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Fields Set For Metro & Shes A Great Lady; Canadian Record In 'Derby' Elims

Published: August 24, 2013 8:37 pm ET

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Eliminations for next weekend's Metro Pace Night filled Saturday's harness racing card at Mohawk Racetrack.

The first of three $40,000 eliminations for the Metro Pace went to the front-striding Dr. Ian Moore trainee Arthur Blue Chip and driver Randy Waples.

Waples sent the even-money favourite to the lead during the :27.1 opening panel with Luck Be Withyou (Phil Hudon) rolling up to take over. However, Arthur Blue Chip was back on top before the :55.4 half-mile mark. He led the colts to the third quarter station in 1:24.2 and kept Tellitlikeitis (Yannick Gingras) from slipping up the inside down the stretch to win in a new mark of 1:51.2. Luck Be Withyou finished a length and a half behind in second and Tellitlikeitis survived a judges inquiry after going inside one pylon in the stretch to round out the top three finishers.

"He's getting to be a really nice colt now," said Dr. Moore of the $135,000 Harrisburg Sale yearling. "He's just getting better everyday. Tonight, surprisingly he was very quiet in the paddock; he's usually quite 'studdy.' I thought something was wrong with him, but he came a last quarter in :27 flat so he looks like he's okay anyways for now.

"He was a very lazy trainer and he's been lazy, nonchalant, all along. He just gets done what he has to get done, but he's always had a beautiful stride and is big, strong powerful colt. We figured once he got the right attitude in his head and once he figured it all out he'd make a nice animal. We're very pleased with the way it's turning out with him."

Now five-for-seven in his career with major wins already in the Ontario Sires Stakes Mid-Summer Challenge and last weekend's Nassagaweya Stakes, the Shadow Play-Avantest colt has earnings totalling $194,495 for the Shadow One Stable of Guelph, Ont. The favourite paid $4.20 to win.

Western Vintage drew off down the stretch to secure the victory in the second Metro elimination with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Nancy Johansson.

Gingras rolled the 4-5 favourite to the top past the :27.4 first quarter mark and carved out middle splits of :55.2 and 1:24.3 before turning back first over challenger Somewhere In L A (John Campbell) into the stretch. Western Vintage opened up multiple lengths down the lane to stop the clock in 1:51.3 with late-closers rounding out the top three spots. Winds Of Change (Scott Zeron) was widest of all to finish second while Moore trainee Play It Again Sam (Randy Waples) came in third after starting his career with seven straight wins.

"He was a little anxious last week on Marcus [Johansson] and that's why he ran [in the Nassagaweya]," noted Gingras. "He was a little anxious on me tonight too so I just let him do his thing.

"He was full of pace when he heard John coming alongside of him and was just waiting for me to call on him. Every time I've called on him so far he's had something left. I've yet to kick the earplugs, but I'm sure next week we'll have to."

Purchased for just $7,000 at the Lexington Select Sale as a yearling by Perry Soderberg of Manalapan, New Jersey, the Western Ideal-Major Harmony colt swept the New Jersey Sires Stakes and earned his fourth win tonight in five career starts while pushing his bankroll over the $100,000 mark.

Western Vintage paid $3.70 to win.

Lets Drink On It fought off Boomboom Ballykeel in a two horse breakaway down the stretch to prevail in the final Metro elimination for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and conditioner Joe Seekman.

Lets Drink On It swept from fourth to first over Boomboom Ballykeel (Sylvain Filion) after the :27.2 first quarter and proceeded to lead the colts past the half in :56.1 and three-quarters in 1:23.4. As the field headed for home, Boomboom Ballykeel slipped up the pylons to offer a late challenge to the leader. However, Lets Drink On It dug in to keep that rival at bay for the 1:51.1 career-best victory. Boomboom Ballykeel settled for second, missing by a neck, while Beat The Drum (Tim Tetrick) finished over six lengths behind in third.

The Art Official-Letmedowneasy colt was a $12,000 Lexington Select Sale purchase and has earned four wins in six starts while banking over $100,000. He is owned by Martin Scharf of Lawrence, New York, Larry Bond of Frankfort, Indiana, and Hal Hewitt of Versailles, Kentucky.

"We thought we stole him for [$12,000]," commented Seekman. "He had a little bit of curbs in the back and we took care of those and he's taken care of us.

"He's natural. From day one he's paced. He's just a natural race horse. He does his work and he likes it."

The 6-5 favourite paid $4.70 to win.

Next Saturday's Metro Pace Night will also feature the companion Shes A Great Lady Stakes and the fillies faced off in a pair of $35,000 eliminations for a spot in the rich stakes event.

Precocious Beauty kicked off the action with a wide open win for the father and son team of trainer Gregg and driver Doug McNair.

Precocious Beauty swept around early leaver Act Now (Ron Pierce) to take the lead at the :27.2 opening quarter and cruised through middle splits of :55.3 and 1:23.4 before drawing off to the 1:52.1 triumph.

Bahama Blue (Mark MacDonald) and I Need Hotstuff (Tim Tetrick) came on for second and third. Act Now was fourth, but placed eighth after causing interference in the stretch. Lasting Appeal (John Campbell) inherited fourth and Ravinia Hanover (Yannick Gingras) moved up to fifth.

