Betting Line survived a bumpy first over journey and a judges inquiry to capture the third edition of the $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial Invitational for three-year-old pacers on Saturday night (August 13) at Northfield Park.
The Casie Coleman trainee extended his win streak to eight in a row while making his first start outside of Canada and his first over a half-mile track despite an anxious moment on the final turn.
Sintra (Jody Jamieson) fired first out from post four and secured the pocket spot behind inside leaver Mr Wiggle Pants (Kayne Kauffman), who blazed through a :25.4 first quarter over a track rated “good.” Betting Line, the overwhelming 1-5 favourite with David Miller in the sulky, followed in third after a post two start and was flushed first over coming off the turn towards the half when Dontcallmefrancis (Yannic Gingras) began to advance from fifth. Meanwhile, Mr Wiggle Pants continued to lead the field past the mid-way mark in :54.4 and three-quarters in 1:22.3. Betting Line pursued first over and filly Pure Country (Brett Miller) rallied three-wide as Dontcallmefrancis gapped cover on the backstretch. Around the final turn, Betting Line got rough-gaited briefly, but regained his composure and drew away down the stretch to a four-length victory in 1:51 flat. Pure Country came on for second, edging out a from-last Magnum J (Doug McNair) and Mr Wiggle Pants in a photo finish. Sintra rounded out the top-five finish order.
After the race, the inquiry sign was lit as judges reviewed the misstep made by Betting Line, but found no violations of the breaking rule.
“I was just kind of riding with him up the backstretch and he started running in on me there,” explained David Miller after the race. “Before he got to that last turn, he got a little uncomfortable and got pinched there and he put the step in then he got through it and took off.
“He’s got a high turn of speed and he can carry it a long way. He showed that tonight.”
The millionaire son of Bettors Delight out of Heathers Western is now eight-for-nine on the year, with his win streak including the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, North America Cup and three Ontario Sires Stakes Gold events. The Milstein victory boosted his seasonal earnings to $887,000 for the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Ont., Christine Calhoun of Chatham, Ont. and Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ont.
“He had a lot of firsts tonight: first time I shipped him, first time he’s in the States, first time on a half,” noted Coleman from the winner’s circle. “I warmed him up earlier than I normally do and there was quite a long delay so I was a little worried about that also, but he raced great. I obviously just have to get corrected what he did in the last turn there. We’re going to a [half-mile track] in the Little Brown Jug so I’ve got to fix that, but he was just tremendous. Dave said he had all kinds of pace, he was just trying to baby him around the turn and then let him go and he was just awesome.”
Coleman said Betting Line will ship home to Canada on Sunday and return stateside for next weekend’s Battle of the Brandywine at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.