Bridgmohan wins Pago Hop in track record
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CMC):
Jamaican Shaun Bridgmohan wrapped up 2016 in style, producing a dominant front-running effort with favourite BELIEVE IN BERTIE to win the co-feature US$104,400 Pago Hop Stakes in a new track record at Fair Grounds on New Year's Eve.
In firm turf conditions over a mile, Bridgmohan and the three-year-old filly led into the first turn and then made all the running to reach the wire 73/4 lengths clear in a breezy time of one minute, 34.22 seconds.
The time eclipsed the one-year-old record of 1:34.51 set by six-year-old PAROLED in 2015.
"She's got such a high cruising speed, so I just wanted to stay out of her way and be a good passenger," Bridgmohan said afterwards.
"She was doing it so easily. I never even had to pull the stick on her."
BELIEVE IN BERTIE broke from the far outside, but quickly made up ground to head Gianna's Dream into the first turn to set a steady pace.
She was easy through the quarter run in 24.01 seconds, but quickened to reach the half mile in 47.27, to be nearly eight lengths clear of the field.
Bridgmohan then carried the filly to the six-furlong pole in 1:10.85 and burst into the stretch without a serious challenger. The pair completed the final quarter mile in a speedy 23.55 seconds to pass the wire dominantly.
"It was an awesome effort and we're very proud of her," said trainer Brad Cox.
The victory was BELIEVE IN BERTIE's fourth in nine starts and it carried her career earnings to $271,522.