Weekend Recap 6/16

Captaintreacherous wins the North American Cup at Mohawk 

On one of harness racing’s biggest nights, one of the sport’s biggest current stars, Captaintreacherous, lived up to his billing by winning the $1,000,000 North American Cup at Mohawk.  Sent off as the 7/5 favorite, Captaintreacherous (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) and Tim Tetrick found themselves back in fifth early on some eight lengths behind a solid pace up front set by Captive Audience who went through an opening quarter mile in 26.1.  Fool Me Once (BetPTC.com Top Selection) took over at the half mile marker and Sylvain Filion had him one the lead as the field turned for home.  Captaintreacherous looked to be in deep water as he wasn’t keeping up with his cover into the stretch, but once they got into the clear, Captaintreacherous’ big strides became too much for his rivals and he pulled away late to win by a length and a half, stopping the clock in 1:48.3.  Twilight Bonfire got up for second at 96/1 while Wake Up Peter closed from ninth early on to grab the third position.

Ultimate Destiny takes the Steady Growth at Woodbine

It was the first weekend of Woodbine racing at BetPTC.com, and a stakes double with full fields awaited players.  In the $125,000 Steady Growth Stakes it was Ultimate Destiny and Eurico Da Silva who came from just off the pace to grab the win.  Sent off at odds of 7/2, Ultimate Destiny (BetPTC.com Top Selection) was fourth early on as big long shots Haverhill and Seen It all Before went out to set the pace.  Heavy favorite Fifty Proof (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) sat a perfect stalking spot throughout the race, but as they turned into the stretch, he just couldn’t keep pace with his rivals.  Good Better Best took over at the top of the lane and led by a length and a half with a furlong to go.  But Ultimate Destiny took dead aim on him and wore him down in the final strides to get up and win by a neck.

In the Zadracarta Stakes it was Northern Passion (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who rolled from far back to get up in the final strides to win.  Sent off as the heavy even money favorite, Northern Passion and Luis Contreras were back in seventh early on as the pacesetter Moonlit Baby went brutally fast early on, folding as the field reached the top of the daunting Woodbine stretch.  Why Katherine took over the lead in mid-stretch, but Northern Passion found daylight and gradually got to that runner, getting up in the final few jumps to win by a neck.

Fort Larned returns to his best form in winning the Stephen Foster 

Fort Larned was disappointing in his two starts after his Breeders’ Cup Classic win last year.  But the champ was back in his finest form on Saturday Night as he dominated the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs.  Sent off as the 3/1 fourth choice in the small field of six, Fort Larned wasted no time and went right to the front, which seems to be his best running style.  Jockey Brian Hernandez got him into a high cruising speed and he maintained a two length lead throughout much of the early going.  As they went into the far turn he was being chased by Take Charge Indy and Successful Dan, both of whom were being asked to produce more and both of whom weren’t catching up to the leader.  Fort Larned continued to pour it on though, eventually pulling clear to win by six and a quarter lengths.  Longshot Golden Ticket (BetPTC.com longshot) got up to finish second, four lengths ahead of Ron the Greek (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) who ran third.

In the Grade 3 Regret it was the fast closing Kitten’s Dumplings (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who rallied from tenth early on to get up and win with ease by two and a half lengths under jockey Joel Rosario.  Praia (BetPTC.com Longshot) got up to finish second and complete a $24 exacta.  Funny Proposition pulled off maybe the upset of the night as she scored in the Grade 2 Fleur De Lis, besting Royal Delta (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who was a likely single on almost everyone’s tickets at 1/5.  Funny Proposition went right to the front and never looked back as she poured it on down the stretch to win by five lengths.  Royal Delta looked a little sluggish in her first start since racing in Dubai, finishing second, just three parts of a length ahead of She’s All In (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection).  And in the Matt Winn Stakes it was Code West who got up as the favorite, just catching Uncaptured in the final jumps.

Gary Stevens comeback continues with Grade 1 on Byrama in the Vanity

Gary Stevens comeback seems to have exceeded everyone’s expectations, as he added another Grade 1 to the mantle with a win on Byrama in yesterday’s Grade 1 Vanity Handicap.  Longshot Royal Tiger went out and opened up a big lead in the nine furlong event early but as the field went into the final turn, she began to shorten stride.  Byrama and More Chocolate (BetPTC.com Top Selection) began to move in tandem and looked like they were going to slug it out the entire homestretch.  But Byrama had more gas in the tank and pulled away to a convincing score, winning by three and a half lengths in the end over More Chocolate and race favorite Lady of Fifty (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who ran third.

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