Control The Moment wins Meadowlands Pace by a nose

July 17, 2016 GMT

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Control The Moment held off Racing Hill by a nose Saturday night in the $732,050 Meadowlands Pace for 3-year-olds.

After a slow start this year, the champion juvenile pacer in Canada last season has rounded back into peak form. The colt trained by Brad Maxwell has won three of his last four starts, including last week’s Meadowlands Pace elimination.

Brian Sears, on the ballot in August for harness racing’s Hall of Fame, drove the colt for the first time to a victory in the elimination.

Control The Moment was the most versatile horse in the race. He won the elimination with a dynamic close. In the final, he controlled the pace for the final half-mile after Sears gunned to the front only moments after Racing Hill had worked his way to the lead down the backstretch.

The race appeared over when the 3/5 favorite opened a three-length lead at the top of the lane. What looked like a waltz turned into a squeaker as Racing Hill fought back, forcing a photo finish to determine the outcome.

“The trip worked out perfect,” Sears said. “I let my horse out a little bit and it got a little exciting at the wire. He raced great.”

Control The Moment paid $3.40, $2.20 and $2.10.

Racing Hill returned $2.40 and $2.10 as the 8-5 second choice. Check Six paid $4.60 to show.

The time was 1:48 2/5 for the mile.

The Control The Moment Stable of Philadelphia took home the winner’s share of $366,025.

On the supporting card, Always B Miki held off Shamballa by three-quarters of a length in the $471,800 William R. Haughton Memorial for older pacers. The time was 2:01 1/5, a world record for 1 1/8 miles. Always B Miki paid $2.80.