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Mister Big\'s debut spoiled by Montecito N

June 12, 2009

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With the first two choices in the wagering at odds of less than even money, a thrilling stretch duel was inevitable. It was, however, Montecito N ($3.80) reeling off a third straight win in the $35,000 Nansemond for Open Handicap pacers on Thursday evening at Harrah\'s Chester Casino and Racetrack, holding off world champion and triple-millionaire Mister Big in the final strides of a 1:50.1 mile.

The 6-year-old Armbro Operative gelding brushed to the front, under minimal pressure until the mid-point of the backstretch, when Mister Big (Brian Sears) overtook the pocket-sitting Lucky Bettor (Yannick Gingras) for the second spot. Kept at bay on the entire far turn, Mister Big entered the stretch under a full-out drive, but was unable to run down a plucky and most responsive Montecito N (Tim Tetrick) in the stretch.

Trainer Monte Gelrod owns Montecito N in partnership with Bongiorno, Heffering, and Reynolds. (Harrah\'s Chester)

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