nail Geartogear by a nose on the wire in 1.50.3.

The Arturo gelding is trained and co-owned by Meadows-based Dan Alymeyer of Washington, Pennsylvania, along with Richard Kelson of New York, Barry Waiter of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and David Wills of Newark, Ohio.

It wasn't another local horse, but it was a third gelding that took the final elimination, and Timesareachanging did it the same record time – 1.50 -- that Georgia Pacific did in the first.

He bettered that record just an hour and 27 minutes later.

Courtesy Of Anne Doolin for the Meadows

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