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Always looking for inside information, we sent one of our crack investigative reporters, “M”, down to talk to some of the connections of a couple of the top contenders, Vette Man and Prize Art, in Friday’s Cubs Pacing Series Final.
The Final carries a purse of $29,200 and will be contested as Hawthorne’s Friday featured seventh race.
Both Vette Man and Prize Art won the first two Legs of the Series. Both are versatile pacers, quite capable of racing on the lead or coming from off the pace.
We found out that they all the connections like the chances of their respective horses and have a lot of respect for their main rivals.
Here, in their own words, is what they had to say.
Brandon Simpson, driver of Vette Man, “It looks like there are four or five good horses in there. It will probably depend on the trip as to how it works out. He went a big mile the other night. He handled it really well.  He just keeps impressing me. I think he’ll be good. We’ll see how it goes. There are a couple of leavers and a couple of horses that close so you have to be careful that you don’t get caught between them. Hopefully we’ll make the right move at the right time.”
Homer Hochstetler, trainer of Vette Man, “I think this will be a good race. The other horse (Prize Art) is just as good as we are. Well To Do Guru is another that has a good chance. Prize Art won twice and we won twice with Vette Man. He likes to go on the front but he can go either way. We’ll see how it plays out.”
Ronnie Roberts, trainer of Prize Art, “He’s a lot better from off the pace than he is out front but he’s capable of racing well either way. Of course we would rather have an inner post but the reality of it is that you get what you get. It’s horse racing. Prize Art has matured some and he keeps getting better with age, which has a lot to do with why he’s been so much better lately. He’ll even be better next year. This is a good event. Hawthorne puts out a lot of good races. I’m glad to be here. They treat you right.”
Brent Holland, driver of Prize Art, “Prize Art is versatile. I’ve raced him differently just about every time. I think the first time I raced him. The first time I raced him, I lapped out of the hole, I sat through the half, came first up and he won. The second start, I ducked him out, came third over, and finished a good second. The third time, I lapped and cut the mile, and last week, I lapped, set in for a little while, retook and he was perfect.
“I consider my horse the one to beat on Saturday.”
While Well To Do Guru got only brief mention, he figures to be a major player in this event. He finished second to Prize Art in both Leg 1 and Leg 2 of this Series. He dueled with that rival late and was beaten only a nose in Leg 1 then came back as the favorite over that rival, but again settled for second place. However, with the right trip, he’s capable of turning the tables today.
Another that might be worth checking out is NJ’S FAST FLETCH. He drew the outside post but he unleashed a monster late move to close within a length of Vette Man in last week’s Leg 2 and he will be a price tonight.

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