06/02/2013 12:24AM

Mohawk: Vegas Vacation sizzles in 1:48 3/5 Somebeachsomewhere victory

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Vegas Vacation is heading to the North America Cup elimination on June 8.

The Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, the final local prep races for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, took place Saturday evening and the event featured some of the best sophomore pacers in North America.

Vegas Vacation, driven by Scott Zeron, set a new Somebeachsomewhere Stakes record in the first split when the talented youngster got under the wire first in 1:48 3/5.

Zeron angled the son of Bettors Delight into fourth in the early going as Evenin Of Pleasure (Sylvain Filion) was first to the front past the opening station in a quick :26 1/5.

Heading towards the half, Zeron pulled on the right line and sent Vegas Vacation to the front past the mid-way point in :54 4/5.

From there, the four-time winner cruised past three-quarters in 1:21 3/5 with Captive Audience (Randy Waples) stalking on the outside.

Down the stretch, Captive Audience, Tarpon Hanover (Jody Jamieson) and Sweet Talkin Satin (Rick Zeron) were all trying to wear down the tempo-setter, but failed to do so as Vegas Vacation was one and a half lengths the best. Sweet Talkin Satin finished second, with Tarpon Hanover third.

Coming into the race, trainer Casie Coleman admits she wasn’t sure if Vegas Vacation would race or not.

“I tweeted that he tied up on me on Wednesday and he didn’t even get to train this week a fast mile, we only went in about :30 with him because he tied up on me,” Coleman said. “I told the owners that there’s a good shot I’m scratching him on Wednesday.

“I pulled his blood again this morning before we raced and I couldn’t believe how good it was. It was awesome,” Coleman continued. “Obviously he showed today that he overcame it.”

Coleman praised her youngsters speed and gait.

“He’s a wicked fast horse. I wish he was a little bit smarter. Like I say, he’s not the smartest horse but he is wicked fast,” she said. “He has raw speed, a great gait on him and saying that about his manners, this year, he’s been very good. He’s not at all like he was in his two-year-old season.”

Owned by West Wins Stable, Adriano Sorella, Anthony Beaton and Phyllis Saunders, Vegas Vacation increased his bankroll to $151,751.

He paid $3.10 to win.

In the other division, Sunshine Beach, driven by Chris Christoforou, defeated the heavily-favoured Odds On Equuleus at odds of 6-1 in 1:49 2/5.

Fool Me Once (Sylvain Filion) was quickest to the front as he marched past the opening panel in :26 4/5. Resistance Futile (Anthony MacDonald) was in the pocket with Odds On Equuleus (John Campbell) sitting third.

Heading towards the half, Odds On Equuleus angled to the outside and took over command well before the mid-way point in :54.

Campbell would continue to dictate the pace past three-quarters in 1:22 2/5. Moonliteonthebeach (Randy Waples) was the first-over attacker around the final turn, giving live cover to Varadero Hanover (Jody Jamieson) with Sunshine Beach sitting third-over.

Turning for home, Odds On Equuleus began to tire as the backfield was closing in and Sunshine Beach got the upper hand on his rivals as he exploded off cover to score the half-length win. Varadero Hanover finished second, with Fool Me Once third.

Sunshine Beach remains a perfect two-for-two to start his sophomore campaign for owners Diane Bertrand, Conrad Leber and Hudson Standrdbrd Stb Inc.

“I’m very excited right now. He was in against some nice horses and could have ended up last or first, and he ended up first, so it looks like he’s going in the right direction,” said trainer Mark Steacy following the win. “We kept him eligible to everything. We expected he had the potential to be that kind of horse but you never really know until you get there.”

“To be honest, I wasn’t that confident turning for home,” Christoforou said, who picked up the live catch drive. “I never drove him before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. When you’re in a deep field like this anything can happen.”

The son of Somebeachsomewhere set a new lifetime best in the process while his earnings grew to $82,406.

Both Vegas Vacation and Sunshine Beach remain eligible to the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, which takes place on June 15 at Mohawk.

The Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, which was formerly called the Burlington Stakes, is named after the great pacer.

(edited release-WEG)