Classic Martine put an end to Perfect Alliance's double-digit win streak as she swept by the popular trotting mare in deep stretch to capture the $266,000 Armbro Flight Stakes on Saturday night (June 14) at Mohawk. Reigning Horse of the Year Bee A Magician finished ninth.
Classic Martine and Tim Tetrick were fastest off the gate, but Bee A Magician, last year's Horse of the Year on both sides of the boarder, brushed to the front in the first turn to clock the opening panel in :27. Perfect Alliance, who entered the final with an 11-for-11 record this year, was parked out, but was able to clear to the lead before the half in :56. The 1-2 favorite held command and marched past the three-quarters in 1:24.
After following in third, Classic Martine found open racetrack at the top of the stretch. The Chris Oakes trainee dug in, trotting past the Perfect Alliance just strides before the wire to win by a length. The mare stopped the clock in 1:52.1, which was a fifth of a second off the stakes record. Perfect Alliance finished second and Rockin With Dewey was third.
"Leaving the gate there I wanted to get out and get a position,” said Tetrick from the winner's circle. "I'd seen Yannick (Gingras) get his mare (Perfect Alliance) in place and thought, ‘this is going to be perfect. I am going to follow her.' And Brian (Sears) put Bee A Magician in place. I was content sitting behind those two great mares. Luckily I got to squeeze out at the top of the lane and my mare trotted to the house really well.”
The reinsmain praised Classic Martine's gate speed.
"She is so quick off the wings and when she gets there she will follow and she is very content to sit in. When she gets room late, she can really get to the house. She is just a really nice mare.”
When asked to compare Classic Martine and champion mare Buck I St Pat, Tetrick said, "They are a little different. The other mare (Buck I St Pat) has high speed from the back, most of the time. But this mare is very handy. She can leave the gate in :27 or :26 if you have to and then she gets home in :27. It makes her very versatile.”
The daughter of Classic Photo-Drinking Days has a lifetime record of 16-8-4 from 32 starts. With the triumph, the trotting miss pushed her earnings to C$718,424 for owners Hauser Bros Rcng Ent LLC, Susan Oakes, Conrad Zurich and Edwin Gold. (WEG)