10/08/2016 4:17PM

Red Mile: Huntsville, Downbytheseaside tie 2-year-old world record with 1:49 victories

Derick Giwner
Huntsville stops the clock in a world record-equaling 1:49

Huntsville and Downbytheseaside came to the Red Mile as the fastest 2-year-old pacing colts in the sport with 1:50 clockings this year and left as the co-fastest of all time after both stopped the timer in 1:49 to win two of the four $65,500 International Stallion Stakes on Saturday.

Huntsville settled in fourth early as Rock The Boat gunned off the wings of the gate and seated Fear The Dragon in the pocket in a 27-second opening quarter. Despite facing a stiff backstretch headwind, Huntsville was sent hard to the front after that call and assumed command at the half in 55 2/5.

The tempo continued to be quick with Huntsville posting consecutive 26 4/5 quarters in the final half to leave Fear The Dragon in his dust, winning by 3-1/4 lengths. The Ray Schnittker trainee equaled the world record held by Sweet Lou as the fastest 2-year-old pacer in history.

“I had no idea,” said driver Tim Tetrick when asked if he thought he was setting the world record as they entered the stretch. “I knew he had plenty left and was going to come home strong.”

Huntsville ($2.80) now has five wins in eight starts while never finishing worse than second for owners Schnittker, Ted Gewertz, Charles Ianazzo and Steve Arnold. The homebred son of Somebeachsomewhere-Wild West Show has now earned over $293,000 in his career.

Not to be done by Huntsville, Downbytheseaside put on a show of his own. After Eddard Hanover put up an opening quarter of 27 seconds, Downbytheseaside uncorked a wicked burst to the front to assume command. He blazed the way to the half in 53 4/5, and things were looking somewhat bleak as Boogie Shuffle engaged him by three-quarters in 1:22 3/5, but Downbytheseaside was far from done.Derick GiwnerThe connections of Downbytheseaside pose in front of the teletimer

David Miller asked Downbytheseaside for more, and he powered away from Boogie Shuffle through the lane to win by a length and a half.

“At the half I thought we were in trouble. We put a dog chain on him (to make him more controllable), and I told my niece who takes care of him, we have to take the chain off, because I thought for sure halfway through the stretch he would fold up. I was pretty impressed that he kept going. I don’t know how that will work if Huntsville is right behind him, though,” said trainer Brian Brown, who admitted he would need to shorten the dog chain a bit for the colt’s next start.

Downbytheseaside paid $3.20 to win as the favorite for owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco and Richard Lombardo.

Both colts are expected to meet up in the Breeders Crown at The Meadowlands on October 29 and will compete in eliminations on October 22, but the always outspoken Schnittker was clear who he thought was the better horse.

“I think mine is 10 lengths better; you can print that,” said Schnittker after watching Downbytheseaside win.

Another record went down in the first split of the Stallion Stakes when Dragnet Alert made his second career win a big one, setting a world record for 2-year-old geldings.

The pace was hot as Filibuster Hanover reeled off fractions of 27 2/5, 54 2/5 and 1:21 4/5 despite facing the stiff wind down the backstretch. Favored Odds On Delray took aim took aim in the stretch and gained control, but he had to settle for second as Dragnet Alert powered past late to win in 1:49 2/5.

“When I got the horse he was sick, so I had no choice but to quit with him for about a month,” said trainer Chris Oakes about the son of Dragon Again, who was purchased by Crawford Farms Racing LLC in early July.

Brian Sears drove the winner, who paid $29.80.

Chip Walther lit up the tote board in the second Stallion Stake for driver Marcus Miller, sprinting home late for the 1:50 3/5 win.

The heavily favored Blood Line brushed to the front by the quarter in 28 1/5 and put up a reasonable middle half of 55 4/5 as Point Somewherelse turned up the heat on the rim. Those two battled as the field spread across the track in the lane and Chip Walther emerged from the fray for the 41-1 upset.

Miller called the colt by Art Major’s performance “awesome” and said the wind was definitely playing a role in the outcome of the race.

Trainer Erv Miller, who scored a triple on the card along with his son Marcus, said the big track really helped this colt.

“This horse has been getting better probably the last three weeks or so,” said Erv Miller, who co-owns Chip Walther with Paymaq Racing, Nick Surick and Louis Willinger.