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Mister Big equals world record in Ben Franklin win

July 26, 2009

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Mister Big and driver Brian Sears took advantage of a first-over trip to capture the $500,000 Ben Franklin final at Harrah’s Chester Sunday afternoon in a world record-equaling 1:48 performance. Runner-up in last year’s edition, Mister Big hooked up with favored Art Official coming out of the final turn before drawing clear by three parts of a length.
Starting from the rail, Sears was able to get away third behind Art Official and Ron Pierce while Foiled Again, driven by Yannick Gingras, dropped in second. Art Official flashed past the quarter in :25.2, but shortly before the half (:54.1), Sears was out and moving with Mister Big.
“Ronnie had to use his horse pretty hard in the first quarter and I didn't have any traffic trouble,” Sears said of the trip. “I didn't really want to be in the two hole and first up was a good spot.”
The tempo picked up in the third panel, paced in :26.3, as Mister Big closed Art Official’s margin to three-quarters of a length. The Virgil Morgan Jr. trainee matched strides with his rival as they reached the head of the stretch before kicking clear as the two horses raced to the wire.
“It's never over until it's over, but he felt super,” added Sears. “I gave him his head a little bit at the head of the lane and he opened up a little bit, so I felt comfortable.”
Art Official finished second while Foiled Again raced third, but was later disqualified and placed fifth behind Won The West and Bettor Sweet. The victory was the 32nd lifetime score for Mister Big. The 6-year-old son of Grinfromeartoear is owned by Joseph Muscara. The win pushed his career earnings to nearly $3.7 million.
The time equaled Artistic Fella’s world record mile, set in last year's Ben Franklin final.
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