El Titan and drivermade a three-wide move from fifth place on the final turn and overtook JL Cruze and Resolve in the stretch to win Saturday's (Aug. 22) $100,000 Sebastian K Invitational for older trotters at
E L Titan won in a lifetime-best 1:51.2, beating Resolve by a head.
Daylon Miracle finished third and JL Cruze was fourth, snapping the 4-year-old's 12-race win streak.
JL Cruze was making his first start since the Hambletonian Maturity on July 18.
The Sebastian K Invitational honored recently retired Sebastian K, who in 2014 trotted the fastest mile in harness racing history at Pocono, winning in 1:49.
A retirement ceremony, with Sebastian K in attendance along with co-owner Michael Knutsson of Knutsson Trotting Inc., was held in the winner's circle prior to the race.
Early leader Resolve led the field to the quarter in :27. JL Cruze took the top spot prior to the half, reached in :55.3, while Natural Herbie made a first-over challenge and moved into third place.
E L Titan, who started from post eight, followed Natural Herbie in the outer flow before making his bid for the front as the group hit three-quarters in 1:23.2.
Resolve moved to the inside in the stretch and was the first to overtake JL Cruze, but was unable to hold off E L Titan on the outside.
"I was hoping it would go like that," winning trainersaid about E L Titan's trip.
"The eight hole, I don't like."
"He can leave, but in these kinds of races you can't leave like crazy from the eight hole."
"I was hoping for something like that and it went exactly like I was hoping. It was perfect."
Rekila, who is based in Canada, was listed to drive E L Titan, but was planning to find another driver for the race.
"I don't drive Pocono too often and in big races I think it's good that you know the track and you know the other drivers," Rekila said. "I can drive him in some of the smaller races."
E L Titan, a 4-year-old sent off at odds of 9-1, won for the first time in three races this year. He was slow to return to action this season because of doing stallion duty.
"He was breeding until July," Rekila said. "It's very stressful for the horses so I didn't want to bother him too much. And he had a little allergies too so I didn't want to stress him too much.
"I think he's much better when it gets cold. I try to give him time to recover after every race. It's hard to go (1):51."
"You have to give him time to rest, especially in the summertime." I don't think in the winter he cares. He really likes the winter."
E L Titan has won seven of 16 races in his career and earned $644,526.
Always At My Place made an early move to the lead after the :26.1 quarter and blasted middle fractions of :53 and 1:20 before freezing the timer in 1:47.2 in the $50,000 USTA Invitational Pace — a clocking beaten only by Sweet Lou (1:47 at Pocono) in five-eighth-mile track history.
The 4-year-old gelded son of Always A Virgin rewrote Mach It So's divisional world record (1:48, also set here) under hustling by driver Matt Kakaley in notching his sixth straight victory and achieving the amazing clocking for trainer Ron Burke (winning both pacing Invitationals) and the partnership of Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Lawrence Karr, and Phil Collura.
The $3,500 yearling purchase Cinamony, a Lynch elimination winner here last year and prospering even more this season since being acquired by top trainer Ron Burke, won the night's opener, the $50,000 Hanover Shoe Farms Invitational mare pace, in a personal best and national season's record of 1:49.3.
The 4-year-old daughter of Art Official moved to the lead in front of the stands for driver Yannick Gingras and held sway from there, stepping home in :27 to win by 1-3/4 lengths for Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi.