02/20/2017 1:24PM

Bergman: Betting Line looks to carry his on-track dominance to the breeding shed

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Betting Line won the 2016 North America Cup.

O’Brien award winner Betting Line is not the first son of Bettor’s Delight his trainer Casie Coleman had success with as a sophomore. But he was the best.

“I’ve had some very talented colts by Bettor’s Delight,” Coleman said from her winter headquarters in South Florida. “But he was the best by far.”

What separates last year’s top 3-year-old pacer from the rest?

“He just had a will to win. Many times in races he was positioned too far out but he found the will to win, a fifth gear. I have never had another horse like that,” Coleman said.

Betting Line had a solid 2-year-old season but his fortunes improved dramatically as a sophomore and he was nearly invincible, winning an incredible 14 times in just 15 trips to post with the lone defeat being a second-place finishing coming in his first start of 2016.

There were many highlights to a sophomore season that stands out no matter what era one tries to compare it to. For Coleman though, one race provided the biggest thrill.

“I would have to say the North America Cup was the highlight for me,” said Coleman. “He was very far back and seemed out of it but he dug down and found the will to win.

“It wasn’t just that it was the richest race of the year, but more important to me was that it was at my home track.”

Betting Line was some seven lengths behind the pacemakers in the C$1 million North America Cup, but he hit a high gear and rolled on to a 1:47 4/5 victory. “I’ve never had a horse that could come home in 25 and change like he did,” said Coleman.

Betting Line was not eligible to race at Lexington’s Red Mile and Coleman, with the benefit of hindsight, wishes she had sent Betting Line to Kentucky in the fall.

“It was a big supplemental payment and we were considering it, but we thought we would give him a break and bring him back for the Breeders Crown,” Coleman said.

A 1:47 2/5 winner in the Battle of the Brandywine at Mohegan Sun Pocono in August would prove to be the fastest mile of Betting Line’s impressive career, but it certainly had Coleman thinking of what could have been.

“I wonder what would have happened if we had taken him to the Red Mile. You saw what Always B Miki did. The track was very fast that day,” Coleman said.

At no point during 2016 did Betting Line ever appear tired in the stretch and despite not getting a chance to race in the Breeders Crown, he leaves an impressive mark on the racetrack and the potential for future stardom as a stallion.

There has yet to be a successful son of Bettor’s Delight in the breeding shed, but Coleman thinks there could be a reason for that.

“I think the problem is that a lot of his best were geldings,” said Coleman, who has already sent one son of Bettor’s Delight to a second career, that being Betterthancheddar.

However, in Betting Line the trainer sees a much bigger upside considering his location.

“We were considering many farms,” said Coleman, “But when Murray Brown contacted me on Facebook and suggested I give Jim Simpson a call that changed everything. I called up Steve Calhoun (co-owner) and told him and that was it.”

Coleman was delighted that Betting Line will get the vast exposure to Hanover’s rich broodmare band, but she and partners won’t be sitting on the sidelines hoping others can come up with future stars.

“We don’t have that many mares but we’ll be sending a few,” said Coleman. “We’re going to breed Twin B Thong, she won over $200,000 and is a daughter of Sportswriter.” The results of that mating could prove rather interesting as Coleman trained Sportswriter as well.

A winner 20 times in 27 career starts, Betting Line retired with earnings in excess of $1.87 million. He stands for a fee of $10,000 at Hanover Shoe Farms in Pennsylvania and though he is a 4-year-old, his resulting foals will be eligible to race at all North American tracks.

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