Older Pacers Shine at Several Tracks

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Ted Black

June 4th, 2017

Although many of the sport's top pacers were idle after competing one week earlier at Harrah's Philadelphia, several horses just below the top tier were on hand at three different ovals on Saturday night.

Last weekend's marquee event was the $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie at Northfield Park, half-mile oval near Cleveland.

After Luck Be Withyou (Aaron Merriman) carved out wicked fractions of 26, 52.4 and 1:20.3, All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) rallied second over and swept to command with a three-wide move on the far turn and edged clear to a two-length score in 1:49.2.

A six-year-old Bettors Delight stallion trained by Ron Burke, All Bets Off has won three times in nine starts and banked $175,000. Last year he captured the inaugural edition of $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft in 1:48.2 and now owns $2.375 million banked in his career.

Several races earlier on the Northfield card, Southwind Amazon (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) gained command soon after the outset and led throughout to score in 1:50 flat in the $20,000 Open Handicap. A seven-year-old Camluck gelding trained by Paul Holzman, Southwind Amazon notched his ninth win in 18 starts year.

That same evening at Pocono Downs, a split "Winners Over" class offered a pair of fast clockings highlighting one barn.

In the first of the two divisions, Scott Rocks (George Napolitano, Jr.) gained command soon after the start and led throughout to score in 1:50 for trainer Chris Oakes. Then two races later on the card, Split The House (Napolitano) delivered a more impressive score when he brushed to command and romped home four lengths clear in 1:48.2 for his first win in three seasonal tries for Oakes.

That same evening at The Meadowlands in New Jersey, Always At My Place (Joe Bongiorno) capped the early daily double when he made three moves and scored in a non-winners of $15,000 last five starts class in 1:48.2 for trainer Ron Burke.

Then just past the midway point of the card, Clear Vision (Scott Zeron) benefited from a pocket trip behind favored Mel Mara (Corey Callahan) and overhauled that one and held safe the late bid of Christen Me (Victor Kirby) to score in 1:48.2. Clear Vision now owns a 5-3-3 slate and $140,000 earned this year and he is just shy of $2.7 million banked in his superb career.