Cuz She Can prevails in Betsy Ross
from Harrah's Chester publicity department
If "home track advantage" exists in harness racing, Bulletproof Enterprises' Cuz She Can ($8.60) put it to fine use in Sunday (July 4) afternoon's 3rd edition of the $100,000 Betsy Ross at Harrah's Chester Casino and Racetrack. Cuz She Can, who has raced almost exclusively at Chester since the meet began, was a winner in four of her last six against distaff company and second in her other two efforts. But today, she saw noticeably tougher company with millionaires Tug River Princess and Chancey Lady in town.
Noting her willingness to be more responsive late in the race when involved early, Ron Pierce looked to position Cuz She Can as near the front as possible early. "I wanted to get her out of there [at the start]," Pierce quipped. "She's a tough mare. If you get her involved early, she tries harder late in the race. I got her out of there, but a few others had the same idea, so we got away in the four-hole." Symphony in Motion (Brian Sears) and Laughandbehappy (Tim Tetrick) were the first pair to show, lining up at the front of the field into the first turn before Chancey Lady (George Brennan) worked her way to the front. All the while, Cuz She Can stalked from midfield after floating toward the front, allowing Symphony in Motion to set a :26.0 first quarter before being pressed and overtaken by Chancey Lady.
Moving for the bridge turn, Cuz She Can was in a bit of a precarious position, forced to go first-over into Chancey Lady in what amounted to a fast :54.1 half mile. But the pace wasn't Pierce's main concern. "The concern I had was Tug River Princess being on my back," Pierce continued. "I felt she was the horse to beat. I was concerned I was going to give her my second-over trip, so I never really went for the lead." Instead, Pierce rated Cuz She Can off the flank of Chancey Lady through a 1:22.0 three-quarter split, only cutting the five-year-old Cambest mare loose on the far turn. "We just took our time around the second turn and up the backstretch. To my surprise, Tug River Princess pulled off my back going into the last turn, and I figured Gee, we can beat her now. You can go three-wide on a lot of tracks with no problem, but because the turns at Chester are so flat, you lose a lot of ground going three-wide."
A combination of a hot pace and pressure from Cuz She Can led to Chancey Lady relinquishing the lead at head-stretch, and as she faded, Cuz She Can and Tug River Princess (John Campbell) pulled away from the field, neither mare holding anything back in the final yards. Despite an all-out effort from the 2008 Valley Forge winner, it was Cuz She Can who prevailed by a neck, taking the Betsy Ross in 1:49.4. Shanghai Lil (David Miller) rallied from the back of the pack to claim third, while Symphony in Motion salvaged fourth up the open stretch.
"She dug in all the way to the finish; she fought her off," concluded Pierce. "The other mare paced right up to her, but Cuz She Can paced all that and more. It was a giant effort."
Photo credit World Wide Racing Photos -- Cuz She Can (inside) parries the challenge of Tug River Princess