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Mister Big & Sears on Top for Canada\'s Big Race

August 16, 2008
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Mister Big made a big move in deep stretch to capture the 66th edition of Canada\'s most prestigious race for older pacers, the C$702,000 Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk Racetrack.
 
Driver Brian Sears played a waiting game with the 5-year-old son of Grinfromeartoear, while Eagle Luck and Sylvain Filion made a sharp move to the early lead from post two, with Western Shore and Mark MacDonald hustling into the pocket spot from the rail. The latter pair didn\'t stay there long, however, ducking off of cover and moving up to take the lead in a :27 first quarter.

They were immediately challenged by Greg Grismore, driving Won The West, who briefly overtook while under fire from Tim Tetrick and the even-money co-favorite, Artistic Fella. When Artistic Fella failed to clear through a :54.1 half-mile, Won The West battled back to the front, but it was Sears and Mister Big who were waiting to pounce from a perfect position in fourth as the field swept past the three-quarter pole, in 1:21.4.

Coming into the stretch it was clear it was not to be Artistic Fella\'s night, but Mister Big, who also went off at even money, had plenty of gas in the tank as he accelerated to the front and under the wire in 1:50.

Won The West finished an apparent second, but a judge\'s inquiry determined that because of an inner pylon violation in the stretch, when the horse went inside two consecutive pylons, he would be placed fourth. That meant Western Shore was awarded the place spot, and Eagle Luck was moved up from fourth to third.

Brian Sears, who has now won this race three years in a row, said, \"It just played out right in my hand, the way the race unfolded. My horse put out a great effort and it just worked out perfect. I just didn\'t want to get in too big of a hurry back there and rush him at any time. I know he likes to close, and he could probably pick them up, the way they were battling. It just worked out perfect.\"

This was the fifth-consecutive victory for Mister Big, who was the runner-up in the Canadian Pacing Derby last year to the superstar pacer Lis Mara.

Virgil Morgan, Jr. trains the $2.7 million winner for Joseph Muscara of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. He was bred by Kentuckiana Farms General Partnership. (WEG)

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