05/18/2012 11:35PM

Western Fair: Clear Vision and Aracache Hanover take Molson Pace Elims

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Clear Vision upset Atochia in his Molson elimination.

It had been 32 years since John Campbell raced at the track where he started his career, The Raceway at Western Fair District, but he certainly didn’t forget his way around the half-mile oval in London, Ontario as he proved in Friday’s first of two $20,000 eliminations of the Molson Pace.

Leaving from post two with Clear Vision, Campbell grabbed a spot on the rail as the gate left and watched the battle up front between Up The Credit, making his 2012 debut, and Clear Vision’s stablemate from the Ron Burke barn, Atochia.  Up The Credit and Jody Jamieson refused to yield which sent Atochia back to second while Up The Credit carved early fractions of :27 and :56 3/5.
Down the backside for the second time, Campbell tipped his charge out and gained cover in the form of Atochia who cleared the leader easily before the 1:25 third panel. Clear Vision continued to close and the stablemates battled through the stretch with Clear Vision prevailing in 1:52 2/5. Atochia was right there for second with St Elmo Hero and Stonebridge Tonic next across the wire to qualify for next Friday night’s $300,000 Molson Pace final.

“Being in the two hole I didn’t have to use him for the first part of the mile. They were down to the quarter on time and I thought once I moved him down the backstretch, whether Atochia came out of the two hole or not, he felt pretty good,” noted Campbell.

He continued, "When I got cover going into the last turn he felt real strong pacing out of the turn. He ran a pretty good horse down.”

As for being back in the winner’s circle at his home track after such a long absence he noted, “It feels pretty good. It certainly brings back a lot of memories. The paddock has certainly changed, a lot of the buildings around here have changed so much I wouldn’t know the place until you get on the track and then everything becomes normal and natural for me.”

For Clear Vision, a 6-year-old gelding by Western Hanover, it was his second win of the 2012 season. Owned by trainer Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, the Panhellenic Stable and James Koran, Clear Vision is on the verge of breaking the million dollar mark in life earnings with $987,022 banked. Clear Vision is a half-brother to $2.7 million winner Rock N Roll Heaven.

The second division saw the six-horse field line up in the early going exactly in post position order with Aracache Hanover and Doug McNair leading the way from the rail, followed by Valentino, Foiled Again, Machal Jackson, Razzle Dazzle and Secret Weapon.
Aracache Hanover rolled by the first quarter in :27 1/5 and before he hit the half in :56 1/5 he had company coming in the form of last year’s Molson Pace winner Foiled Again. That horse went the tough first up trip past the 1:23 3/5 three quarters and was still gaining down the stretch but Aracache Hanover managed to hold him off to win in 1:51, a tick off the all age track record.  Razzle Dazzle was third with Machal Jackson also qualifying for the final.

“We made the front pretty easy. The best one in there (Foiled Again) got away third, he come first up and we couldn’t shake him -  (racing) on the outside it’s pretty tough to do that. He fought tough but ours raced big too,” noted McNair whose father Gregg handles the training.

A 5-year-old son of Dragon Again, Aracache Hanover is now 3-3-1 in nine starts this year for owners Bill Switala and James Martin.
The draw for next Friday night’s $300,000 Molson Pace final, the track’s signature race was conducted after the two eliminations. The eight finalists will line up as follows:

(edited press release - Western Fair)

 

Post Position Horse DRF Harness M/L
1 St Elmo Hero 10-1
2 Clear Vision 7-2
3 Atochia 4-1
4 Machal Jackson 20-1
5 Razzle Dazzle 8-1
6 Foiled Again 5-2
7 Aracache Hanover 6-1
8 Stonebridge Tonic 10-1