08/15/2014 11:17PM

Northfield: All Bets Off wins inaugural Milstein Memorial

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JJ Zamaiko
All Bets Off drew off to an upset win.

The inaugural $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial was a fantastic contest at Northfield Park on Friday night with All Bets Off providing the 7-1 upset coming through the passing lane to outsprint odds-on favorite McWicked to the wire in a brisk 1:50 3/5 mile.

Driver Matt Kakaley was assertive from post two with All Bets Off leaving the gate briskly.

“I wanted to seat Ronnie (Pierce) behind me,” said Kakaley of his strategy to force second-choice Luck Be Withyou into the pocket.

With one rival settled Kakaley allowed the 1-5 McWicked to move to the front by the quarter and from there the pace settled down.

McWicked and David Miller set the half in :54 1/5 and three quarters in 1:22 1/5 and looked pretty much to be in control of the race on the final turn. Luck Be Withyou and Ron Pierce charged hard through the second half but at times had serious trouble steering.

In the stretch Kakaley edged the Bettors Delight colt to the passing lane and he exploded to score his seventh win in 10 tries in 2014.

“I thought Dave (Miller) was backing in to me but he was done,” said Kakaley of the favorite McWicked on the final turn.

McWicked salvaged second in a dead heat with Luck Be Withyou.

“He’s a top five colt,” said winning trainer Ron Burke of the winner that likely will return to race in the New York Sire Stakes next.

Earlier in the evening National Debt set the track record of 1:49 4/5 in capturing the $100,000 Carl Milstein Consolation for driver Ron Pierce. The race featured a :25 1/5 opening quarter, perhaps the fastest quarter ever over a half-mile track, carved out by runner-up Limelight Beach. The fractions were fierce with Limelight Beach and driver Matt Kakaley regaining command past the quarter and cutting fractions of :53 2/5 and 1:21 2/5 while maintaining a clear lead. National Debt, off an uncovered journey, angled out in the stretch and was just able to secure the win, his fourth of the season in just 10 starts.

[DRF HARNESS: Watch top older pacers in the $260K Gerrity Memorial on Saturday at Saratoga - LIVE on DRF!]