The result may have been a bit closer than he liked, but King James Express did what he was expected to do and won the Renaissance Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings at Freehold Raceway on Sept. 26.
Off his win in the New York Sire Stakes final at Yonkers Raceway, King James Express was made the 4/5 favorite in the field of five, according to a press release. He sat in the pocket most of the way, tracking behind early leader Captain Fancy.
As the horses rolled around the turn, King James Express moved two-wide, contending with Captain Fancy and three-wide mover Solid Alibi.
Turning for home, Solid Alibi began to give way and King James Express collared Captain Fancy. Even though that rival fought back, King James Express wore him down, and crossed under the wire a head in front. The final time was 1:56 for the mile.
For King James Express, it was his fourth win of the year from seven races, with earnings beyond the $200,000 mark. He is trained by Mark Harder, who co-owns with Frost, Carleton and Lockhart. Jason Bartlett was the winning pilot.
Earlier in the day at Freehold, two divisions of the Homegrown Pace for 3-year-olds were held.
The division for colts and geldings went to JK Lucky Charms, who avenged his defeat in the New Jersey Sire Stakes – Standardbred Development Fund final a week earlier with a one-and-one-quarter length victory. Todd McCarthy was the winning driver, for trainer Brett Pelling. Pelling also co-owns with 3 Brothers Racing.
The division for fillies was dominated by JK Finendandy, who won by six-and-a-half lengths in an impressive 1:54. She made the lead easily from post five and cruised around the track, winning as much the best.
Jenn Bongiorno is the winning trainer, for owners Gruber, Gruber, Schmucker and Brookside Stables. Joe Bongiorno is the winning driver.
Live racing resumes at Freehold Raceway on Oct. 2, with a scheduled first post time of 12:30 p.m.