East Rutherford, NJ — Captain Crunch tracked down pacesetting Bettor’s Wish in the final strides to win Saturday’s (Aug. 3) $285,362 Cane Pace for 3-year-old pacers by a neck in 1:48 at The Meadowlands. Semi Tough finished third.
Captain Crunch, the slight 9-5 favorite over Bettor’s Wish, was second throughout the mile as Bettor’s Wish led the way through fractions of :26.2, :54.4 and 1:22. The two dueled down the lane with Captain Crunch sticking his neck in front at the wire.
“He’s a good colt,” winning trainer Nancy Johansson said about the Scott Zeron-driven Captain Crunch. “He gives 110 percent effort every time he races. He lays it out on the track for us every time.”
The Cane Pace is the first jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown, followed by the Messenger Stakes on Aug. 31 at Yonkers Raceway, and the Little Brown Jug at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio on Sept. 19.
Captain Crunch is not eligible to the Messenger but is eligible to the Jug.
“I think we’re going to have to have a little bit of a discussion where we are going to go from here,” Johansson said about Captain Crunch’s future. “He has a few options and we have to pick the best one for him.”
Captain Crunch, who captured the North America Cup in June, has won five of seven races this year and 11 of 17 lifetime. The son of Captaintreacherous out of Sweet Paprika has earned $1.26 million in his career for owners 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms.