Wilkes-Barre, PA -- A hard charging Luck Be Withyou and driver Ron Pierce came charging late to win the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 2–year-old pacing colts on Saturday evening at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The winning time was 1:52 on a sloppy track.
Luck Be Withyou passed Sometimes Said (John Campbell) by a neck in the final strides. Somestarsomewhere (Yannick Gingras) was third.
Luck Be Withyou is owned by John Craig of North York, Ontario and trained by Chris Oakes in the U.S. for his Canadian-based trainer, Bill Cass.
Right at the start, Sometimes Said and John Campbell blasted off the gate from post nine to get the lead for the first time, but Somestarsomewhere (Yannick Gingras) took over the lead from him past the :27 quarter. He kept that lead to the :55.1 half and the 1:22.4 three-quarters, with Luck Be Withyou at his back the whole way.
When the field turned for home, So Surreal (Tim Tetrick), on the move from seventh at the half, was bidding for the lead, but made a break as the field straightened for home and lost all chance. In the deep stretch, John Campbell, who’d been just off the leaders, dropped Sometimes Said into the passing lane to advance on Somestarsomewhere.
Luck Be Withyou was the strongest of the trio to the wire for the win, his third in the last four starts. Sometimes Said was second and Somestarsomewhere third.
“The horse is a really good horse,” said Chris Oakes. “It wasn’t too much on my end, really, most of the credit goes right here (pointing to Bill Cass).
“I really liked the way it developed, a lot of early action. We ended up getting a great two hole trip behind the other elimination winner and the horse got the job done. I was very happy with the end result.”
Cass was elated in the winner’s circle.
“I feel great,” he said. “We bought a great horse and he ended up being what we thought he was. I was pretty confident. I was a little worried with the weather, but it turned out OK. Weather doesn’t bother this horse. He’s been a great horse since we broke him.”
“My colt gave forth a great effort,” said John Campbell, the driver of runner-up Sometimes Said. “He always tries hard and has been super all year long. The other horse just beat us, and my horse was as game as they come.”
By Ellen Harvey, for the Breeders Crown