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TOP PACERS READY TO "BATTLE" AGAIN AT POCONO

-- Story by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA

MANALAPAN, NJ -- August 17, 2016 -- Betting Line will put his eight-race win streak on the line in Saturday’s $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where multiple-stakes-winners Control The Moment and Racing Hill await the opportunity to challenge the Casie Coleman-trained standout for the first time since the North America Cup nearly two months ago.

Canadian-based Betting Line won the North America Cup on June 18 at Mohawk Racetrack, with Racing Hill finishing second and Control The Moment finishing third.

Since then, Betting Line has won three times on the Ontario Sire Stakes circuit and won last week’s Carl Milstein Memorial Invitational. Racing Hill has won four of five starts, including the Max C. Hempt Memorial and Delvin Miller Adios, and finished second to Control The Moment in the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. Control The Moment, who finished fourth in the Hempt, has won three consecutive races including the Meadowlands Pace and Cane Pace.

“It will be a great race for the fans and everybody involved,” Coleman said. “I’m looking forward to it. I think my horse is good coming into it and I’m sure the others will have their horses real good too. It will be a real good race.”

The Battle of the Brandywine, for 3-year-old pacers, is part of Pocono’s Super Stakes Saturday, which also includes the $500,000 Colonial for 3-year-old trotters and $350,000 Valley Forge for 3-year-old female pacers.

Betting Line and driver David Miller will start the Battle of the Brandywine from post No. 1. Betting Line, who has accumulated $1.13 million in career purses thanks to winning eight of nine races this year and 14 of 21 lifetime, is the 5-2 morning line favorite.

In his most recent start, Betting Line raced first over from prior to the halfway point until the top of the stretch, overcoming a brief break of stride on the final turn, to win the Milstein by four lengths over filly Pure Country in 1:51 on a surface labeled “good” at Northfield Park.

“He was phenomenal,” said Coleman, whose West Wins Stable is among the colt’s owners along with Christine Calhoun and Mac Nichol. “I wish he didn’t put in that bobble in the last turn, but we think we’ve got it rectified. I had his hobbles too long and I’m going to bring them in. But when David hit the turbo button, he was just gone. His speed is unbelievable and his desire to win is unbelievable.”

Control The Moment won the Cane Pace on Aug. 6 and Meadowlands Pace on July 16. Control The Moment, trained by Canada’s Brad Maxwell, has won four of eight races this year and 12 of 17 in his career, good for $1.02 million in earnings. He is owned by the Control The Moment Stable.

Brian Sears will drive Control The Moment, who will start the Battle of the Brandywine from post eight. Control The Moment is 3-1 on the morning line.

“He’s got his work cut out for him,” said Sears, who is undefeated in three drives behind Control The Moment. “Our chances definitely would have been better with a better starting spot, but I wouldn’t rule us out, that’s for sure. But that track is a speed track and you’ve got to be up close. That’s the bottom line. It’s just go, go, go.

“He is versatile. He can race off the pace. He’s got a good mouth. You’ve got to have a horse that will work with you. This horse, he will let me do my job.”

Racing Hill will enter the Battle of the Brandywine off a three-week respite following his 1:48.4 win in the Adios on July 30 at The Meadows. Racing Hill was put through quick early fractions of :25.2 to the opening quarter and :52.1 to the half as he wrested the lead from Check Six.

For the year, Racing Hill has won four of nine starts, good for a division-leading $836,702 in purses. For his career, the colt has won nine of 19 races and $970,028 for owner Tom Hill.

Racing Hill will start the Battle of the Brandywine from post three with Brett Miller at the lines for trainer Tony Alagna. Racing Hill is 4-1 on the morning line.

“My colt has been roughed up a few times, but Tony gave him three weeks off and I think that will help,” Miller said. “I’d love to be able to give my colt a trip and not get torched like I did in the Adios. I’ve always loved this horse and had a lot of confidence in him, but that day he showed me what kind of heart he has. I don’t know if I’ve ever sat behind a horse that got parked that hard and went on to win. He really impressed me.

“This race is definitely going to be a tough one. With Betting Line having the rail, in my opinion, he’s going to be able to do whatever he wants. He does have gate speed, but he doesn’t have to use it. With Control The Moment having the eight hole, I kind of feel like he’s forced to go forward out of the gate. With my post position, I think I am in a good spot; I think I can see what’s going on leaving the gate and hopefully work out a trip.”

First race post time is 6:30 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. Below is the field for the Battle of the Brandywine, followed by the fields for the Colonial and Valley Forge.

$500,000 Battle of the Brandywine
3-year-old pacers
Race 13/Post – 11:00 p.m.
PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line
1. Betting Line – David Miller – Casie Coleman - 5/2
2. Boston Red Rocks – Tim Tetrick – Steve Elliott - 6/1
3. Racing Hill – Brett Miller – Tony Alagna - 4/1
4. Another Daily Copy – Corey Callahan – Nicholas Devita - 15/1
5. Check Six – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke - 5/1
6. Western Fame – Mark MacDonald – Jimmy Takter - 10/1
7. JK Will Power – Matt Kakaley – Ron Burke - 12/1
8. Control The Moment – Brian Sears – Brad Maxwell - 3/1
9. Big Top Hanover – Scott Zeron – Ron Burke - 20/1

$500,000 Colonial
3-year-old trotters
Race 12/Post – 10:35 p.m.
PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line
1. Dayson – David Miller – Ron Burke - 5/1
2. Marion Marauder – Scott Zeron – Paula Wellwood - 5/2
3. Milligan’s School – Brian Sears – Julie Miller - 12/1
4. Hititoutofthepark – Corey Callahan – John Butenschoen - 15/1
5. Love Matters – Mark MacDonald – Jimmy Takter - 20/1
6. Southwind Frank – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke - 3/1
7. Sutton – Andy Miller – Julie Miller - 6/1
8. Bar Hopping – Tim Tetrick – Jimmy Takter - 4/1
9. Waitlifter K – Matt Kakaley – Andrew Harris - 10/1

$350,000 Valley Forge
3-year-old female pacers
Race 11/Post – 10:10 p.m.
PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line
1. Call Me Queen Be – Scott Zeron – Ross Croghan - 12/1
2. Lindwood Beachgirl – Yannick Gingras – Mark Steacy - 4/1
3. Kiss Me Onthebeach – John Campbell – Chris Ryder - 5/1
4. JK Fannie – Corey Callahan – Nancy Johansson - 15/1
5. Shezarealdeal – Marcus Miller – Ross Croghan - 20/1
6. Darlinonthebeach – David Miller – Nancy Johansson - 3/1
7. Blue Moon Stride – Andrew McCarthy – Mark Harder - 6/1
8. I Said Diamonds – George Napolitano Jr. – Matias Ruiz - 10/1
9. Pure Country – Brett Miller – Jimmy Takter - 5/2


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