Bythemissal soars, ‘Allywag’ rebounds in Sam McKee Memorial
Saturday, August 5, 2023
Both Bythemissal and Allywag Hanover entered their respective divisions of the Sam McKee Memorial, for open pacers, seeking comeback wins – Bythemissal following a spell of sickness and Allywag Hanover on his 6-year-old return. The pair pounced and powered in the stretch to each land victories on Saturday (Aug. 5) at the Meadowlands.
In the $128,750 first division, driver Todd McCarthy motored Allywag Hanover through the first turn and procured the pocket past a :26.3 first quarter as 3-5 favorite Ruthless Hanover rolled to control. The field stayed in order to a :53.1 half while Ruthless Hanover attempted to rev into higher gear through the final turn. Ruthless Hanover clocked by three-quarters in 1:20.2 but began laboring off the bottom corner.
Allywag Hanover loomed out of the pocket spinning for home and punched to the lead as Backstreet Shadow ground into contention on his back. Others from the backfield swooped into action late, but Allywag Hanover had his foes measured by two lengths at the beam to register a 1:47.2 mile in his first win of the season. Lou’s Pearlman barreled from last for second with Backstreet Shadow holding third and Whichwaytothebeach rallying for fourth.
“We left out of there hard and I had to do a little more than I wanted to get around, but full credit to the horse,” Todd McCarthy said after the race. “He dug so deep down by the wire, and to win in [1:]47 after leaving like he did … that was a tremendous mile.
Having made six starts now in 2023, Allywag Hanover notched his first photograph of the year while adding to a resume now worth $1,772,292 for owner Allywag Stable. The Captaintreacherous gelding now has 25 wins from 60 starts and returned $8.40 for the victory.
Bythemissal helmed a continuous assault on Tattoo Artist through the final half to take a 1:47.1 track record victory going away and under wraps in the $130,000 second division.
Leaving from post 10, driver Yannick Gingras managed to find a tuck in third to a :26.3 first quarter set by Tattoo Artist. Tattoo Artist rolled up the backside under minimal pressure and strolled to a :53.4 half before Gingras activated Bythemissal.
Tattoo Artist accelerated through the final turn to keep Bythemissal at bay, though Gingras kept a clenched grip on his charge’s rein as the duo charged clear of their rivals to three-quarters in 1:20.3. Upon straightening, Bythemissal took flight and sailed away from Tattoo Artist to post a 2-1/2-length victory with Taurasi closing for third and Fourever Boy fourth.
“A hundred percent, I think he’s back now,” Yannick Gingras said, since Saturday’s race was Bythemissal’s second start since scratching sick from the $193,880 Charles Juravinski Memorial on May 21 at Flamboro Downs. “I didn’t really want to be on the front with him. I figured anyway with Tattoo Artist – we all know his racing style – he was going to keep the fractions honest. But my horse was tremendous today. We were pacing pretty strong, but when I got to him, I thought my horse would give me a good run in the stretch. Feels good to win one today, anyway.”
A 4-year-old gelding by Downbytheseaside, Bythemissal has now won 18 races from 22 starts and banked $1,292,768 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Eric Good, Rich Lombardo Racing and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The 1:47.1 mile puts his name onto a divisional track mark first established on June 5, 2021, by Captain Barbossa, and matched by Allywag Hanover in 2021 and Charlie May in 2022. Ron Burke trains the gelding, who paid $7.20 to win.