Fresh off a stakes record victory in the Eternal Camnation on Aug. 17 at Mohawk, Precocious Beauty was sent postward as the 1-2 race favourite and paid $3 to win.

The homebred daughter of Art Major out of Precious Beauty is owned by James Avritt of Lebanon, Kentucky. She will enter the Shes A Great Lady Stakes final boasting earnings of $89,667 and a career record reading 3-2-0 in five starts.

In the second Shes A Great Lady elimination, Beach Gal posted a 17-1 upset as she rallied home off cover for an open length victory with Scott Zeron aboard for trainer David Menary.

Favourite Ali Blue (Yannick Gingras) left from post six and was strung out well past the :27.1 opening quarter by insider Seashell Hanover (Doug McNair) before clearing to command down the backstretch. As Ali Blue reached the half-mile mark in :54.3, Gallie Bythe Beach (John Campbell) began a first over attack from fourth with Sudoku (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Beach Gal following her cover. Ali Blue continued to lead the fillies by three-quarters in 1:23.3 with pressure mounting, but Zeron fired Beach Gal wide and she sprinted past the front-runners to score in a career-best 1:50.3, coming within two-fifths of a second of the track and world record. Her final quarter was clocked in :26.1.

Sudoko finished second over Gallie Bythe Beach while Ali Blue finished fourth and Rockingcam Park (Andy Miller) recovered from a break behind the starting gate to finish fifth.

The Somebeachsomewhere-Michelles My Gal filly was an $85,000 Harrisburg Sale purchase for Ontario owners Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, Hewvilla Farms Inc. of Mount Forest, Denis Breton of Welland and Larry Menary of Cheltenham.

Scoring just her second win in three outings, Beach Gal returned $37.10 to her backers. The lion's share of the purse nearly doubled her bankroll to $38,570.

Saturday's eliminations for the Canadian Pacing Derby produced a new Canadian record for aged stallions as A Rocknroll Dance stopped the clock in a dazzling time of 1:47.3.

Although all starters in the $40,000 elimination would advance to the final with the field scratched down five -- Warrawee Needy missing retention and Thinking Out Loud lame -- the older pacers still put on a speed show.

Driver Tim Tetrick sent A Rocknroll Dance to the lead around Aracache Hanover (Doug McNair) after the :26.3 opening quarter and rolled through middle fraction of :53.4 and 1:21.1 before holding off the hard-charging trailer, Clear Vision (Brett Miller), who unleashed a wicked :25-second final frame but came up a neck short. Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras), favourite Pet Rock (David Miller) and Aracache Hanover rounded out the order.

The four-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover shaved one-fifth of a second off the Canadian record for stallions, which was held by Art Professor, We Will See, Sweet Lou, and Thinking Out Loud. The overall record of 1:47.2 is held by geldings Primetime Bobcat and Won The West.

The double millionaire, who equalled a world record in his previous start in an Invitational at Pocono Downs last Saturday, is trained by Jim Mulinix and owned by A Rocknroll Dance Stable of Wauseon, Ohio. He paid $5.10 to win as the 3-2 second choice.

The other Canadian Pacing Derby elimination was won by Bolt The Duer in 1:48.1.

With Mark MacDonald driving for trainer Peter Foley, Bolt The Duer worked his way to the lead past the :26.1 quarter mark. The 7-5 favourite then carved out middle fractions of :54.1 and 1:21.2 and drew away from the pocket-pulling Sweet Lou (Yannick Gingras) in the stretch for the three length victory. Atochia (Brett Miller) finished third while Dapper Dude (John Campbell) and Heston Blue Chip (Tim Tetrick) finished fourth and fifth.

The four-year-old son of Ponder, who has earned over $1.5 million in purses, is owned by All Star Racing Inc. of Towaco, New Jersey. Fresh off a world record equalling mile in the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial last weekend at Saratoga Raceway, Bolt The Duer paid $4.90 to win.

The field for next weekend's finals are listed below in post position order, with the connections of elimination winners having chosen their posts.

$683,000 Metro Pace
1. Boomboom Ballykeel
2. Lets Drink On It
3. Western Vintage
4. Arthur Blue Chip
5. Tellitlikeitis
6. Winds Of Change
7. Luck Be Withyou
8. Beat The Drum
9. Play It Again Sam
10. Ideal Magic
AE1. Some Major Beach

$451,000 Shes A Great Lady
1. Rockingcam Park
2. Precocious Beauty
3. Beach Gal
4. Ravinia Hanover
5. Gallie Bythe Beach
6. Sudoku
7. I Need Hotstuff
8. Bahama Blue
9. Ali Blue
10. Lasting Appeal
AE1. Take That Hanover

$651,000 Canadian Pacing Derby
1. Sweet Lou
2. Bolt The Duer
3. A Rocknroll Dance
4. Clear Vision
5. Foiled Again
6. Aracache Hanover
7. Heston Blue Chip
8. Pet Rock
9. Atochia
10. Dapper Dude
AE1. Michaels Power

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Mohawk Racetrack.


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