FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) _ Powerful Toy held off a late charge by favored Astreos and survived a foul claim to win the $331,350 Cane Pace at Freehold Raceway on Monday.
Driven by Luc Ouellette, Powerful Toy covered the mile in the opening leg of pacing’s Triple Crown in 1:51.4, beating Astreos and driver Chris Christoforou by a half-length.
Christoforou said Ouellette and Powerful Toy impeded Astreos in the stretch, but the judges disallowed the claim.
``This horse just turned in his best race ever,″ Ouellette said. ``We found out last week that he’s better on the front end. He likes this track and he likes half-mile tracks in general.
``He (Astreos) was at my bridle at the three-quarters, but he wasn’t gaining. He got close in the stretch, but I wasn’t really worried that he’d get by.″
Powerful Toy paid $11.80, $5.60, $4.20 in winning for trainer Monte Gelrod and owners Newman Racing Stable, Dodge A Bullet Stable and Sampson Street Stable.
Astreos, who matched the track record in winning his elimination nine days ago, paid $4.20 and $3.20. Art Dot Com paid $5.40 to show in the eight-horse field.