By Ellen Harvey
Mach It So, with David Miller driving, held off a persistent Boston Red Rocks and Brett Miller in the final eighth of a mile to win the $427,400 William Haughton Memorial for open pacers by a neck at the Meadowlands on Saturday night in a time of 2:00.4 for the mile and an eighth distance.
Mach It So was off the early pace, set by Bettor’s Edge and Scott Zeron through a snappy :25.4 first quarter, with Rock N’ Roll World and Brian Sears in behind him. Mach It So was moving up from fourth just past the quarter and had the lead by the half in :54.1.
Boston Red Rocks was on the outside to challenge past the half and kept up the pressure and drew nearly even at three-quarters, which was timed in 1:20.4. Those two were the sole contenders down the stretch with Mach It So hitting the mile in 1:47.1 with a slight lead and Boston Red Rocks still pressing hard on the outside to the wire.
“With the extra eighth of a mile, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen,” said winning driver Miller. “When the gate folded, it looked like there were about 10 of them (in a 12-horse field) leaving. By the time we got to the first turn, it had settled down and I was sitting fourth.
“We were actually going a pretty moderate pace, so I went ahead and moved him to see what would happen. The horse first up just kind of rode there and we got our own way. He fought really hard through the stretch. I think Boston Red Rocks got up on him, but this horse fought back and put his head in front. That (1:47.1) is a big mile for him. He was still pacing hard at the wire. I give the horse a lot of credit. He’s a quality horse. He’s been around for a long time and he’s won this race before.”
Mach It So returned $34.60 to win. Bettor’s Edge (Scott Zeron) was third.
Mach It So is trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr. and owned by Bamond Racing LLC.