Rockin Ron Swift In Pacing Derby Elims

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Published: August 26, 2017 08:40 pm EDT

Mohawk Racetrack hosted a set of stakes events on its Saturday, August 26 program, including two $40,000 eliminations for the Canadian Pacing Derby, two divisions of the $226,050 Nassagaweya Stakes and one division of the $192,333 Eternal Camnation.

Rockin Ron blazed around the Mohawk oval to win the fastest of the two Canadian Pacing Derby eliminations, pacing a career-best 1:47.2 mile.

Unchallenged for the front going to the quarter, Rockin Ron dictated the pace through splits of :26.3, :54.4 and 1:21.2 before drawing away from pocket-sitter Sintra turning for home. Sintra was about three lengths away in second, with another three back to Mcwicked in third and Check Six and Rockeyed Optimist rounding out the finalists.

Winning his sixth race in 20 starts this season and his 26th in 76 overall, Rockin Ron, a five-year-old gelding by Real Desire out of the Sportsmaster mare Im All A Roan, has earned $815,858 in his campaign. Owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and Rtc Stable Inc., trained by Ron Burke, and driven by Louie Philippe-Roy, he paid $12.40 to win.

"The only word I had before the race was Yannick [Gingras] telling me that I could drive him however I wanted," Louie Philippe-Roy said. "I just sat behind him; I was a passenger. I had a look around the last turn and saw Check Six was coming first up, so I was trying to keep Sintra in a little while, but my horse felt so good that I just let him go in the last quarter.

"I don't know [how he stacks up for the final]. It's up to how the race goes - Keystone Velocity showed he can be real good and sprint home fast, and my horse can race from anywhere, so that's a big advantage, too."

Launching off cover and down the center of the track, Keystone Velocity caught pocket-popper All Bets Off to win the first elimination for the Canadian Pacing Derby in 1:48.2.

Getting away sixth as Nirvana Seelster paced a quarter in :27, Keystone Velocity edged wide after a :55.1, catching cover from Dealt A Winner entering the far turn. As Dealt A Winner rushed toward the pacesetter, All Bets Off quickly tipped out of the pocket and drew alongside Nirvana Seelster at three-quarters in 1:22.2 before taking the lead at the top of the stretch.

All Bets Off kicked clear of Nirvana Seelster through the lane, with Keystone Velocity angling toward the center of the track and charging after the leader coming to the sixteenth pole, swooping past in the final strides to win while Dealt A Winner, Nirvana Seelster, and Easy Lover Hanover completed the top five advancing to the final next week.

A nine-year-old son of Western Hanover from the Run The Table mare Venus Killean, Keystone Velocity, a supplement into the Canadian Pacing Derby, won his seventh race in 14 starts this season and his 26th overall in 102 outings, earning $1,185,252. Owned by Allard Racing Inc., Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr. and V I P Internet Stables, trained by Rene Allard, and driven by Simon Allard, he paid $6.90 to win.

"He just doesn't want to get beat; he's just like Conor McGregor: he shows his fight and wants to win," Simon Allard said. "I was just going to race him to get into the final, but the horse is so sharp training and we've been keeping him in and making him brave; he's very ready for this race. [Now that we can pick our post] we might actually be able to control the race next week - this horse can go either way, so I can just pick what kind of trip I want.

"I'm glad my brother put him into the Canadian Pacing Derby and it's a dream come true that I get to race him there. I used to be in the dorm back in the day here as a groom, seeing Real Desire and Four Starzzz Shark win the race, so it's really a cool time now and I'm enjoying it."

Shadow Moon rallied wide of rivals and edged to a 1:51.4 lifetime-best mile in the first division of the Nassagaweya Stakes.

Starting from the second-tier, Shadow Moon positioned himself seventh while Phil The Thrill and Declan Seelster battled for control in :27.1, with Declan Seelster clearing the lead into the backstretch. On his back, Babes Dig Me was then left uncovered and managed to take the lead at the half in :54.4.

Approaching the far turn, Dragon Time moved first over out of fourth, with This Is The Plan on his back and Shadow Moon third over. Dragon Time inched up to match strides with the leader at three-quarters in 1:23.4, taking a narrow lead turning into the stretch.

