East Rutherford, NJ — An extra eighth of a mile can make the difference, and that seemed to be the case when 23-1 shot Crystal Fashion drove by heavy favorite Atlanta nearing the wire to capture the $450,000 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-olds at The Meadowlands on Saturday night (July 13) for driver Tim Tetrick.
The outcome of the race appeared to go through the 1-5 favorite Atlanta, as Yannick Gingras got her away in third in the early stages while Crystal Fashion wrestled the lead from Custom Cantab through a :26.1 opening quarter. Gingras hit the accelerator, and Atlanta hustled to the front after the opening fraction. Atlanta appeared in complete command through a half in :55 and three-quarters of a mile in 1:23.1, with Manchego on the offensive but Gingras appearing relaxed and ready to sprint home.
The fourth quarter had Atlanta leading through a 1:50.2 mile, but the mare started to bear out, enabling Tetrick and Crystal Fashion to find room along the pylons to go by the favorite. Custom Cantab and David Miller flew to the finish and came up just a nose off the winner, with Atlanta third past the finish line. However, a judges’ inquiry into the race revealed that Custom Cantab had in fact interfered with three horses — Phaetosive, Fiftydallarbill and Six Pack — and was placed behind them as a result. The revised order of finish elevated Atlanta to second, with Six Pack placed third and Manchego fourth.
Crystal Fashion is a 4-year-old gelding by Cantab Hall trained by Jim Campbell for Fashion Farms LLC of New Hope, Pa. Sent off at 23-1, Crystal Fashion returned $48.20 in his third win of the season in seven starts.
“I wanted to be forwardly placed,” said Tetrick following the victory. “I followed Atlanta last week and it didn’t work out. I thought the extra distance would help my horse.”
Crystal Fashion stopped the clock in 2:04.3.