The photo finish camera could not separate Alexie Mattosie and Bettor Sweet at the wire in their $50,000 division of the Presidential Series on Saturday night at Meadowlands Racetrack.
The free-for-all pacers finished in a dead heat for the win in 1:49.4. Driven by David Miller, Alexie Mattosie ($2.10) sat a pocket trip behind Presidential Order and split horses in the stretch to post his first victory in three starts this season. Nik Drennan trains the 5-year-old son of No Pan Intended for Will Alempijevic, the general manager of Portland Meadows in Oregon, and Donald Lindsey, Paul Kleinpaste and Dennis Mavrin, all of Ontario. Alexie Mattosie has a career slate of 19 wins in 61 starts and $335,302 in earnings.
Bettor Sweet ($3) sat fourth through the early part of the mile and tracked River Shark as he seized command from Presidential Order on the final turn. After battling River Shark through the lane, Bettor Sweet briefly drew clear before Alexie Mattosie shot up to his inside for the tie. Bettor Sweet, driven by John Campbell, notched his first win in three starts this year and 15th overall. Thomas Cancelliere trains the millionaire son of Bettor's Delight for his brother, John Cancelliere of Clark, N.J.
Vlos ($5) drafted behind Western Shore and squeezed through an opening in deep stretch to best the pacesetter by a length and a quarter in the second Presidential division. Driven by Brian Sears, Vlos paced the mile in 1:50.1. Real Celebration sat fourth on the pylons the whole way and got up to finish third.
Vlos, trained by Eric Mollor, is three-for-four this season. Lifetime, he has won 22 of 60 starts and $358,758. Nancy Spaziani of Washington Township, N.J. owns the 7-year-old son of Dragon Again.
The $127,000 Presidential final will be contested Saturday, Jan. 29. (Meadowlands)