CR Renegade Wins Beacon Course Trot
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ CR Renegade took advantage of a break in stride down the stretch by heavy favorite Self Possessed on Friday to win the $430,000 Budweiser Beacon Course.
CR Renegade, driven by Rod Allen and trained by Carl Allen, was racing third behind Self Possessed and Starchip Enterprise down the backstretch when Starchip Enterprise broke stride in the one mile trot, which is the last major tuneup for the Aug. 7 Hambletonian.
``I wanted to stay with him (Self Possessed) and stare him in the eye,″ said Allen. ``No horse has done that.″
It didn’t quite work out that way for Allen and CR Renegade. But when Self Possessed, a heavy 1/5 favorite, drifted wide and finally broke down the stretch, Allen and his colt were right there to win by three and three quarters lengths in a best-ever 1:53 4/5.
``When that happened this colt was half up on his bit and ready to roll,″ said Rod Allen. ``I just wanted to stay calm and consistent and hope I’d get lucky and I did.″
As Self Possessed, with Mike Lachance in the bike, hit the top of the stretch he began to drift wide and finally broke stride just before the eighth pole. CR Renegade, who had won his Beacon Course qualifier last week, then held off a futile bid by longshot Comets Tail to win easily.
``I don’t know why he broke but it wasn’t the track that caused it,″ said Lachance. ``He hit himself during the mile and when he bore out I got worried but I had enough horse to win. I was just trying to keep him together.″
Self Possessed’s trainer, Ron Gurfein, admitted he was concerned about his horse who until Friday had seemed to be the odds-on favorite to win the Hambletonian.
``We were concerned about him last week,″ said Gurfein, who has never won the Beacon Course. ``We don’t really know what’s bothering him. We just have to wait and see.″
The victory was the fifth in 10 starts this year for CR Renegade, who is the full brother of 1995 Beacon Course winner CR Kay Suzie. CR Renegade’s stable mate CR Commando was scratched from the race earlier in the week due to illness but is expected to be back for the Hambletonian.
``He (CR Renegade) made his sister proud,″ said Rod Allen. ``I just hope he can avenge her miscue (she broke as a heavy favorite) in the 1995 Hambo.″
Angus Hall, which was an entry along with Self Possessed, finished third while Self Possessed was fourth.
The victory boosts CR Renegade’s career earnings to $301,630 and makes the 3-year old colt a legitimate threat to Self Possessed in the Hambletonian.
The winner paid $18.40, $8.40 and $2.40. Comets Tail provided a $25.40 and $3.20 payoff, while Angus Hall paid $2.10 to show. The 4-3 exacta was good for $329.00 while 4-3-1 trifecta paid $696.00
Meanwhile, Noble Ability came charging down the stretch and set a world record in winning the 1 1/8 mile, $275,000 Classic Series Final pace by one and a half lengths in 2:03 1/5.
The victory put Noble Ability, a 5-year old bay owned by Bob Glazer and driven by John Campbell, over the million dollar mark ($1,040,313) in career earnings. He paid $15.40.