09/16/2016 1:46PM

Freehold: Dominion Beach best in Charles Smith

World Wide Racing Photos
Dominion Beach fought off a stretch bid by Southwind Flash to take the Charles Smith at Freehold

Five 3-year-old colt trotters faced off in the $42,000 Charles Smith on Friday afternoon at Freehold Raceway, and it would be 3-1 shot Dominion Beach and driver Marcus Johansson emerging with a 1:57 2/5 victory.

Inukchuk Chuck (Jim Marshall III) shot through from the pole position to grab the early lead, but Johansson had Dominion Beach out and moving from second to grab control at the 28 2/5 opening quarter.  Steed (Dan Dube) would come first-over out of third before the 59 1/5 half, and although he grabbed the lead on the outside, he couldn't clear Dominion Beach and wound up parked-out.  Favored Southwind Flash (Joe Bongiorno) would track Steed's cover, then dove into the pocket when Inukchuk Chuck backed out of contention before Dominion Beach reached the 1:27 3/5 three-quarters.

Dominion Beach put Steed away on the final bend, but the passing lane beckoned for Southwind Flash in the lane.  Dominion Beach was game, though, keeping the challenge at bay by three-parts of a length.  Steed held third, Inukchuk Chuck checked in fourth, and Hillman (Marcus Melander) rounded out the field.

Dominion Beach is a Muscle Hill colt trained by Nancy Johansson for owner Courant AB.  Dominion Beach won for the fifth time from 23 career starts, and he has now banked $163,301.  He returned $8.80 for the victory.