Three-year-old pacing colt Pet Rock prepped for next weekend's Breeders Crown eliminations with a 1:50 score against Preferred company on Saturday evening at Woodbine Racetrack.
Fellow sophomore colt Speed Again (Jody Jamieson) fired to command in the $38,000 second race feature from the outside post position and led the field, which was scratched down to six with Panther Hanover sick, through fractions of :26.1, :55.1 and 1:23.2. Down the stretch, millionaire Bigtime Ball (Paul MacDonell) pulled the pocket while Doug McNair sent Pet Rock up the pylons. Pet Rock wore down the leader in deep stretch and held off Bigtime Ball by a head using a :25.4 final frame. Speed Again finished three-quarters of a length back in third between the top two while last week's Open upsetter Dalhousie Dave (Rick Zeron) had advanced first over to finish fourth.
Pet Rock paid $5.70 to win as the 9-5 favourite.
The son of Rocknroll Hanover is trained by Virgil Morgan Jr. for New York owner Frank Bellino.
Pet Rock has hit the board in 14 of his 16 seasonal starts while banking over $670,000. He won the Art Rooney earlier this year and placed in the Meadowlands Pace, Battle of the Brandywine, and Cane Pace. He was also a close third in the Confederation Cup and among the top three in his last start, a division of the Bluegrass Series at The Red Mile on Sept. 29.
One race earlier in the Saturday night opener, driver Luc Ouellette notched his 8,500th career win with the popular Victor Puddy-trained My Man Charley. With Ouellette in the sulky for the second time in the four-year-old Mach Three son's career, My Man Charley front-stepped his way to a 1:52.2 victory, returning $3.50 to his backers.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack.