MILTON, September 15, 2018 – This year’s edition of the $665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic was a hoof-to-hoof heavyweight battle from start to finish, with Crystal Fashion coming out on top in the final strides.
Saddled with the daunting post 10, Crystal Fashion, a bay son of Cantab Hall, needed a little racing luck and plenty of grit to get the job done in Canada’s richest trotting event of 2018.
On Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park, the Jim Campbell trainee had plenty of the latter.
Sent off as the 5-2 second choice to 3-5 Mets Hall, Crystal Fashion, piloted by Tim Tetrick, was full of trot as the gate took off from the field of 11 sophomore stars.
After taking his rivals through an opening quarter in :27.3, Crystal Fashion then found himself sitting in second spot once Mets Hall, with Andy Miller driving, went from second to first.
The see-saw tussle between the leaders continued through a half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1.25-flat, with the final round coming as the field straightened for home.
Down the stretch, Crystal Fashion, on the outside, and Mets Hall, to his inside, put on a show for the packed house at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
At the wire, Crystal Fashion ($7.90 to win) eked out a hard-fought half-length triumph over his rival, in 1:52.1. Fiftydallarbill was third, while Lawmaker was fourth.
The 10-2 exactor returned $21 and a 10-2-8 triactor paid $91.60. A $1 superfecta (10-2-8-5) was worth $444.85. There was a pari-mutuel refund for Winning American, who had a broken equipment issue prior to the start of the race.
“It worked out good today,” said Tetrick who two races earlier teamed with Green Manalishi S to win the William Wellwood Memorial. “We got out of there good and got on the right foot. He crossed over well, in-hand, and the favourite came and we had to let him go, so I got a dream trip.”
Both Crystal Fashion and Tetrick had to work overtime to finally reel in a stubborn Mets Hall.
“I went ahead and pulled the pocket at the top of the lane,” he said. “We had a horse race to the wire, but today my horse outgrinded him. With Crystal, you never know for sure. He always gives a pretty good effort, but sometimes he can look at butterflies.”
Tonight, he stung like a bee.
It was lifetime win No. 13 from 25 starts for the bay gelding, owned by Fashion Farms LLC. In 13 starts this year, Crystal Fashion, bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, has nine wins and a trio of seconds.
“Very impressed,” said Campbell. “Timmy did a great job getting him out of there to put him in good position. The horse, he digs. If he’s got a target to go at, he goes after it. He’s just been a tremendous horse to train this year.”
Crystal Fashion will soon head to the Bluegrass State for his next engagements.
“He’s been good at both two and three,” said Campbell. “He seems to get better. He’ll go down to Lexington and have two races there and then he’ll go to the Breeders Crown.”
By Chris Lomon for WoodbineMohawkPark.com