Iwannabewithyou narrowly prevails in Ocean feature; Porter wins six

Berlin, MD — After grinding uncovered to a narrow miss last week, Forrest Bartlett’s Iwannabewithyou withstood a protracted early battle in Sunday’s (June 16) $12,000 Open 1 Handicap Pace at Ocean Downs and narrowly prevailed over a late-surging Fantastic Voyage to give driver Trae Porter one of six wins on the card.

Iwannabewithyou reached for the finish line to stave off a late challenge from Fantastic Voyage in Sunday’s Open 1 Handicap Pace. K. Moyer Photography.

Iwannabewithyou was embroiled in a three-way battle for the early lead, flanked by Starship (Jonathan Roberts) and a three-wide On The Cards N (Tony Morgan) through a :26.4 first quarter. As On The Cards N retreated, Porter and Iwannabewithyou continued to press forward at Starship’s outside and worked clear at the conclusion of a :54.3 first half before rationing a :29 third split.

After Iwannabewithyou’s third-quarter breather, Fantastic Voyage — whom Jared Moyer sent three-wide around stalled cover midway up the backstretch — loomed a major threat midway around the far turn and closed significant ground in the stretch. Iwannabewithyou held firm and won by a diminishing nose in 1:52.4. Nuttin But Finesse (Johnathan Ahle) rallied from last to take third.

Kevin Lare trains 20-time winner Iwannabewithyou, a 5-year-old Luck Be Withyou gelding who now has won eight of 17 starts this season and paid $4.20 to win.

Porter and Lare teamed up earlier in the card to win with Hoop Star ($2.40, 1:55.2).

Porter also won with Rhythm Of The Rein ($16.60, 1:53.4), American Artist K ($4.20, 1:54.3), Ideal Perfect Ten ($13.40, 1:55.2) and Son Of A Lynx ($5.40, 1:57.2).

John Wagner led all trainers with three wins on the 12-race card.

On the undercard, 2022 Breeders Crown winner Ammo ($2.20) proved dominant in his Ocean Downs debut. Jonathan Roberts drove the 4-year-old son of Sweet Lou, now trained by Michael Hall, to a six length, 1:53.1 win in an $8,500 conditioned pacing event.

Live racing returns to Ocean Downs on Wednesday (June 19); first post for the 12-race card is 7:05 p.m.

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