EAST RUTHERFORD — Captaintreacherous showed another side of his greatness in winning the $635,000 Meadowlands Pace on Saturday night.
Racing on the lead for a change, Captaintreacherous showed his heels to harness racing's top 3-year-old pacers by scoring an impressive 3 ¼ length victory over Odds on Equuleus to remain unbeaten in 2013.
Driven by Tim Tetrick, Captaintreacherous paced the mile for 3-year-olds in 1 minute, 48.1 seconds, winning for the sixth time in as many starts this year. The 2012 pacer of the year returned $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10 with his 14th win in 16 career starts.
"My horse, whenever he sees somebody, he'll go," Tetrick said after his winning the Meadowlands Pace for the third time. "Luckily tonight he didn't have to do that. I asked him at the top of the lane and he took off good for me. He's been good all year. He keeps getting the job done and I'm so happy that he does."
The victory was out of the ordinary for the Tony Alagna-trained colt who is the son of Somebeachsomewhere. In capturing the North America Cup and the Hempt Stakes earlier this year, Captaintreacherous rallied late and just got up to win.
Tetrick got Captaintreacherous out of the No. 5 post quickly, moved past Rockin Amadeus just before the backstretch and never looked back. Odds On Equuleus seemed to make a move at him at the top of the stretch, but Tetrick added the colt for another gear and they drew clear before cruising to the wire.
Captaintreacherous is the third colt to win the Woodrow Wilson and come back to win the Meadowlands Pace, joining Hall of Famers Niatross and Nihilator.
Odds On Equuleus, who finished second in the elimination for this race last weekend, paid $2.60 and $2.80 in failing to give driver John Campbell his record-extending eighth Meadowlands Pace win. Sunshine Beach finished third and paid $2.60.
"It was a slow half," said George Brennan, the driver of Sunshine Beach. "I knew we would have trouble if the fractions were slow. The slow half killed him. Kudos to the connections of Captaintreacherous and Odds on Equuleus., they raced great. A hot pace would have helped me."
Veteran driver Brian Sears got the inside track on the road to the $1.2 million Hambletonian and the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old trotters here on Aug. 3 by winning the Stanley Dancer and Del Miller Memorials earlier on the card.
In the Stanley Dancer, Sears moved Royalty For Life ($4.80) to the lead on the backstretch and held off late charging Spider Blue Chip to win the photo finish by a head in 1:52. The victory was the first in four starts this year for the George Ducharme-trained colt, who now has to be considered one of the favorites for trotting's biggest race for 3-year-olds.
"Brian said he was good," Ducharme said. "He used him pretty hard and he was pretty happy, he fought right to the wire."
Bee A Magician dazzled in the $265,500 Miller for fillies with a world-record 1:51 mile to stamp herself the overwhelming favorite for the Oaks.
Sears turned her loose entering the final turn and Bee A Magician took it from there. She glided under the wire by 4½-lengths ahead of Frau Blucher to run her season mark to 7 for 7, and 17-1-1 in 20 starts.
"She's just a big strong filly," Sears said. "She's built just the way you want them. She gets over the ground so easy."
The dominant effort sparked speculation that Bee A Magician could bypass the Oaks to tackle the boys in the Hambletonian.
"It's a tricky question," trainer Noel Daley of the Hambletonian buzz. "The fact the format is two heats in one day for a filly is probably a little too much. We'll probably discuss it some more."
Pet Rock ($21.60) took the lead near the half-mile pole, opened daylight in the stretch and scored a three-quarter length victory over Bolt The Duer in the $471,800 William R. Haughton Memorial. The Virgil Morgan Jr.-trained 4-year-old paced the mile in a stakes record 1:47 in winning for the second time in six starts this year.