07/29/2017 3:43PM

The Meadows: Fear The Dragon foils Huntsville again in the Delvin Miller Adios

Chris Gooden
Fear The Dragon goes by Huntsville (#4) to win the Adios this afternoon at The Meadows

Fear The Dragon and Huntsville locked horns in the stretch of the $400,000 Delvin Miller Adios on Saturday afternoon at The Meadows, and just like in the North America Cup, Fear The Dragon came out on top, winning the race for 3-year-old pacing colts in 1:49 1/5.

Eddard Hanover (Brett Miller) left sharply from post five and got the early lead, but Huntsville (Tim Tetrick) moved up on his outside to get the lead just past the 26 1/5 opening quarter.  Fear The Dragon (David Miller) did not leave off the gate and settled in the fifth position in the early going.

"I tucked in and I could see they were going a pretty good quarter because they were gapped out," David Miller said after the race.  "I saw Timmy re-moving, so I expected the half to be like that.  I probably moved him a little earlier than I had to, but we were getting gapped out there too much.

Racing in front of the stands for the first time, Huntsville raced noticeably wide, and he didn't really get down to the cones in the turn before the 53 3/5 half, either.  Fear The Dragon had commenced a first-over bid before Huntsville reached the half, and didn't flush any cover, meaning he would have an extended first-over journey to overcome.

"The way it was setting up, I didn't really want to follow any of the ones in front of me," Miller said about the trip.  "He's game enough; he can take it first-over.  He's obviously probably better off of some cover, but it didn't happen today."

Huntsville continued to try and get out up the backstretch, but Tetrick was able to keep him in the lead by a nose over Fear The Dragon at the 1:21 1/5 three-quarters.  Huntsville then got away some from Fear The Dragon around the far turn and into the stretch, but the North America Cup and Hempt champion re-rallied again on the outside in the lane and wore down Huntsville late to prevail by half a length.  R J P (Yannick Gingras) rallied up the passing lane to finish third.  Western Hill (Dave Palone) and Blood Line (Mark MacDonald) finished in fourth and fifth.

"My horse felt strong the whole way til about midway through the turn," the winning driver concluded.  "I asked him and he didn't get any closer.  At that point there I was a bit worried, but through the stretch he made it up."

Fear The Dragon is a Dragon Again colt trained by Brian Brown for owner Emerald Highlands Farm.  This was Fear The Dragon's 14th career victory, and he has now earned $1,152,844.  The 6-5 second choice behind Huntsville, who was sent off at 4-5, Fear The Dragon paid $4.40 to win.

"It was not the trip I was hoping for," acknowledged Brown.  "We were hoping with that inside draw of Huntsville that we would be following him instead of getting away fifth.  I was awful worried out of the gate.  I thought we were in pretty good shape by three-quarters, but at the head of the stretch I thought he had us put away again.  Dragon just keep fighting and never gives up."

"That horse is just so brave.  He is the perfect Adios horse," added Bruce Trogdon of Emerald Highlands Farm.  "The theme song is Rocky, and he is Rocky.  That horse is all heart as everybody saw, and Rocky just beat Apollo Creed."