Campbellville, ON--Your So Vain and Master Of Law won their respective $40,000 Canadian Trotting Classic (CTC) eliminations Saturday (Sept. 7) at Mohawk Racetrack.
Your So Vain, with Scott Zeron, pulled off a major upset in the first elim, rallying from last to blow past the pacesetting Hambletonian winner and 2-5 favorite Royalty for Life near the wire to score by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:52.4. Smilin Eli was third, another length back.
Master Of Law, also driven by Zeron, challenged the pacesetter Corky around the far turn and then prevailed in a stiff drive, holding off a late bid from Punxsutawney for the neck win in 1:53.4. Wheeling N Dealin was third, 1-3/4 lengths behind, while Corky faded to fourth.
New Image Media Photo Your So Vain upset Hambo winner Royalty For Life to win his Canadian Trotting Classic elim in 1:52.4.
The best 3-year-old trotters in North America were on display in the elims, with the top five finishers qualifying for next Saturday’s $686,000 CTC final, which has been won recently by such stars as Market Share, Muscle Hill, Donato Hanover and Deweycheatumnhowe, all Hambletonian winners to boot.
The elim winners also earned their connections the right to choose a post position before the balance of the field was drawn.
Your So Vain, trained by Brad Maxwell for PG Van Camp Stables of Port Perry, Ont., was winning his third start in seven outings this year and entered off a dominating performance in last week’s Simcoe Stakes.
“He’s always had the ability, but there’s always been an issue,” said co-owner Paul Van Camp. “I think Brad’s got the issues fixed. He’s quite a bit sounder now. He’s a closer; it was a small field and Scott drove him perfectly. It’s an honor to race against these kinds of horses (in the CTC).”
Last year, the son of Hambo-CTC winner Donato Hanover, out of Tennis Lover, was only a one-time winner in five starts. He also made a break as a longshot in the Breeders Crown. This season, he’s very much on the improve, as evidenced by his Simcoe romp and elim win on Saturday.
Royalty For Life and driver Brian Sears led for almost the entire trip, getting to the first quarter in 27.3, the half in 56.3 and three-quarters in 1:24.4 before being hauled down late by Your So Vain.
Your So Vain paid $11.40, $3.60 and $2.10, combining with Royalty for Life ($2.20, $2.10) for a $25.20 (1-5) exactor. A 1-5-3 (Smilin Eli, $2.10) triactor was worth $60.20.
Master Of Law, the 3-5 choice trained by Frank Antonacci for U.S. interests, was winning his sixth consecutive start, after making a break in his debut. The son of another Hambo-CTC winner, Deweycheatumnhowe, out of Possess The Magic, came into his elim off an impressive eight-length score in the Kentucky Sire Stakes final on Sept. 1 at Lexington.
Master Of Law, also driven by Scott Zeron, won his CTC elim in 1:53.4.
Corky had taken over after the first quarter and led to the half in 56.2, but Master Of Law came calling turning for home and opened a length after three-quarters in 1:25.3, before repulsing the late rail bid from Punxsutawney.
“When you’re sitting there at 2-5, everyone wants to follow you,” explained Zeron. “I was fine with coming first up. I just didn’t want to have to put him up front again tonight.
“I know how talented he is, so does Frank, even at the beginning of the year. But he just wanted to take his time and let him mature a little bit because he’s a little bit tough to handle in a race.
“We wanted to bring him along nice and easy, so we tripped him out his first few starts, then at Lexington we let him go to the front. He impressed and he did again tonight. He’s very tough to handle, but it’s (best quality) his absolute endurance. He can go all day and I like him chasing horses. He likes to mow them down.”
Master Of Law paid $3.30, $2.50 and $2.20, combining with Punxsutawney ($7.20, $4.50) for a $22.30 (5-6) exactor. A 5-6-7 (Wheeling N Dealin, $4.10) triactor returned $99.50.
The field will line up as follows for the $686,000 final.
1) Wheeling N Dealin
3) Master Of Law
4) Your So Vain
5) Toocool Forschool
6) Royalty For Life
7) Pine Credit
9) All Laid Out
10) Smilin Eli