By Ken Weingartner, USTA — Tim Tetrick needed only a few words to sum up Confederate’s win in Saturday’s (July 15) $668,000 Meadowlands Pace.
“That was a ride there,” Tetrick said after Confederate, the 1-2 favorite, covered the final quarter-mile in :25.4 to capture The Meadowlands’ signature race for 3-year-old pacers by 3-1/2 lengths over longshot Hungry Angel Boy in 1:47. Christchurch finished third.
The winning time was just one-fifth of a second off the stakes record set in 2014 by He’s Watching, and the margin of victory the largest since Well Said won the Pace by six lengths in 2009.
Confederate’s win extended trainer Brett Pelling’s record for Meadowlands Pace trophies to five and pushed Tetrick’s total to six, just one behind John Campbell’s record for drivers.
“I really felt he would be on his game tonight, and he was,” said Pelling, who celebrates his 65th birthday on Monday. “He’s just an awesome horse.”
Confederate settled into fourth place early in the race as Christchurch took the field to the opening quarter in :26.2 and half in :54.3. Tetrick put Confederate in motion just as the leader hit the midpoint, coming first-over and drawing even with Christchurch at three-quarters in 1:21.1.
From there, it was all Confederate.
“It kind of went the way I thought I was going to have to do it,” Tetrick said. “I was afraid I was going to have to be first up, and that’s the way it went, but I got to sit quite a way, and I was happy with that.
“That was a ride there. He dragged me around there. It was awesome.”
Confederate is owned by Diamond Creek Racing. The son of Sweet Lou-Geothermal was bred by Diamond Creek Farm.
“I think we were hoping for a performance like that,” Diamond Creek’s Adam Bowden said. “Timmy delivered, Brett delivered, it was great.”
For his career, Confederate has won nine of 12 races and earned just shy of $1 million. This year, he has four victories in five starts, with his lone setback a second-place finish by a head in last month’s Pepsi North America Cup at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Confederate paid $3 to win.