Balmoral Park (11/10/11)
Contact: Tom Kelley
BETTERTHANCHEDDAR HOPING LATE SEASON RUN NETS DIVISIONAL HONORS
Sporting victories in four of his last six starts, Steve Calhoun and West Wins Stables' Betterthancheddar, this year’s Three-Year-Old Breeders Crown champion, will be looking to parlay a big late season run into divisional honors when he takes on nine other sophomore pacers in Saturday’s $225,000 American National Three-Year-Old Colt Pace.
Coming off a thrilling triumph in which he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the Breeders Crown, the Casie Coleman-trained son of Bettor’s Delight has been accorded the 3-1 morning line favoritism after drawing the advantageous inside starting spot.
In the Breeders Crown Betterthancheddar appeared to be hopelessly locked in at the pylons after being up close throughout the early action. With nowhere to go, driver Mark MacDonald had very few options other than to sit on the pylons and hope for something to happen. After making a breathtaking move outside and then darting back inside, MacDonald managed kick out the earplugs with about 100 yards left in the mile. That proved to be the winning maneuver as the colt seemed to find another gear, nailing Roll With Joe in the final stride. The final time was a blistering 1:49.2.
Betterthancheddar also boasts a victory in the first leg of the pacing Triple Crown, capturing the Cane Pace at Pocono by a neck in 1:49.2. That win really helped draw attention to the colt, who was unraced as a two-year-old.
“I’ve been really high on this horse from day one,” said Coleman, who is a four-time winner of Canada’s Trainer of the Year award. “I know some people were skeptical and he hasn’t proven it to everybody yet, but it really feels like he’s starting to get that recognition right now. He’s definitely peaking at the right time.”
Boasting a record of 8-2-2 in 16 starts with earnings of $586,283, the colt will be handled by George Brennan who guided him to victory in a career best of 1:49.1 in his Breeders Crown elimination.
In order to keep his winning streak alive Betterthancheddar will once again need to knock off Little Brown winner Big Bad John, who wound up tiring badly after a very tough trip in the Breeders Crown.
The pride of trainer Ron Potter and owner Winchester Baye Acres Inc. thrilled the hometown crowd in Delaware, Ohio by taking the second leg of the pacing Triple Crown in straight heats with Columbus, Ohio native David Miller at the controls.
A winner in 17 of his 24 career starts with earnings of $979,559, the bay son of Western Hanover has impressed both his conditioner and owner with his winning attitude.
“He wants to win so bad every time he goes out there that it’s just amazing,” said Potter. “He’s got the biggest heart in the world and he doesn’t need a lot of work and likes to be fresh so we are just going to stay with what we’ve been doing with him.”
“He’s got more energy than any other horse I’ve ever had or been around,” said Ed Telle. “When you take him to the paddock there is no doubt about it, you are going because he’s ready to get there. You are not going to lead him. He is going to take you to the paddock.”
For more information visit www.balmoralpark.com or call (708) 672-1414.
About Balmoral Park: Located in Crete, IL just 12 miles south of 80/94; Balmoral Park has been one of the nation's premier horse racing facilities since 1926. Balmoral Park features live racing every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission and parking is always free.