East Rutherford, NJ---He’s Watching watched and waited for a straight shot to the finish line as he won the $776,000 Meadowlands Pace on Saturday (July 12) at Meadowlands Racetrack in an all-age world record-equaling 1:46.4.
|He's Watching won the Meadowlands Pace in 1:46.4, equaling the world record for a pacing mile in a race on a mile track.|
The time has been equaled by Somebeachsomewhere, Holborn Hanover and Warrawee Needy.
With 10,786 watching live at the track, He’s Watching was content to take a back seat in fifth to early leader Lyonssomewhere (Yannick Gingras), who led the field to the 25.3 quarter, with Luck Be Withyou (Ron Pierce) pacing along in second and JK Endofanera third along the rail.
Those two held those positions to the 53.2 half when JK Endofanera came off the rail, attempting to improve his position and pressuring the leader around the turn. He’s Watching (Tim Tetrick) was behind JK Endofanera second-over. It looked like Lyonssomewhere and Gingras might bottom out the field at the 1:20.3 three quarters, but horses were soon coming from everywhere.
|USTA/Ken Weingartner Photo|
|Trainer Dave Menary nearly tackled driver Tim Tetrick when the driver returned to the winner's circle.|
From the huddle of horses trailing Lyonssomewhere came He’s Watching, fanned five wide across the track and making up ground with every stride. Behind him and even wider were Always B Miki (David Miller) and Tellitlikeitis (Brett Miller). Those two battled down the stretch and only Always B Miki’s nose was ahead as he got second and Tellitlikeitis third. Lyonssomewhere was fourth and Jet Airway (Marcus Miller) fifth.
He’s Watching was a $3,000 Standardbred Horse Sale purchase as a yearling. He’s owned by Menary Racing, Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Muscara Racing Trust.
“That’s the exact trip I thought he was going to get,” said Menary. “I didn’t give Tim any instructions, but the horses I thought were going to blast, blasted and I was hoping we’d get a second-over trip behind JK. I did my job all week and Tim did his job and it’s working out well.
|USTA/Ken Weingartner Photo|
|The winning connections with the Meadowlands Pace trophy.|
"He’s versatile. He likes it on the front, but when horses come at him, he picks up the bit, but he can explode off a helmet, too. He started his career spotting the field and swooping the field from last on a half. He can race on any size track. He can do it from anywhere and he likes to do it fast.
"Tim said he had more in the tank. I think we will give him some time off and point him toward the Empire [Breeders Classic, with elims on Aug. 3] at Tioga.”
“He’s a great horse,” said Tetrick. “I’m lucky to pick up a drive like this in this big race and it’s just an honor to get to drive in a big race like this. I couldn’t ask for a better trip. I was second-over and the other horse went on and it worked out great. My horse really exploded and he paced all the way to the wire. It was unbelievable. He’s a very special colt; he’s very fast. He’s not big, but he’s mighty. I’m not sure where’s he going, but where ever he goes, I’ll be."
The Meadowlands Pace win was a happy ending to a difficult week for the Muscara family. Longtime harness racing participant Joe Muscara Sr. passed away July 7 at the age of 90.
“Dad lived harness racing, up to the last minute of his life,” Joe Muscara Jr. said. “He would have loved this. Last Saturday I went to see him and he wasn’t well and I promised him a win in the elimination and I brought the video over Sunday and he watched it about six times and that was the last race. He would have loved Timmy’s drive tonight.
“I knew he was a fast horse, but he’s so darn smart it’s unbelievable. He wants to win; he’ll do anything to win. He walks into the paddock like, ‘Who wants to race me tonight?’ I never saw a horse that was so happy being a racehorse. Now for the rest of the year we’re giving the Pacing Triple Crown a shot.”
Total handle for the 13-race program was $4,288,237, compared to the $4,311,546 wagered on the 14-race card in 2013. By comparison, handle through 13 races last year was $4,096,588.