Ammo, sent on his way at 52-1, pulled off the stunning upset in Friday’s $810,000 Breeders Crown two-year-old colt pace at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
The toteboard suggested Ammo didn’t have much of a shot at taking all the spoils, but one of the sport’s all-time top drivers had other ideas.
Outsider Ervin Hanover swept across and to the front as David Miller, in rein to Ammo, followed suit from post nine and took up residence in second going into the first turn.
Ervin Hanover held a short-lived nose lead after an opening panel in :27.1 as Ammo was then sent to the front, only to be passed by Combustion, who held a two-length advantage through a half in :56. Confederate, the popular 1-2 choice, sat eighth of 10.
Reaching three-quarters in 1:23.3, Combustion was three lengths clear of Stockade Seelster, who was second on the outside at that point, while Ammo, another quarter-length behind, dug in as the pace quickened down the lane. Miller had his charge rolling along the inside while Confederate, to the far outside, was picking off rivals with every stride.
At the wire, Ammo staved off Confederate – both of them sons of Sweet Lou – to win by a half-length in a career-best 1:50.4. Combustion was third and Stockade Seelster finished fourth.
Trained by Joe Holloway, Ammo made his debut at The Red Mile on Sept. 19, notching a half-length score in 1:52.4. He arrived at Friday’s final off a third to Confederate in their Crown elim on Oct. 21.
“I thought he raced well last week and I thought racing him back in a week might suit him, and David just drove him great,” said Holloway, who sent out history’s first 1:50 two-year-old in the 1998 Breeders Crown winning with Badlands Hanover. “And sometimes it works out. I tried to map it out for him [Miller] as best I could, told him to do all that and then he just kind of handled it from the head of stretch home.”
Not that Holloway needed to tell Miller what to do.
“Oh, I think he knows his way around there,” quipped the decorated conditioner.
Bred by Sergent Stables LLC, Ammo was a $90,000 purchase (Hip No. 23) at the 2021 Lexington Select Sale by Val D Or Farms and Theodore Gewertz. They bay colt is out of the Somebeachsomewhere mare Beach Gal, who finished third in the 2014 Breeders Crown sophomore championships.
Ammo, who came into the Crown final with just over $38,000 in earnings, now has a record reading 2-1-1 from five starts.
He paid $106 for the biggest two-year-old colt pace upset in Breeders Crown history.
To view Friday's harness racing results, click the following link: Friday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.
For complete coverage of the 2022 Breeders Crown championships, click here.
(With files from Woodbine/Hambletonian Society)