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Perfect Sting powers, Charlie May motors in Crown eliminations

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Millionaire Perfect Sting and near-millionaire Charlie May put together strong performances to leave their competition behind and win the $25,000 eliminations for the Breeders Crown 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace on Saturday (Oct. 23) at The Meadowlands.

Charlie May charged first-over into the final turn to blitz leader Southwind Gendry and scoot clear to a 1:49.1 win in the second of the two eliminations.

Heart Of Chewbacca hustled to the point with Water Sports Teen settling into second to a :26.4 first quarter. Southwind Gendry raced third to the backstretch before angling off the pylons and circling stablemate Heart Of Chewbacca to lead into a :54.4 half.

Driver Brett Miller sat fourth with Charlie May to the final turn, but soon launched the McArdle gelding towards the top as Southwind Gendry attempted to slow the tempo to three-quarters, timed in 1:22.3. Charlie May grabbed the front off the corner and stayed firm on the lead while Southwind Gendry cut into his deficit to the inside to secure second, beaten by three-quarters of a length. Rockyroad Hanover ripped off cover from third over to finish third with Heart Of Chewbacca and Water Sports Teen holding fourth and fifth, respectively, to make the $600,000 final.

“We were real excited today,” owner Don Tiger said after the race. “Glad to come back here, thankful for the opportunity. The horse raced great, Brett said he was super. He is one of those horses that when he clears and he doesn’t hear anybody he slows down a bit. But he was super today, had a lot of pace left.

“He definitely loves a target,” Tiger also said. “You could see it today pulling first-up. Southwind Gendry is a nice animal and he engaged him and went right by. He’s a beast and we are really looking forward to the Perfect Sting showdown next weekend. The best part about it is I can’t draw the nine-hole.”

Conditioned by Steve Carter, Charlie May collected his ninth victory from 18 starts this season and his 16th from 27 overall, earning $950,652. Don Tiger’s homebred paid $3.60 to win.

Starting from the pylon post, driver David Miller pushed for position with Perfect Sting to race third to a :26.2 first quarter set by Chase H Hanover. Miller slid Perfect Sting off the pegs to the backstretch and overtook Chase H Hanover to commandeer the field before a :55 half. The Joe Holloway pupil remained headstrong to the final turn, gaining separation on Chase H Hanover to three-quarters in 1:22.3 and widening his lead through the stretch. He stayed to task in a straightaway sprint to stop the clock in 1:49.2 and finish three lengths better than Chase H Hanover.

Abuckabett Hanover ground first over through the mile to take third, holding off a late charge from Southwind Petyr kicking off his cover in fourth. I’ll Drink To That rounded the finalists in fifth.

“It was but this was different from what it has been of late,” trainer Joe Holloway said after the race. “He got home well today. He paced through the wire strong today – I was happy to see that. I don’t think he gets the respect he deserves. Last year certainly he did. But this year he has danced every dance and been there at the wire but he probably lost a few he should have won. He has been the most consistent of the 3-year-olds.”

Perfect Sting, a colt from a family of Holloway graduates in sire Always B Miki and dam Shebestingin, won his sixth race from 15 starts this season and his 16th from 25 in his career. The homebred for Brittany Farms LLC and Val D’Or Farms has banked $1,508,147 and returned $2.40 to win.

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