All Bets Off, overlooked by the betting public at odds of 7-1, took advantage of a perfect trip to win the inaugural $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers in 1:50.3 on Friday night (Aug. 15) at Northfield Park. National Debt took the $100,000 Milstein consolation by edging Limelight Beach on the wire in 1:49.4, which broke the track mark for 3-year-old pacing colts.
In the main event, Matt Kakaley was in the sulky for trainer Ron Burke behind All Bets Off. The son of Bettor's Delight-Armbro Penelope won for the seventh time in 10 season's starts, while his share of the purse took his 2014 earnings to $511,175. All Bets Off is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, The Panhellenic Stable and Rosemary Shelswell.
Staring from post position two, All Bets Off got the first call for the lead, with Luck Be Withyou second and 1-5 favorite McWicked third. But as the field came off the first turn, David Miller brushed McWicked to the front and he was in command at the opening panel in :26.1.
Miller backed the field down through a :54.1 half-mile clocking with All Bets Off chilly in the pocket and Luck Be Withyou back in third. Heading to the 1:22.1 three-quarter panel, driver Ron Pierce pulled Luck Be Withyou first over but he could not pass McWicked as the leader was still on top at the head of the stretch.
However, Kakaley steered All Bets Off ($16.60) into the passing lane and he easily went by the tiring leader to reach the finish line on top. McWicked and Luck Be Withyou finished in a dead head for second. Stevensville was fourth and Let's Drink On It finished fifth.
"I got the trip I wanted," said winning driver Matt Kakaley. "I wanted to push out and make sure there was enough room for Ronnie (Pierce on Luck Be Withyou) to get behind me and then just follow David (Miller on McWicked). You know it worked out perfect.
"In the last turn I thought David was kind of backing into me but he was done. I just needed room and once I got it he exploded.
"He's a good little horse. When he gets a trip like that he'll give you a big run. He didn't disappoint tonight."
"It's a big win for him," added trainer Ron Burke. "It's probably his biggest race of the year.
"We knew coming back this year he was a very good horse. We tried to get him in as many stakes races as we can. Thank God you guys (Northfield) stepped up and Ohio's great again. Northfield's a great place to race and this (Milstein Memorial) is a huge addition. You don't have $400,000 races falling out of a tree everywhere, so we're very appreciative of Northfield Park and the state of Ohio for enabling us to race here again." (USTA Communications Department)