Winning driver Jody Jamieson celebrates with the Metro Pace trophy
The $1 million Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack is one of the richest races in North America for 2-year-old pacers. It was a damp and chilly Saturday night in Campbellville, with a stiff breeze, intermittent rains, and temperatures in the low 50's, resulting in a sloppy track. A full field of 10 lined up behind the starter, with Prodigal Seelster sent off as the 9-5 favorite off 4 straight wins including the Battle of Waterloo, a division of the Nassagaweya, and his elimination heat for the Metro Pace. In to challenge him included 2-1 second choice Big Jim, winner of the Dream Maker Stakes and the other Nassagaweya division before winning his elimination heat, and 5-2 third choice Great Vintage, winner of his elimination heat after winning the New York Sires Stake at Yonkers.
Driver Jody Jamieson sent 30-1 Mystician to the lead first time past the stands and he set an opening furlong in 12 4/5 and a quarter in 27 2/5 before giving up the lead to Prodigal Seelster down the backstretch through a half in 55 4/5. The favorite led the field into the stretch through 3/4 in 1:24 2/5 before tiring badly. Great Vintage, who was 4th early, came out wide to take a short lead in mid-stretch but Mystician came back late on the inside to win by 1 1/4 length over late-running 9-1 Feel Like A Fool in 1:53 4/5. It was another 1 1/4 length back to Great Vintage third, while favorite Prodigal Seelster finished ninth beaten 8 3/4 lengths.
# Horse Win Place Show 9-Mystician 61.10 14.20 6.90 5-Rock N Roll Heaven 9.40 6.40 1-Rock Me Please 4.60 Winning time: 1:53.4 $2 Exacta (9-5) paid 539.50 $2 Trifecta (9-5-1) paid 3,375.50 $1 Superfecta (9-5-1-6) paid 15,180.80 Results chart
Mystician in the winner's circle. His driver Jody Jamieson said, "I talked to (trainer) Jeff (Gillis) pre-race and he thought the horse was as good as he's ever been. This horse is way better in the cooler weather. The track isn't really that great but the front end has been holding up most of the night. The horse is aggressive and is a great horse and wants to go forward. So it was easy decision for me at the gate when he had his ears up going in. The track is changing every race. We get a little bit of rain. Then it stops. I didn't want to take anything for granted. I just wanted to be up close and let us make our own luck. The horse was awesome and he did make some luck." Trainer Jeff Gillis added, "I thought pretty early on he was a nice colt. I'd be lying if I thought we'd be winning the Metro but I thought we had a good colt. We did our regular routine this week. We brought him in and trained him here in around 2:12. That's just standard for him." He added that Mystician would go next in the Champlain Stakes next week.
# Horse Win Place Show 4-Idyllic 11.10 3.60 2.60 3-Pretty Katherine 2.30 2.10 1-Strike An Attitude 5.20 Winning time: 1:53 $2 Exacta (4-3) paid 24.30 $2 Trifecta (4-3-1) paid 124.30 $1 Superfecta (4-3-1-8) paid 624.85 Results chart
Idyllic in the winner's circle. Her trainer Casie Coleman, who trained the first 2 finishers, said, "I felt really good coming for home with these fillies. From day one these two fillies (Idyllic and Pretty Katherine) trained down together and I didn't know which one was better and I still don't. I never give the drivers instructions but I was comfortable getting away 1-2. (Pretty Katherine) did all the road work and there was a huge head wind turning for home that she had to deal with. They raced absolutely awesome."
# Horse Win Place Show 4-Won The West 8.60 4.40 3.60 2-Hypnotic Blue Chip 3.10 3.10 7-Bettor Sweet 6.10 Winning time: 1:51.2 $2 Exacta (4-2) paid 29.10 $2 Trifecta (4-2-7) paid 215.40 $1 Superfecta (4-2-7-10) paid 1,265.90 Results chart
Shark Gesture on the outside and 10-1 Bigtime Ball on the inside battled on the front end through fractions of 27 and 55 1/5 with 50-1 Keystone Horatio stalking them third. On the far turn, Shark Gesture broke stride while Hypnotic Blue Chip, 4th early, came out wide to take over a 1/4 length lead at the top of the lane through 3/4 in 1:23 1/5. Won the West, who was 5th for the first 3/4 mile, closed with a rush on the far outside to pass Hypnotic Blue Chip to win by 1 1/2 length in 1:51 2/5. It was just a neck back to 12-1 Bettor Sweet third, while favorite Shark Gesture was 8th beaten 10 3/4 length.
Won The West the winner's circle. His driver Dave Miller said, "I just left the gate. I wanted to make sure I was up close to the front. I decided I’d take back and follow (Hypnotic Blue Chip). The trip worked out great. I had live cover right to the stretch. And I was able to go left (towards the rail), which always helps this horse and he paced good right through the wire. He’s a good horse. (Hypnotic Blue Chip) had a couple of lengths on me. But my horse, once he got straightened away, he took right off."
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