Off cover, This Is The Plan rallied alongside Dragon Time coming to the eighth pole, while room opened at the inside for Declan Seelster to slide into contention and Shadow Moon began rolling down the center of the track. This Is The Plan grabbed the lead nearing the wire, but Shadow Moon stuck his neck in front at the line to win. This Is The Plan settled for second, Declan Seelster was third, and Twin B Tuffenuff closed for fourth.

By Shadow Play out of the Western Hanover mare Lofty Yankee, Shadow Moon, a winner of four races in five starts, has earned $146,738 for trainer Dr. Ian Moore along with partners R G Mcgroup Ltd. and Serge Savard. Driven by Trevor Henry, he paid $7.90 to win.

"It might've been a bad thing that he was trailing [in the second tier] actually," Trevor Henry said. "He gets pretty warm, but he's good off a helmet and it was probably the best thing for him.

"At the start [of his career], he had some trouble with his gait, but now his gait is beautiful. He has come a long ways."

Sitting second-last at the top of the stretch, 3-2 public choice Pedro Hanover flew down the grandstand side to overtake all his rivals and win the second division of the Nassagaweya in 1:52.1.

Casimir Richie P paced a :27.3 quarter before giving up the lead to Trump That, popping out of the pocket moving into the backstretch. Trump That soon yielded for the pocket as Courtly Choice advanced and cleared to the lead before a :55.4 half.

Moving into the far turn, Odds On Lauderdale marched uncovered after pacesetter Courtly Choice, hooking up at three-quarters in 1:24 before Courtly Choice began to give way. Hudson Phil tipped off cover and was wide of Trump That sliding past Odds On Lauderdale through the stretch. At the eighth pole, Pedro Hanover rushed alongside the battling trio and swept past to win, with Trump That taking second, Hudson Phil holding third, and Odds On Lauderdale fading to fourth.

Racing for owners Brad Gray and Denise Guerriero, Pedro Hanover, a two-year-old colt by Somebeachsomewhere from the Pro Bono Best mare Paulas Best, won his third race in five starts, amassing $114,657 in earnings. Trained by Andrew Harris and driven by Andrew McCarthy, he paid $5.00 to win.

"It looked like he was far out, but I knew as long as he was within six or seven lengths of them that he could catch them," Andrew Harris said. "He's got one of the biggest bursts of speed I've ever seen; his turn of foot is amazing.

"I didn't know I'd get him until about two weeks before [he debuted] and Corey Giles called me up and said 'Hey, I've got a nice little colt, and if you've got room I'd love for you to take him.' So obviously I took him; he's got great ownership and connections, but I didn't know he was this good. I can't take any credit for him - he's just a nice horse, [Corey] did a great job with him and now I just have to babysit him.

"He'll be back for the Metro, but we've got [Pennsylvania] Sires Stakes final next week at Pocono, so we'll be taking him there and hopefully we'll have a little luck there, too - he can't really come from off of it there so we'll have to adjust his racing style but I think he's finally ready for that."

Percy Bluechip remains undefeated in four outings, taking the $192,333 Eternal Camnation in 1:51.4.

Taking the lead through a :26.4 quarter, Percy Bluechip paced unchallenged to the half in :56.1 before encountering pressure from Kissin In The Sand positioned first over around the far turn, while Kendall Seelster paced in the pocket third and Pueblo Blue Chip on cover in fourth.

Past three-quarters in 1:24.1, Percy Blue Chip held the lead, with Kissin In The Sand parked wide of Kendall Seelster trying to edge out of the pocket. Getting room within the sixteenth pole, Kendall Seelster lunged after Percy Blue Chip late, but was a half-length shy of the 2-5 favourite. Kissin In The Sand finished third and Pueblo Blue Chip fourth.

Earning $240,767 for owners Shadow Two Stable, James and Wilma MacKenzie and Hudson Standardbred Inc., Percy Bluechip, a two-year-old filly by Shadow Play from the Artsplace mare Advantest, is conditioned by Dr. Ian Moore and was driven by Trevor Henry. She paid $2.90 to win.

"She's a very special filly, and she showed me tonight how sensible she is," Dr. Ian Moore said. "I only made a couple of bit changes and the plugs again tonight and she was very relaxed warming up - went a mile in 2:45, and was very relaxed in the race as well. Trevor [Henry] told me she was perfect and that he had to leave with her tonight; he really had no choice, which was kind of a shame after last week, but I think she'll be okay with that."

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