Huntsville Brushes, Repels Two in Freshman Crown Pace
By James Witherite, Meadowlands racing media
East Rutherford, N.J. – Huntsville ($3.60) used a bold middle move to secure command in a fast pace before heading off two challengers—including rival Downbytheseaside—to capture the $600,000 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings in 1:49.1, missing the stakes record by a fifth of a second.
Tim Tetrick settled the son of Somebeachsomewhere and Wild West Show into midfield early on, remaining in the two-path before accelerating to clear Downbytheseaside (David Miller) with nine-sixteenths to go. Unfazed by a strenuous :54.1 first half mile, Huntsville would be pressed through a :27.4 third quarter by the first-over Filibuster Hanover (Brett Miller), turning him aside before facing a late challenge from Downbytheseaside, who found room to vacate the pegs and make a late bid upon cornering for home.
Despite Downbytheseaside’s ability to push to within half a length in mid-stretch, Huntsville responded at first asking to repel that foe, edging away to prevail by two lengths. Downbytheseaside held second, and Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley) rallied from third-over to take third.
Trainer Ray Schnittker, who shares ownership with Ted Gewertz, Charles Iannazzo, and Steven Arnold, was worried by the fast pace, but his 7-time winner quelled any concerns in the last yards. “I got a little concerned at the :54.1 half, and around the last turn, I said ‘Well, let’s separate the men from the boys,’ and he was the man.”
Huntsville has one more dance for his freshman campaign before coming back at three. “He’s got the Governor’s Cup up in Canada, and that will be it [for the season],” concluded Schnittker.
The win with Huntsville earned Tetrick his second Breeders Crown title of the weekend.