Little Brown Fox, with Yannick Gingras at the controls, wore down longshot Intimidate near the wire to win the $246,521 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old trotters on Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack.
Sent postward the 3-2 second choice behind favored Knows Nothing, Little Brown Fox, a son of champion Muscles Yankee, reached the wire in 1:51.4, a stakes and Canadian record, while besting Intimidate by a neck after a stretch long battle. Knows Nothing, at 6-5, came from fifth but had too much to do and could only finish third, two lengths behind the top pair.
It was the fifth win in 10 starts this year for the Jimmy Takter trainee, whose only bad outing came in his Hambletonian elimination on July 28 at the Meadowlands, when making a break into the first turn as the even money choice.
He'd come into the Simcoe off a third-place finish in the Colonial at Harrah's Philadelphia, behind Googoo Gaagaa and Hambo winner Market Share.
Cold Certified, a 60-1 outsider, blazed a record-equaling opener quarter of :26.1, before slowing to the half in :54.4. He was then overtaken by 25-1 Intimidate and driver Ron Pierce, who opened a couple of lengths on his pursuers after three-quarters was reached in 1:22.4.
But in a prolonged stretch duel, Little Brown Fox eventually got the better of the pacesetter near the wire.
"Usually my horse is pretty handy, but for some reason tonight, when I warmed him up, he was as relaxed as a horse could be,” explained Gingras. "But the minute he hit the track in the post parade, he was gone. I was trying to get him to relax but he really didn't want to. Thank God he (the leader) was going that fast or otherwise I would have been off and rolling myself.
"(In the Hambo elim) I was racing him pretty wide in the first turn and I had to check him so I wouldn't hit the guy in front of me. Unfortunately, he made a break. But he's a very fast horse, a good horse. Out of the whole year, that's the one race I'd like to take back.”
Co-owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Brittany Farms, Little Brown Fox has now banked more than $450,000 this year, also helped by his victory in the $153,000 Stanley Dancer July 14 at the Meadowlands.
It was also the third year in a row that trainer Takter had won the Simcoe or a division of it, following victories by Muscle Massive in 2010 and Pastor Stephen in 2011. He also won the 2010 filly edition with Costa Rica. (WEG)