08/11/2016 2:29PM

Northfield: Streaking Betting Line set for Milstein

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Betting Line winning the N.A. Cup

Casie Coleman and the fellow owners of Betting Line decided to skip several of harness racing’s big-money events for 3-year-old male pacers this summer, but the group is pleased with the results and betting it pays off down the road.

The Canadian-based Betting Line won the North America Cup on June 18 at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. Since then, he has raced three times, all on the Ontario Sire Stakes circuit, and posted three victories.

He was not staked to the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial, $732,050 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, $400,000 Delvin Miller Adios, or $320,000 Cane Pace. Racing Hill won the Hempt and Adios; Control The Moment won the Meadowlands Pace and Cane.

Betting Line, who has won seven of eight races this year and earned $571,830, will leave Canada for the first time in his career when he competes in Saturday’s $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial Invitational at Ohio’s Northfield Park. Betting Line is the 3-5 morning line favorite in the eight-horse field, which includes filly Pure Country, Dan Patch Award-winner Boston Red Rocks, and Ontario rival Sintra.

“He was good each start (following the North America Cup) and I’m glad I was able to give him a bit of a break,” said Coleman, who trains Betting Line. The colt is owned by Coleman’s West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun, and Mac Nichol. “A lot of these other horses have been racing tough week in and week out. I know he’s going to get busy in the next several weeks.

“It’s hard to be upset with the money he’s made. The Ontario-sired horses go for such good money right here in his backyard. We decided to try to hit all the Ontario Sire Stakes we could and work his open stakes races around them. Our program is so good it’s just hard to say no. We decided to go this route and we’re all happy with the money he’s racking up doing it this way.”

Following the Milstein, Betting Line will head to the Battle of the Brandywine at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Aug. 20. He has an Ontario Sire Stakes event on Sept. 3 at Mohawk and the Simcoe Stakes a week later at the same venue. Next on his schedule is the Little Brown Jug on Sept. 22 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio.

He is not staked to the Tattersalls Pace at Lexington’s Red Mile, but could be supplemented. Coleman, though, is focused on the Ontario Sire Stakes championship on Oct. 15 at Mohawk and the Breeders Crown eliminations a week later at the Meadowlands. If all goes well, Betting Line would make a trip to the Breeders Crown final on Oct. 29 and end his season with the Progress Pace at Dover Downs in November.

For now, Coleman is only concerned about the Milstein. Betting Line and driver David Miller will start from post No. 2 on the half-mile oval and bring a seven-race win streak to the event. Pure Country, who finished fourth in the Cane Pace, is the 9-2 second choice from post six. Sintra, who in 10 races this year has posted seven wins and three second-place finishes to Betting Line, is 6-1 from post four.

“It will be the first time Betting Line will be on a half-mile track, but it’s really well banked and a good surface,” Coleman said. “Any inside post is good, so I’m happy with that. It’s a tough enough field. You’re going for $300,000 so it’s always going to be tough.

“Sintra, we’ve beaten him every time so far, but he’s a really good horse, so he’s one to worry about. Pure Country, she’s been just unreal, so you have to worry about her. I don’t know some of the horses coming from Indiana and Ohio, but from their lines it looks like they’ve been racing quite good. He’s definitely going to have his work cut out for him, but he seems good and sharp coming into the race.”

Betting Line won six of 12 races last year, including the Ontario Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male pacers. He finished second in the Metro Pace and fourth off a tough trip in the Breeders Crown.

Coleman prepared Betting Line for his 3-year-old season by training him with 4-year-old Reverend Hanover, a two-time Ontario champion. It was more out of necessity than by design.

“I’ve just got a small barn and didn’t bring back many 3-year-olds,” Coleman said. “Reverend, when he trains, he wants to rattle and roll. He’s a little bit of an aggressive trainer. Betting Line definitely had to train back with tougher competition than I would have liked, but that’s what we had to do.

“He raced great as a 2-year-old, but that last start when he went a tough trip in the Breeders Crown final I was quite worried. You don’t want to see a horse end the year with a start like that. I was worried if it would hurt him at all coming back at 3, but he seemed to forget all about that.”

Coleman is more than happy with Betting Line’s attitude, and it’s tough to put a price on that.

“Every time I put him behind the gate he always gives me everything he’s got,” Coleman said. “It’s always exciting racing him.”

-Courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, please visit www.ustrotting.com

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