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Favorites sweep Metro eliminations

August 26, 2012
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The top 2-year-old pacers on the continent were in action Saturday night at Mohawk, but it was the three favorites who brought their ‘A' game in their respective $40,000 eliminations for next Saturday's $1 million Metro Pace.
 
Fresh off of winning one of last week's Nassagaweya divisions, Apprentice Hanover, Captaintreacherous and Odds On Equuleus each returned to victory lane.
 
In the first Metro elimination, Apprentice Hanover front-stepped his way to the winner's circle.
 
The Ben Wallace trainee and driver Jody Jamieson settled into fourth as Smokealittlesmoke (Luc Ouellette) clocked the opening panel in :26.4. When the field of eight entered the backstretch, Rocknmyjeans (Yannick Gingras) made a bid for the lead from third and the 3-5 favorite, Apprentice Hanover, tracked his cover.
 
As soon as Rocknmyjeans made the front, Apprentice Hanover took his shot for command, clearing after clocking the half in :55 from the outside. The colt marched past the three-quarters in 1:22.2 before stopping the clock in a new mark of 1:49.4. A late-surging Vegas Vacation (Brian Sears) was beaten 1 1/4 lengths for second and Rocknmyjeans held on for third.
 
"This colt just continues to impress me in everything he does,” Jamieson said following the triumph. "I loved him in his first qualifier and he has just been awesome ever since.
 
"He pulled up twice down the stretch tonight and I just had to yell at him to make sure he paced through the wire,” he added. "He was really unreal tonight. I am really looking forward to next week and being able to pick my post.”
 
The son of first-crop sire Somebeachsomewhere, who is owned by Brad Grant, is four-for-five in his debut season. With the win, Apprentice Hanover increased his earnings to $95,592.
 
In the second and fastest dash, Captaintreacherous equaled his lifetime best with a 1:49.3 performance.
 
The Tony Alagna pupil got away third behind leader Johny Rock (Andy Miller), who put up the first quarter in flashy :26.2, and pocket-sitter Urbanite Hanover (Keith Oliver). Into the backside, driver Tim Tetrick powered the 1-9 favorite, Captaintreacherous, to the front where he remained the tempo-setter, putting up fractions of :54.3 and 1:23.1 en route to a three-length triumph. Johny Rock and Captive Audience (Brian Sears) got up for second and third, respectively.
 
"When we were training him down, he always acted like he just had a little bit extra,” said Alagna from the winner's circle. "Every time you would ask him for a little more speed, he'd find another gear, but his strong suit has always been his temperament. He has great manners.”
 
With the victory, the son of Somebeachsomewhere notched his fourth straight score in five starts and lifted his bankroll to $241,337. Captaintreacherous, who was a $250,000 purchase at the 2011 Lexington Select Yearling Sale, is owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and breeder White Birch Farm.
 
In the third and final Metro elimination, Odds On Equuleus rallied home off a second-over trip to lower his lifetime mark to 1:50.1.
 
The Robin Schadt trainee sat behind fractions of :26.3, :55.2 and 1:23.3, which were cut by Martini Hanover (Dave Miller).When Wake Up Peter (Andy Miller) launched a first-over attack at the half, Odds On Equuleus followed.
 
Into the stretch, Hall of Fame driver John Campbell and the 1-2 favorite vaulted off of second-over cover to score by one length over Rockin Amadeus (Yannick Gingras). Fool Me Once (Sylvain Filion) rallied for third.
 
"I always say, these things always get tougher as you go along,” said Campbell after the victory. "He raced well last week and was in a little tougher group tonight and had to pace home. We were lucky we missed the other two winners (Apprentice Hanover, Captaintreacherous) in our eliminations this week. That was huge as well.
 
"I think he will pace faster depending on the fractions,” he continued. "He's a horse that just delivers a real good last quarter as long as you don't use him too hard that first part.”
 
With the win, the son of Art Major-Latte Lady notched his fourth consecutive victory in five starts and pushed his earnings to $88,471 for owner Odds On Racing.
 
The top three finishers and one fourth-pace finisher drawn by lot have advanced to the $1 million Metro Pace, set for Saturday, Sept. 1 at the Campbellville oval. All three winners got to choose their posts for the final.
 
Here is the field for this year's Metro Pace:
1. Johny Rock
2. Odds On Equuleus
3. Apprentice Hanover
4. Captaintreacherous
5. Captive Audience
6. Dress The Part
7. Rockin Amadeus
8. Fool Me Once
9. Rocknmyjeans
10. Vegas Vacation
AE: Wake Up Peter
(WEG)
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