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Bolt The Duer Wins Cleveland Classic

Published: December 8, 2012 10:59 pm ET

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Bolt The Duer got up in the final strides to prevail in the $130,000 Cleveland Classic for three-year-old pacing colts on Saturday night at Northfield Park.

Leaving from post three, driver Mark MacDonald sent Bolt The Duer to the lead over Pet Rock (Doug McNair) and insider Thinking Out Loud (David Miller). But Pet Rock was on the move early and swept to command at the :27.2 first quarter pole.

As the field moved in front of the grandstand, Thinking Out Loud advanced first up and took over command by the :54.4 half-mile mark. The 1-2 favourite opened up three lengths on his foes down the backstretch and reached three-quarters in 1:22.1, but MacDonald sent Bolt The Duer to the outside and began to reel in the leader.

Thinking Out Loud was swarmed from both sides down the stretch by Bolt The Duer and the pylon-skimming Pet Rock. But it was Bolt The Duer who got up in the nick of time to score the 1:51 triumph. Pet Rock edged out Thinking Out Loud for second.

"He's got great tactical speed so I let him pace out of there a little bit and Pet Rock is a good horse to follow," said MacDonald of his early racing strategy. "David Miller came really hard in front of the grandstand so I ended up sitting third. But he's a great horse and he dug in down the stretch and got the job done. He just never stops coming and he's been like that all year."

Bolt The Duer is trained by Peter Foley and owned by All Star Racing Inc., which consists of John Como Jr. and his father, the late John Como Sr., who sadly passed away on Wednesday at the age of 88.

Both MacDonald and Foley paid tribute to Como Sr. in the winner's circle.

"I'm just delighted," said Foley of Bolt The Duer's the victory. "To see him like this, he had a couple of rough trips, especially last week [in the Matron], and I'm just thrilled for John Como and his father looking down on us."

"Mr. Como was a gentleman to be around,” commented MacDonald. “He loved this horse and he loved racing.”

The Ponder-Wonderbolt colt has now recorded nine wins and four seconds in 19 starts this year while pushing his seasonal earnings to over $900,000 and lifetime bankroll to more than $1.1 million.

Foley indicated that Bolt The Duer would be returning to the track to race at four.

"He's a beautiful horse and we haven't seen the best of him yet," said the conditioner. "He's going to come back and race next year and I'm sure he's just going to get better because he's still growing and maturing."

Bolt The Duer paid $10 to win as the 3-1 third choice.

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