Harness racing's 3-year-old colt pacer picture became muddled Saturday night when the overwhelming favorites failed in all three divisions of the Terrapin Stakes at Freestate Raceway in Laurel.
The most disappointing performance of the night was from Barberry Spur, last year's 2-year-old champion, who finished fourth as a 2-to-5 favorite in the third division won by Tassel Lobell ($19.20).
Coming into the Terrapin, Tassel Lobell had raced mostly in overnight events at the Meadowlands and had earned only $29,000. But, thanks to an excellent drive by John Campbell, Tassel Lobell circled the leaders in the stretch to win by three-quarters of a length over Freight Saver in 1:54 4/5, three full seconds faster than his previous best for the mile.
Campbell also turned in a exciting late closing move in the second division to get Amity Chef ($18.20) home in 1:53 1/5, a Freestate record for 3-year-old pacing colts. The old mark was 1:55 held by three colts.
In that division, 3-to-5 choice Laughs turned in the worst race in his career. Laughs had 11 victories in 15 lifetime starts, but Saturday he faded to finish third, eight lengths behind the winner.
The first division set the tone for the night when Telemon Hanover ($21.80) also made a sweeping move in the stretch to win in 1:55 2/5. With 34-to-1 choice Faithful One finishing second, the exacta returned $424.40.
Last night, Shane Scottseth set a Freestate record for 3-year-old trotting colts as he won a division of the Currier and Ives in 1:59 with Tommy Haughton driving. The old mark was 1:59 1/5 by Columbus Shuttle.
Everglade Hanover ($48.40), driven by John Simpson Jr., won the other division in 1:59 3/5. Loni Almahurst won the Hanover for fillies in 1:57.
Meanwhile, Saturday's winner of the Superbet was identified as a 46-year-old resident of Baltimore who said he wagered only $8, keying on driver Jim Morand in the third and fifth race exactas. Morand won both races. In the seventh race triple, the bettor used combinations with the horse Mr Dreamland after Campbell was named as his driver.