Scoot To Power Surprise Driver With Cane Pace Victory
YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) _ Cat Manzi didn’t expect a trip to the winner’s circle of the Cane Pace.
The driver of Scoot To Power was looking at a third- or fourth-place finish in the first leg of pacing’s triple crown, maybe second if he had a good trip.
Scoot To Power was better than expected, winning the $326,429 Cane Pace on Saturday night by three-quarters of a length over Sports Town.
``Firm Belief and Oye Vay were the two best horses in the field and I never thought we could catch them,″ Manzi said after his 3-year-old finished the mile in 1:55 1-5.
``This was the first time I drove the horse this year and he was never as good,″ Manzi said. ``I had him a few times with the old stable, but tonight he had a great pace all the way. All of a sudden the hole opened up and he went through it.″
Scoot To Power generated a race record payoff of $84. The previous record was $63.60 for Jade Prince in 1977.
Scoot To Power, who started from the No. 3 post position, was blocked in at the eighth pole and unable to find racing room until the final 50 yards, when the bay son of Matt’s Scooter passed beat Sports Town and Oye Vay.
Trainer Jonas Stutzman didn’t expect victory either.
``I’m not surprised by the win... I’m shocked,″ he said. ``Like Cat, I figured Scoot To Power was a notch under the other two horses.
``The chance for the triple crown is nice, but there are other races before those two, so we’re not looking that far ahead right now.″
All Star Hanna, with Howard Parker, led through the first three-quarters in 27, 56 1-5 and 1:24 4-5, but faded to fourth. Firm Belief, the favorite driven by Hall of Famer Mike Lachance, wound up seventh in the field of eight. He had won his three previous starts at Yonkers, the elimination and final of the Rooney Pace and the elimination for the Cane Pace.
Scoot To Power, winning for the third time in 13 starts this year, earned $163,214 to boost his seasonal earnings to $239,618 and his career bankroll to $271,598. He has five victories, six seconds and four thirds in 26 lifetime starts.
Scoot To Power returned $84, $18.60 and $5.20. Sports Town was worth $9.10 and $3.50. Oye Vay paid $2.20.
Scoot To Power is eligible for the other two legs of the triple crown, the Little Brown Jug on Sept. 19 at Delaware, Ohio, and the Messenger Stakes on Oct. 12 at Meadow Land, Pa.