'Dragon' Slays World Record In Adios Elim
Exploiting textbook escort service, Custard The Dragon roared from the pocket in the stretch and triumphed in a world-record 1:48.1 Friday in one of three $50,000 eliminations for the Delvin Miller Adios at The Meadows
Racetrack & Casino. Also capturing eliminations were Canadian-owned Alsace Hanover and Rollwithitharry, both piloted by Ron Pierce.
The elim winners will be joined in the $500,000 (est.) Adios final the afternoon of July 30 by Odysseus Bluechip, Hugadragon, Wind Me Up, Real Special, Powerful Mist and Eighteen, who reached the final by virtue of place or show finishes. Trainers Ron Burke (Real Special, Hugadragon) and George Teague, Jr. (Custard The Dragon, Wind Me Up) each will be represented by a pair of finalists next Saturday, when the card will offer more than $1 million in purses.
Montrell Teague hustled Custard The Dragon to the pocket behind Powerful Mist, who blazed the opening three panels in 1:21.1. That put most of the field away, but Custard The Dragon stayed on his helmet, popped the pocket and downed the game Powerful Mist by two and a half lengths. Eighteen was third.
“He got the ideal trip, the trip that I wanted,” Montrell Teague said. “We found the best horse in there and followed. He’s best when he explodes at the end of it. We’ll probably give him an easier week so he can come back fresh next week.”
The mile was the fastest ever by a three-year-old colt pacer on a five-eighths-mile track, knocking a tick from the previous mark jointly held by Shadow Play and Dali, and bettered The Meadows’ all-age pacing mark of 1:48.4 that Alsace Hanover had equalled only 30 minutes earlier. It also was the fastest win in the budding career of the 20-year-old Teague.
“I loved the end of it,” Teague said. “Seeing that last fraction was amazing.”
Ted Gewertz, Robert Feldman, Fannin Racing and George Teague, Jr. own Custard The Dragon, a son of Dragon Again-Eternal Justice.
Alsace Hanover wasn’t quite as fast, but he was as impressive in a different way, as Pierce had him out and rolling before the quarter to attack a seven and a half-length deficit.
“That was what he wanted to do, so I just went along with him,” Pierce said. “He relaxed real nice once he reached the front. I never raced him before, but he shows some wicked miles. He acted like he wanted to get going early. Sometimes when you don’t know a horse, you do things his way.”
The effort by the gelded son of The Panderosa-Arts Masterpiece was an amazing blend of speed and stamina as he drew off to triumph by four and a quarter lengths. Wind Me Up closed well for second while early leader Real Special saved show.
Tony O’Sullivan trains Alsace Hanover for John Fielding of Toronto, Ont.
Rollwithitharry, a 10-1 long shot, also sustained a first-over bid that carried him to victory in 1:50.2, three-quarters of a length better than Odysseus Bluechip. Hugadragon at 25-1 earned his spot in the final with a late rally.
“It was a tough trip, but he’s a tough horse himself,” Pierce said. “In the Meadowlands Pace Consolation, he was full of pace but had nowhere to go. So he came into this race good and brave. He felt really good out there. He seemed happy to be racing.”
Jimmy Takter trains Rollwithitharry, a son of Rocknroll Hanover-Queen Otra, for New Jersey's Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding of Toronto, Ont. and Louie Camara of Puslinch, Ont.
(With files from The Meadows)