Captain Barbossa ‘Graduates’ in 1:47.1 at Big M

East Rutherford, NJ — Captain Barbossa recorded the fastest mile of the season in harness racing when he stopped the clock in 1:47.1 — a lifetime best — in one of two $50,000 divisions of the third leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers at The Meadowlands Saturday night (June 5). There were also two $50,000 splits of leg two for 4-year-old trotters on the card.

Captain Barbossa won one of two divisions of the Graduate Series for pacers in 1:47.1, the fastest mile of the year in harness racing. Lisa photo.

The Tony Alagna trainee did it the hard way, coming first over for the final half-mile to gun down the speedy Poseidon Seelster.

“He’s a cool horse to drive,” said winning pilot Dexter Dunn. “The fractions set up for a fast mile.”

Indeed, they did.

Tattoo Artist exploded from post seven and streaked to the quarter in :25.3 before George Brennan moved Poseidon Seelster to the point at the half in :52.4. Captain Barbossa vacated the three-hole at that point and came after the leader down the backside and around the far turn as three-quarters went in a scorching 1:20.1.

After grinding away at the leader’s edge, Dunn then nudged Captain Barbossa, a son of Captaintreacherous-Swinging Beauty, to the lead as they straightened up for the stretch drive on the way to reporting home a three-quarter length winner over 8-5 favorite Warrawee Vital, who followed the winner’s cover but never threatened. Sandbetweenmytoes was third. Poseidon Seelster weakened and finished seventh.

“He came first-over from the half,” said Dunn. “It was awesome.”

As the 3-1 second choice, Captain Barbossa paid $8.20 to win. He now has seven victories from 38 career starts and earnings of $533,438.

The second Graduate division for pacers was won in similar fashion to the first as Allywag Hanover (a gelded son of Captaintreacherous-Anderosa Hanover) came first up from the half and gunned down 4-5 favorite Ruthless Hanover, who was looking to stay perfect in three Graduate outings. Splash Brother and Cattlewash finished in a dead heat for third.

“Today, he toughed it out pretty good,” said driver Tim Tetrick, who guided the Brett Pelling student. “I raced him like a sports car. I was hoping to get cover but nobody was pulling. My horse outfought (Ruthless Hanover) tonight.”

The margin of victory was a half-length as the mile went in 1:48.1. Allywag Hanover returned $16.20 to win as the fourth choice in the betting, and now has 10 wins from 27 career starts and a bankroll of $297,668.

Hypnotic AM took one of two divisions of the Graduate Series for trotters. Lisa photo.

Hypnotic AM took the first split for trotters in 1:50.3 — a lifetime best — for driver Brian Sears and trainer Marcus Melander.

The daughter of Chapter Seven-Daydream Am S popped out of the pocket off the far turn and out-gamed 4-5 favorite Beads to the wire by a half-length. Amigo Volo was third.

“She’s not a real big filly but she’s flawlessly gaited,” said Sears. “With a trip like she got, she always shows up.”

Hypnotic AM returned $5.80 as the second choice in the wagering and now has 13 wins from just 25 lifetime outings and earnings of $1,195,584.

It’s Academic (a son of Uncle Peter-Annapolis) made it two-for-two in the Graduate by taking the second trotting division in 1:51 for Tetrick and Ron Burke, holding off even-money choice Ready For Moni by three-quarters of a length, going wire-to-wire. Sermon was third.

As the 6-5 second choice, It’s Academic paid $4.40 in winning for the 18th time from 34 career outings, good for earnings of $618,688.

That’s 20, Honey: All-source wagering totaled $4,047,250, upping The Big M’s streak of programs with a handle of more than $3 million to 20. Of the 45 race cards conducted in 2021, wagering has reached the $3 million plateau on 36 occasions.

The $4 million barrier has now been busted six times this year, and Saturday’s action completed a $7 million weekend, the ninth time that has occurred in 2021.

The Late 50-cent Pick-4 saw total play of $144,278, to set a new season high.

A Little More: Dunn and Tetrick led the driver’s colony with three winners apiece. Alagna trained three to victory lane.

Racing resumes Friday at 6:20 p.m.

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