10/05/2013 3:55PM

Red Mile: Captaintreacherous proves his greatness in gutsy Tattersalls win

Derick Giwner
Captaintreacherous scored in 1:47 2/5 at The Red Mile on Saturday.

Captaintreacherous came to the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky with a nearly flawless record. Despite his achievements, which included the Meadowlands Pace, North America Cup, Max Hempt and Battle Of The Brandywine, there were still doubters. The naysayers still had a notion that perhaps he could be defeated. They were wrong.

On Saturday afternoon under overcast skies, Captaintreacherous showed the size of his heart and his undeniable will to win. Despite anxious moments and a thrilling stretch duel, “The Captain” refused to lose.

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“We were all scared in the grandstand,” said Myron Bell, managing partner for owner Captaintreacherous Racing. “Brian (Sears, Vegas Vacation) knows that horse has one scary move and he fired it perfectly.”

Beach Memories, Urbanite Hanover and Captaintreacherous all left away from the gate alertly. Beach Memories had the lead for a brief period before Tim Tetrick placed “Captain” on the lead. The son of Somebeachsomewhere would remain in charge through fractions of 26 4/5, 53 3/5 and 1:20 2/5 without much company on the rim.

Around the three quarter point Vegas Vacation, who pulled first-over passing the half, began to edge a bit closer and Tetrick was worried.

“I looked over right before the draw gate (in the stretch) and Brian still had his (ear) plugs in,” said Tetrick. “He was playing it right because he knows when my horse sees him he fights. He was trying to time it right.”

Sears called on Vegas Vacation down the stretch and he quickly pulled even and actually got by Captaintreacherous for a moment. But when “Captain” saw Vegas Vacation he began to dig deep. He found another gear and regained a neck-long lead and held that margin through the wire in a strong 1:47 2/5 mile.

Beach Memories and Sunshine Beach rounded out the top four.

“He just amazes me,” said Tetrick. “He’s beat halfway down the lane and he still finds a way to win. That’s what champions do. I took a deep breath. I didn’t breathe for the whole 1:47.”

Trainer Tony Alagna has managed the horse perfectly to 10 wins in 11 starts and now $1,611,773 in earnings this year.

“I have so much faith in the horse,” said Alagna. “I think that everybody knows he is a great horse now and I know that everybody is going to try to knock him off the top and I expect that. I just have to keep doing my job and put the horse on the track as best as I can. I know in my heart I’ve done the right thing by the horse.”

Captaintreacherous, who paid $2.60 to win,  will now head to the Breeders Crown eliminations at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs on October 12.

Later in the card, the second division of the split $215,500 Tattersalls 3-year-old open paces took place.

The sky erupted with rain moments before the start of the race, but the show went on. Sunfire Blue Chip left hard for the front but would quickly yield to the quarter-move by Fool Me Once. Those two sat in single-file past the first two quarters in 26 4/5 and 54 3/5.

Nearing the final turn, Twilight Bonfire came with a fast burst of speed to attack Fool Me Once and get a half-length in front. That duo would continue their battle by three quarters in 1:23 1/5 as Yannick Gingras edged the Jimmy Takter-trained Sunfire Blue Chip edged off the cones and took aim.

In the stretch, Sunfire Blue Chip surged to the front and scored over the wet surface in 1:49 4/5 over a closing Dedi’s Dragon and Fool Me Once.

For Sunfire Blue Chip, it was his seventh win in 15 career starts. The victory pushed his yearly earnings to $572,485 for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical AB and R A W Equine Inc.