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Six Feet Apart scores tight upset in Crown elimination

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Fast fractions perpetuated by 1-5 favorite Beach Glass laid the groundwork for Six Feet Apart to steadily reel in the heated pacesetter, with the Brian Brown trainee nailing the Canadian invader in the final strides of the second of three $25,000 eliminations for the Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace on Friday (Oct. 22) at The Meadowlands.  

Birthday bolted to the point as True Blue Lindy scooted up the pylons to secure the pocket moving to a :26.4 first quarter. Beach Glass raced third to the backstretch, but soon came off the pegs to brush for the lead. Birthday begrudgingly yielded control to Beach Glass while still managing to string the new pacesetter out to a :54.4 half.

Six Feet Apart raced fourth to the final turn, where driver David Miller angled the Sweet Lou colt first-over and made gradual gains into three-quarters in 1:22.3. Beach Glass turned for home holding a one-length lead that diminished past the eighth pole as Six Feet Apart loomed closer to the leg-weary leader. Six Feet Apart powered to the front late to cross the beam a half length better than Beach Glass in a 1:50.2 mile. I Did It Myway finished third, another five lengths behind, and True Blue Lindy took fourth.

“I was real happy with his effort,” David Miller said after the race. “I thought Tim Tetrick might come right there at the half. We were first-over and I didn’t know how he would hold up. Halfway through the stretch, he kept coming. He’s the type of horse that just goes what he has to. He can go a bit more, I believe.”

Winning his fifth race from eight starts, Six Feet Apart has earned $93,225 for owners Michael Robinson, Robert Mondillo, David Meola and Rich Lombardo Racing LLC. The S R F Stable-bred son of Sweet Lou and Ideal Love paid $25.20 to win.

Metro Pace champ Monte Miki seized the lead midway up the backside and withstood first-over pressure from 3-5 favorite Hammering Hank to take the first Breeders Crown elimination in 1:50.4.

Gentle Giant dashed for the top and cleared to the cones before a :27 first quarter with Market Based sitting in the pocket. Monte Miki landed in third to the backstretch and stayed briefly in that spot until driver Scott Zeron swept the Mark Evers trainee to the point approaching a :55.3 half.

Hammering Hank got underway to the final turn and marched uncovered towards the pacesetter to three-quarters, where he nabbed a narrow lead while clicking by the beam in 1:24.1. Monte Miki battled back to the inside at the bottom of the turn and surged back to the top through the straightaway to put away Hammering Hank by a half length. The pair scooted clear of Gentle Giant in third, with Market Based taking fourth.

“When you stand beside him, he’s a gorgeous horse, beautiful stature,” Zeron said after the race. “If anything, he’s a little immature. Mark [Evers] did a great job changing up his bridle to a can't-see-back from a closed [bridle]. And that was the issue I had last week going first-up. I cleared by the leader and just waited that little bit and came that :26 quarter in Lexington. I couldn’t have him stall like that.”

A homebred for Velocity Standardbreds, Monte Miki has banked $365,276 in winning five races from six starts. The Always B Miki-Montenegro colt paid $11.80 to win.

The last elimination went to the late-footed Pebble Beach, who stormed off cover to win by a nose in 1:51.3.

Gulf Shores failed to find a spot at the pegs to settle, so he instead ventured forward for the front and overtook early leader Loukes Perry past a :27.2 first quarter. Early Action tracked Gulf Shores’ move and soon grabbed the top into the backstretch before Fulfullnmydestiny pulled first-over to press the pacesetter into a :55.3 half.

Meanwhile, Pebble Beach raced sixth and tipped off the cones to roll and grab cover from Fulfullnmydestiny to the final turn. With the first-over challenger one-paced through the final turn, driver Todd McCarthy motored Pebble Beach three-wide after three-quarters in 1:24. The Downbytheseaside-Santa Rosa colt barreled home with Gulf Shores shaking loose late but settling for second. Early Action finished third; Loukes Perry rallied for fourth.

“I’ve had him on the front a few times and he has won there, but he can be a bit cheeky late,” McCarthy said after the race. “But when he has a target, he loves chasing it down. I got away a little further back than what I would have liked. I might have cleared a little too early with him; he started looking around, looking for a battle. He was good, he dug deep at the wire and did what he had to do. I’m very pleased going into next week with him.”

Noel Daley conditions Pebble Beach for owners Patricia Stable, Joe Sbrocco, Country Club Acres and LA Express and JAF Racing. Brittany Farms bred the winner of seven races from 10 starts, good for $286,450 in earnings. Off the even-money favorite, he paid $4.20 to win.

In addition to the top three finishers from each elimination, True Blue Lindy will also advance to the $600,000 final for having the highest earnings of the three fourth-place finishers.

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