Milton, ON — Joe Bongiorno took a route up the rail late to win the $655,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace final on Saturday (Oct. 26) at Woodbine Mohawk Park with American History. The time for the win was 1:48.3.
This Is The Plan stormed to the top from post position 10 off the gate, passing American History, who also showed some early foot, and taking the top. Dorsoduro Hanover took a spot on the rail third in front of McWicked.
American History, bred by Brittany Farms, sat patiently through a swift quarter in :25.4 before taking the lead from This Is The Plan, with Dorsoduro Hanover poised to attack. Taking to the outside, Dorsoduro Hanover brushed to aim for an all-out charge as he had done in the elimination. The half was sizzling in :53.4 as McWicked staged a challenging route near Jimmy Freight, passing him for a chase at Dorsoduro Hanover at three-quarters in 1:21.3.
Into the stretch, Dorsoduro Hanover began to struggle as Always A Prince was using saved ground to get to McWicked, but on the inside, Bongiorno had a winning path before him and his charge as he passed Dorsoduro Hanover and won in 1:48.3. Always A Prince passed McWicked for third.
“No words can describe how I feel winning,” said Bongiorno. “I’m grateful for all the help from Tony [trainer Tony Alagna].”
Alagna said he was confident about American History.
“He’s matured and now he is able to go with these guys,” he said.
Co-owner Marvin Katz was joyful for the win and said hello to his partner George Segal, who was watching from out of town.
Myron Bell of Brittany Farms said they liked American History as a yearling so much they, “bought him for a $150,000 with one bid.”
Trainer Casie Coleman discussed McWicked‘s bid for a third Crown triumph.
“He had to leave hard out of the outside post, 25 (seconds) and a piece, and ended up first-over again and Brian (Sears) said that headwind is pretty strong out there,” she said. “He said he was happy with him, he raced good, that’s just a big mile in a big headwind first-over into it.
“He also hit his tendon tonight, which he’s never done before. I don’t know why, but that’s going to cause him to slow up a little bit too. That’s new for him. He doesn’t wear any boots and he usually doesn’t hit, so I’m not sure why he did that tonight but he did. That’s obviously going to falter him a little bit also. Obviously, I’m disappointed he didn’t win but with an outside post and the headwind, the conditions, I thought he raced good enough. Now knowing that he hit that ankle, he’d be affected by that a little bit.”
Like Coleman and Sears, driver Matt Kakaley was pleased with Dorsoduro Hanover’s performance despite not visiting the winner’s circle.
“I was happy,” he said. “I thought my horse raced giant; big fractions, two moves to the front. The move down the backside is going to be a little tiring with the wind. It was a pretty good half. He raced great.”
Race replay available at https://youtu.be/6-oeOcKvn-4 (Race 6)