Donttellmeagain is known as a little horse among his connections but he came up big to win Saturday’s $250,000 Graduate Series final for 4-year-old pacers by a neck over Miso Fast in a career-best 1:47.2 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Western Joe finished third.
Donttellmeagain, sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the field of 10, saw Western Joe lead the way to an opening quarter in :26.2 before moving from fourth to the front on the backstretch. Donttellmeagain held the lead only briefly as Miso Fast brushed to the top prior to reaching the half in :53.2.
Miso Fast continued to lead, hitting three-quarters in 1:20.2, but was unable to hold off Donttellmeagain in the stretch. It was the 15th career victory in 26 races for Donttellmeagain, who has finished worse than third only twice.
"I had to make a decision," winning driver Tim Tetrick said. "I knew (Miso Fast) was going to get an easy lead and if I gave him four or five lengths I wasn’t going to be able to beat him. I made a quick decision and got up there quick and got to follow the horse I had to beat, I thought."
Donttellmeagain won for the first time since capturing his seasonal debut in a preliminary round of the Graduate at 1-1/8 miles at the Meadowlands on May 5. He held his own, though, against older horses in the Ben Franklin Pace, finishing second in his elimination and fourth in the final.
"He’s chased at them and given them a run," Tetrick said. "They knew that he was in the race every time. The little guy is the little engine that could and it fits him pretty good."
Added Jo Ann Looney-King, the wife of winning trainer Jim King Jr., "He’s just a wonderful little horse. He’s the smallest horse in the race, but he’s got a lot of grit. It’s great."
Donttellmeagain, a gelded son of Dragon Again out of Donttellmewhattodo, is owned by Paton Racing Stables. He has won two of six starts this season and pushed his lifetime earnings to $426,460.
Donttellmeagain paid $6.20 to win. (Ken Weingartner/USTA)