08/17/2013 11:16PM

Pocono: Sunshine Beach caps a world record night by beating Captaintreacherous

Ken Weingartner/USTA Photo
Sunshine Beach doubled his lifetime earnings after his Battle of the Brandywine victory.

The hot hand of Brian Sears continued at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Saturday night as he guided Sunshine Beach to an upset victory in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine and put an end to the undefeated three-year-old season of Captaintreacherous by a nostril in a 1:47 4/5 world record-equaling mile.

Sunshine Beach left alertly but was kept in the two-hole by Lonewolf Currier through a blistering :25 3/5 opening quarter. Sears made the move to the lead three-eighths of the way into the mile and was firmly in control at the half in :53 3/5 when 1-5 favorite Captaintreacherous and driver Tim Tetrick came to call. The two sons of champion Somebeachsomewhere were locked in vicious battle from that point, cutting the three quarter mile marker in 1:20 3/5 while on even terms.

The two would go eyeball to eyeball virtually the entire stretch with Sears urging his horse on ferociously and earning the victory.

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Hudson Standardbred, Conrad Leber and Diane Betrand own Sunshine Beach while Mark Steacy trains the colt.

“This horse has the ability,” said Sears in response to his confidence going into the race. As for beating the top rated horse in North America, Sears continued, “If I was ever going to beat him, that’s where I wanted him (Captaintreacherous) to be.”

“I always believed in this horse,” said Steacy, who mentioned the horse was possible to start in the Little Brown Jug on September 19.

Sent off at 5-1, Sunshine Beach returned $12.20 with his fifth win in 10 starts this season. Captaintreacherous finished second, with Twilight Bonfire finishing third.

Spider Blue Chip rebounded from his Hambletonian disappointment by converting a perfect trip to victory in the $500,000 Colonial Trot. Ron Pierce expertly sent the altered son of Andover Hall out of the gate sharply and found placement directly behind Smilin Eli. Pierce sat chilly as Smilin Eli and driver Tim Tetrick cut contested fractions of :26 3/5, :54 1/5 and 1:23 1/5. Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life was handled patiently from post eight at the start and attempted to roll up past the quarter to challenge the leader. That left Royalty For Life at the mercy of Smilin Eli and those two battled until head-stretch before Royalty For Life faded.

Spider Blue Chip, a heat winner in the Hambo, came up the passing lane to post a 1:52 2/5 world record for three-year-old geldings.

Hall of Famer Chuck Sylvester trains the winner for owners David McDuffee and Melvin Hartman.

“I wanted to get away behind Timmy (Tetrick, driver of Smilin Eli). I didn’t think he would let Royalty For Life go,” said Ron Pierce in the winner’s circle. Sent off as a 4-1 choice, Spider Blue Chip returned $10.20 for the victory, his sixth in 10 starts this year, boosting his career bank account to $601,294.

Smilin Eli finished a game second with Corky third.

I Luv The Nitelife continued her dominance of the three-year-old pacing filly division easily capturing the $350,000 Valley Forge final for owners Richard and Joanne Young and trainer Chris Ryder.

I Luv The Nitelife took a position third in the early stages as Somwherovrarainbow battled with Charisma Hanover for the early lead through a :25 2/5 opening quarter. Once the field straightened into the homestretch the first time, driver Tim Tetrick sent I Luv The Nitelife to the front and she proceeded to set fractions of :53 2/5 and 1:21 en route to a world record of 1:48 4/5, easily besting Somwherovrarainbow and Novascotia Hanover.

“She’s tough,” said Tetrick about the now nine-time winner in 2013. “I felt pretty good, though you never know, but I didn’t pull the earplugs until the stretch and she was very strong.”

“I’m just so proud of her,” added Ryder, who confirmed a schedule that would include the Jugette, Simcoe, Breeders Crown and American National.

The Valley Forge saw recent world champion Shebestingin break well before the start losing all chance. Driver Tetrick revealed that he caught that out of the corner of his eye and it aided his race strategy.

I Luv The Nitelife returned $2.80 as the 2-5 betting favorite.

Speed was on display early in a $50,000 Mares invitational pace. Drop The Ball was parked to the half yet drew clear in 1:48 2/5, eclipsing Camille’s world mark by a fifth of a second. Corey Callahan guided Drop The Ball ironically over Camille.

A Rocknroll Dance waited patiently off a contested pace and scored a world record-equaling 1:47 4/5 mile in a $50,000 Invitational. Tim Tetrick guided the four-year-old defeating favored Pet Rock and Sweet Lou.