One More Laugh favored in $300,000 Cane Pace
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One More Laugh drew the rail and is the morning line favorite at 2-1 in the 56th edition of the Cane Pace to be held at Freehold Raceway on Labor Day.
The Meadowlands Pace winner for co-owner/trainer Ray Schnittker, who's looking for his first ever Cane Pace victory, took the bye last week and did not compete in the elimination. Tim Tetrick, who recently surpassed $10 million for the year before any other driver (for the fourth consecutive season), will handle the gelded son of McArdle.
George Teague, Jr. -- already a Cane Pace-winning trainer with Total Truth in 2006 and twice the runner-up in the last three editions -- sends out a pair of hopefuls. Teague's I'm Gorgeous (4-1) with Andy Miller has post four and comes into the final off a track record equaling 1:50.4 in the $100,000 elimination. Teague's other colt -- the Adios winner Delmarvalous -- took the bye last week and goes from post two and is second choice at 5-2.
Teague on Delmarvalous: "In the Adios (where he started from post eight) on the final turn, I didn't think he would even hit the board. The pocketsitter came out on him and I thought that was it. But he really showed me something. He fought them off and dug in. In the Holmes, he got a much better trip, but he still had to come out of the pocket and pace strong to the wire."
Brian Sears will drive Delmarvalous. Sears won the 2007 Cane Pace with Always A Virgin.
The other colt who took the bye was George Berkner’s BG's Folly, the New Jersey Classic winner and one of four sons of Rock N Roll Hanover in this final field. He drew post eight, is 8-1, and will be driven by Daniel Dube.
Rockin Image (5-1) drew post five for Yannick Gingras and Jimmy Takter. The Holmes and Meadowlands Pace elimination winner will try and give Jimmy Takter his second straight Cane Pace. The last trainer to win this race back-to-back was the late Ken Seeber in 1989-1990 with Dancing Master and Jake And Elwood. Yannick Gingras is searching for his first Cane Pace.
Takter commenting on Rockin Image: "Rockin Image had throat surgery before the Pace eliminations. I always knew he was a top colt.”
In the history of the Cane Pace, five times a trainer has won this race consecutively and six times a driver has accomplished this. If Jimmy Takter does win the Cane Pace, it would give him a sweep of the year's first three Triple Crown races -- having already captured the Yonkers Trot with On The Tab and the Hambletonian with Muscle Massive.
Ron Pierce will handle Woodstock from post seven at 12-1, a horse who was a strong second via the uncovered route last week for Noel Daley. Woodstock dominated at Freehold in a NJSS race the week before the Cane elimination in 1:52.4 and races for the Brittany Farms, Adam Victor and Son and the Woodstock Stable. Pierce will be going for his fifth Cane Pace victory.
Filling out the field is Urgent Action and Valentino. Urgent Action was the fifth and final qualifier in last week's elimination. With a big upset, this son of the final crop of Artsplace can make some history. After all, it would be 44 years between Cane Pace wins for trainer Jerry Silverman if he does it; he won this race in 1966 with Triple Crown winner Romeo Hanover.
Silverman on Urgent Action: "I've had good success with the Artsplace line. I hate to see it come to an end. My colt may not be of the caliber of these others, but they'll know he's in there."
Urgent Action will be guided by David Miller from post three at 20-1 morning line odds.
Valentino, post six at 6-1, will be handled by George Brennan who is coming off his very first driving title at the Meadowlands and en route to his biggest money year ($8.3 million as of September 1). Valentino is trained by Lou Pena, also coming off his initial title at the Big M.
The Little Brown Jug goes September 23 and the Triple Crown for pacers concludes on November 6 with the Messenger Stakes.
The field for the Cane Pace Final with drivers and morning line odds:
1-One More Laugh-Tim Tetrick-2-1
3-Urgent Action-David Miller-20-1
4-I’m Gorgeous-Andy Miller-4-1
5-Rockin Image-Yannick Gingras-5-1
8-BG’s Folly-Daniel Dube-8-1