Day At The Track

Alagna handicaps his Adios quintet

03:48 AM 19 Jul 2019 NZST
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Racing Hill’s Adios victory.
Racing Hill’s Adios victory.
Chris Crooden Photo

WASHINGTON, PA, July 18, 2019 -- Entering five horses in the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids isn't a record, but it's a heckuva lot better than average. Harness racing trainer Tony Alagna, who has accomplished that feat for the 53rd edition of the Adios, feels blessed to have such a large contingent of Adios-worthy sophomore pacing colts.

It's nice to bring that many," he says. "We've had a good go at The Meadows, so we're happy to come."

The $475,000 Adios kicks off Saturday at The Meadows with three $25,000 eliminations (races 7, 8, 10); the top three finishers in each elim return for the final. The card, which begins at 1:05 PM, also features a pair of stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers.

The $400,000 final anchors a July 27 program that includes a total of six Grand Circuit stakes as well as a $50,000 Invitational Pace. Foiled Again, who retired as the richest Standardbred all time with more than $7.5 million in earnings, will lead the post parades for the Adios and the Invitational, which has been named in his honor. First post Adios Day is 11:25 AM, with the Adios final scheduled as race 15.

Trainer Ron Burke is believed to hold the record for most Adios entrants when he dropped six in the box in 2017, but Alagna knows his way to the orchids. He won the 2016 Adios with Racing Hill and finished second last year with American History. Here's how Alagna handicaps his quintet:

Odds On Boca Raton (race 7, post 1, Dexter Dunn), who was second in the Hempt Consolation and won his last tune-up in 1:51.1 at Harrah's Philadelphia. "We've been picking and choosing our spots for him, but he's been racing phenomenal. He draws a good spot but in the toughest division. He'll have to go forward off the gate for sure." The son of Captaintreacherous-Captiva Island campaigns for Odds On Racing.

Captain Trevor (race 7, post 9, David Miller), a son of Captaintreacherous-It Was Fascination owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Bradley Grant and Captain Trevor Racing. He won the Hempt Consolation in 1:50.1. "He just continues to get bad post positions. He had a ton of pace in the Meadowlands Pace final. He's very versatile, but he'll have to go forward off the gate to make anything happen."

U S Captain (race 8, post 5, Dunn), third in a Meadowlands Pace elim. "He was parked out the whole way and behind dull cover in that race. With a smoother trip, he can do a lot more damage." Brittany Farms, Grant, Joseph Barbera and U S Captain Racing own the son of Captaintreacherous-American Jewel.

Escapetothebeach (race 10, post 6, Tim Tetrick), whose dam, Shelliscape, banked more than $1.15 million. "He's definitely going in the right direction. He was good off the pace in the Meadowlands Pace final." The son of Somebeachsomewhere is owned by Alagna and Inthegym, Joe Sbrocco, Robert Leblanc and William Donovan.

Captain Cash (race 10, post 7, Andrew McCarthy), who hasn't faced stakes company this year. "He was lightly raced last year, so we've been racing him in non-winners events. We think it's a good time to see if he fits with the better colts." The son of Captaintreacherous-Authorize races for Brittany Farms, Grant, Vincent Barbera and Riverview Racing.

It's no surprise that four of the colts are sons of Captaintreacherous, as Alagna trained that two-time Pacer of the Year.

By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

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