by Darin Zoccali
cover photo by Michael Lisa; article photo by Ken Weingartner
It was the exclamation point in the storybook saga of a $3,000 yearling purchase who scaled the heights of the sport with The Pace victory.
The time was a dazzling 1:46 4/5, tying the fastest clocking in the history of harness racing. He joins Somebeachsomewhere, Holborn Hanover and Warawee Needy in that exclusive speed club.
Tim Tetrick was in the sulky for his fourth Pace victory in only eight drives.
“It’s just an honor to compete in these races,” Tetrick said. “He’s a great horse, and I was lucky to pick up the drive in a big race like this.”
He’s Watching beat Always B Miki by 2 1-2 lengths, his 11th victory in 14 starts.
Racing second over while tracking North America Cup winner JK Endofanera, He’s Watching shifted into high gear in the lane, kicking home with a 25 3/5 second final quarter.
“I couldn’t ask for a better trip,” Tetrick said. “My horse really exploded, and he paced all the way to the wire.
He’s Watching, trained by David Menary who made his Pace debut, paid $6.20, $3.80 and $3.40.
“I was hoping we’d get a second-over trip behind JK Endofanera,” Menary said. “He’s versatile. He likes it on the front and when horses come at him, he picks up the bit. He can explode off the helmet, too.”
Always B Miki, caught three wide all the way around, dug in gamely to get second, returning $5.80 and $4.60. Tellitlikeitis paid $8.20 to show.
He’s Watching is owned by Menary Racing, Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and the Muscara Racing Trust.
The Pace, contested before 10,786 on a warm night, was main event of a stakes-filled evening.