TORONTO -- Cam Fella displayed both raw speed and sheer determination Monday night as he captured the $303,500 Queen City Pace at Greenwood Raceway, Canada's richest horse race ever.
Cam Fella's 1:56 track and stakes record victory in the final race highlighted the first standardbred racing card in Canada ever to have all 10 races go in quicker than two minutes.
The colt toyed with his rivals in his $60,700 elimination heat. He allowed Armbro Acton to pass him at about the quarterpole, then quickly took the lead in front of the grandstand and was was never seriously challenged thereafter.
Coming around the final turn, driver Pat Crowe tapped Cam Fella once lightly with his whip, and he quickly opened up a four-length margin, which became 1- at the wire as Crowe eased his colt home in 1:56 4-5.
Armbro Acton, staying on stride for the first time at Greenwood since the meet opened May 31, held on to second. Armbro Andy and M B Crown also advanced to the $182,100 final.
Solid Fuel, driven by Jerry Duford, went wire to wire in the second elimination heat in 1:56 1-5, establishing a track record for three-year-old pacers and equalling the fastest mile ever paced at Greenwood -- marks that stood only until the final.
This heat was supposed to be a showcase for Hilarion, fresh from victory in the $1 million Meadowlands Pace. But he broke stride before the half-mile marker and finished a distant eighth.
Striking Sun was second by 1- lengths with Coal Harbor and Rabbit Road also advancing to the final.
Solid Fuel led the field in the final through fractions of 28 2-5 seconds, 57 2-5 seconds and 1:25 4-5 seconds -- believed to be the fastest three-quarter mile time ever at the 98-year-old Greenwood track, Canada's oldest.
Cam Fella moved alongside Solid Fuel on the backstretch, pulled away and beat the pacesetter by two lengths. Armbro Acton was third by another half length.
The win was Cam Fella's 16th in 19 starts this year for owners Norman Clements of Willowdale, Ont., and Norman Faulkner of Stouffville, Ont., who paid $140,000 (U.S.) for the colt last Dec. 28. Cam Fella earned $121,400 for his two wins, raising his seasonal bankroll to $426,590.