One More Laugh wins snowy Cleveland Classic
December 04, 2010
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One More Laugh got the "last" laugh of the 2010 stakes season Saturday night at Northfield Park, winning the $172,000 Jay Auto Group Cleveland Classic in 1:52.1. But it was actually Mother Nature who was probably chuckling a bit as the race was contested under blizzard-like conditions that virtually obscured any clear view.
Although a light snow had fallen throughout the program, shortly before the Cleveland Classic horses went postward the conditions took a turn for the worse as the snow and wind picked up and the temperature began dropping. Leaving from post two, Tim Tetrick was able to take the lead with One More Laugh from the pole-sitting Valentino and Aaron Merriman, with the Meadowlands Pace champion reaching the first timer in :26.3.
Tetrick was able to rate One More Laugh to a :55.1 half and it was there that David Miller tipped Jackets Required from fourth. With Miller's move happening in front of the grandstand it was easy to see, but heading down the backstretch it was anyone's guess--except for the drivers--as to what was happening on the track.
Track announcer Ayers Ratliff exclaimed that he thought Jackets Required put his nose in front of One More Laugh at the 1:23.1 three-quarters, but then it wasn't until deep stretch when it was One More Laugh who still had the lead but had another challenger: Valentino, who had closed up the inside passing lane.
One More Laugh and Valentino reached the wire together but the photo finish showed the former's nose in front in 1:52.1. Jackets Required held for third with Aracache Hanover and driver Doug McNair fourth.
"He left out of there good...I didn't want to get caught behind horses," said Tetrick in the winner's circle. "And then we got a second-quarter breather."
Tetrick, who won his second straight Cleveland Classic having scored with If I Can Dream last year, said that Jackets Required nearly took the lead but his charged remained game. "David's horse actually cleared me...but my horse dug back in to win," he said.
Trained by Ray Schnittker, who shares ownership of the 3-year-old McArdle gelding with Jerry Silva and Creative Racing Stable, One More Laugh finishes out the 2010 season with nine wins in 19 starts and nearly $1.6 million in earnings. Overall, One More Laugh has a career bankroll topping $2.1 million. He was a $15,000 supplemental entry into the Cleveland Classic, just as If I Can Dream was in 2009.