Betterthancheddar takes Cane in 1:49.2
September 10, 2011
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The 57th edition of the Cane Pace, worth $342,875, was raced at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Saturday night and Betterthancheddar pulled off a mild upset victory. Starting from post seven, Betterthancheddar was fired to the front by Yannick Gingras and set a :25.4 opening quarter before yielding and enjoying a trip in the pocket until deep in the stretch drive. Betterthancheddar slipped up the inside to score in 1:49.2 at odds of 4-1.
Although Betterthancheddar is not Little Brown Jug eligible, by virtue of his victory in the Cane he can now be supplemented to the Jug by his connections for a $45,000 supplemental fee. Trainer Casie Coleman posted on her facebook page "Jug bound," so it appears likely Betterthancheddar is headed next to Delawarea, Ohio.
As Betterthancheddar paced away to the early lead at the start of the Cane, the field was stacked up in the first turn, with two tiers racing side-by-side. Meadowlands Pace champ Roll With Joe, driven by Tim Tetrick, had started from post eight and got caught on the outside, third-over behind Shadyshark Hanover, Eighteen and Powerful Mist.
After Betterthancheddar put up his quick opener, Jim Morrill Jr. sent Shadyshark Hanover up to challenge, which resulted in a :53.2 half and cleared, but the battled resulted in a :27.3 second panel. Then Corey Callahan took a shot with Eighteen, but did not threaten the leader. That's when Tetrick had to send Roll With Joe three wide on the Pocono backstretch, and the pace remained fast as Shadyshark broke the beam at the three-quarter marker at 1:20.4 (:27.2 third panel).
Roll With Joe barely got up to Shadyshark's wheel before the head of the lane, then faded. Shadyshark held on for a bit before Betterthancheddar took aim on the inside, with Townslight Hanover and Powerful Mist also turning in late rallies to finish second and third, respectively.
Betterthancheddar, a son of Bettor's Delight, came into the Cane off of a 1:53 qualifier at Mohawk on Sept. 2 with a closing quarter in :26.2. The colt now has five wins in 11 starts this season for owners Steve Calhoun and West Wins Stable, who campaigned 2010 North America Cup champ Sportswriter.
Earlier in the evening, Pocono also hosted two divisions of the Shady Daisy, an event for 3-year-old pacing fillies that was also originally scheduled at Tioga. In the first division, which carried a purse of $60,050, Krispy Apple paced away from her foes after taking the lead on the back stretch, winning in 1:50. Tim Tetrick did the driving for Mark Kesmodel, as the filly won for the 9th time in 14 tries this season. Some Girls Do finished second and Miss Annie J was third.
In the second Shady Daisy split, with a purse of $62,050, Drop The Ball fought hard for the early lead and held up strong late to win in 1:50. Gingras was aboard for trainer Ross Croghan, as Drop The Ball picked up her second win of the year, with the other coming in the Mistletoe Shalee at The Meadowlands. Myluvmylife finished second while New Album, who upset See You At Peelers last Sunday, was third.