East Rutherford, NJ — Prohibitive favorite Tall Dark Stranger and driver Yannick Gingras commanded sophomore pacers to win the $273,125 Cane Pace on Saturday (Aug. 8) at The Meadowlands. The time for the mile, 1:47.1, is a stakes record and personal best for the son of Bettor’s Delight-Precocious Beauty.
Captain Kirk and Manticore went to the front off the gate, with Moneyman Hill and Put To Right following, as Tall Dark Stranger settled into fifth through a :26.2 first quarter. Manticore snatched the lead for a few steps before Captain Kirk retook that position. Tall Dark Stranger then made his move, going first-over to take the lead through a :52.1 half.
Tall Dark Stranger then began to dominate, cutting three-quarters in 1:21 with Captain Kirk fully extended to maintain the place spot while Capt Midnight led the outer tier, closing fast into the stretch and passing Captain Kirk.
Gingras glanced behind his charge once and drew away to a definitive 3-1/4-length victory. Capt Midnight took the second spot with Captain Kirk finishing third.
It was Tall Dark Stranger’s fourth win in five starts this season for trainer Nancy Takter.
“He was better today; we added Lasix to him,” Takter said. “He bled a little bit last week (in the Tompkins-Geers Stakes). He had a little bit of a tough race, he got all windy. It’s just one of those things. You can’t get all worked up about it, you just have to fix the problems.”
Tall Dark Stranger certainly redeemed himself after his fourth-place finish in the Tompkins-Geers Stakes on Aug. 1, having plenty in reserve at the end of his stakes record mile in this event.
“Yannick (Gingras) said if he would’ve known it was that close, he would’ve let him go a little bit in the third quarter, but he raced super and we’re just thrilled with him,” Takter said.
Tall Dark Stranger, who also won the Meadowlands Pace, is owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor.