It was a big night for Canadian-owned horses at the Breeders Crown.
Martiniontherocks, See You At Peelers and Big Jim each posted victories for their owners Saturday in three US$600,000 finals at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
Martiniontherocks, a 30-1 long shot, stunned the field in the final for two-year-old trotting fillies.
See You At Peelers took her career mark to 13 for 13 with a victory in the final for two-year-old pacing fillies.
Big Jim, jockeyed by Phil Hudon of Acton, Ont., earned owner James Carr of Hamilton a win in the final for two-year-old colt pacers.
In the two-year-old trotting final, Martiniontherocks, owned by Ecurie Synergie of Montreal, set the stakes record on a five-eighths-mile track, winning in one minute 57 seconds. Peace Corp held the previous record of 1:57 1/5.
Jockey Ron Pierce sent Martiniontherocks toward the lead from post eight, and she was able to take the front past an opening quarter in 0.28 3/5. A few of the fillies broke stride early, leaving Martiniontherocks with an easy lead past the half-mile pole.
Favored Fitness Girl and Tim Tetrick ranged up on the final turn but tucked in behind the leader, who had plenty left off three quarters in 1:28 2/5. Angelette Hanover, at 33-1, nailed second.
Martiniontherocks is an Ontario-bred filly trained by R. Dustin Jones.
“This filly caught my eye about five weeks ago,” said Pierce. “She had been well within herself and finished up good. Dustin Jones is a tremendous trainer; he does a very good job.”
Martiniontherocks finished second in her elimination Oct. 1 at Pocono and had shown nothing but good form in her eight career starts.
Pierce said he wasn't surprised by the trip his filly got given the breaks.
“Two-year-old trotting fillies tend to do that,” he said. “It's no surprise.”
Martiniontherocks now has four wins in nine starts, with two second-place finishes and two thirds. Her earnings now top $400,000.
In the two-year-old pacing fillies final, See You At Peelers' time of 1:52 1/5 set a new stakes record for a five-eighths-mile track. The previous mark was held by Miss Easy, who went 1:52 2/5 at Pompano Park in 1991.
Co-owned by John and Jim Fielding of Toronto and Christina Takter, See You At Peelers moved to the front past the half-mile station in 0.54 4/5 and stayed up front for the win.
Strike An Attitude, owned by Robert McIntosh of LaSalle, Que., and Paul Ysebaert of Moretown, Ont., was second. Idyllic, owned by West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Ont., finished third.
Elsewhere, Dreamfair Eternal, owned by John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ont., was first in the $300,000 mare pace final ahead of second-place Voelz Hanover, owned by Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que.
Pastor Stephen, also owned by John and Jim Fielding, was second in the $600,000 two-year-old colt trotting final, while Behindclosedoors, co-owned by Ottawa's Melvin Hartman, finished second in the $500,000 three-year-old filly trotting final.
Meanwhile, Break The Bank K won the three-year-old trotters final, finishing in 1:52 2/5 to break the world record for three-year-old trotting colts on a 5/8-mile track.
Driven by Brian Sears, Break The Bank K won by 1 3 / 4lengths, shaving two-fifths of a second off of the record set by Temple Of Doom at Tioga Downs earlier this year.
“He's been getting better and better every week, beating some good horses,” Sears said. “He'd been getting more confidence and it showed up tonight on the race track.”
Wishing Stone was second, and Hamiltonian winner Lucky Chucky third. Break The Bank K paid $16, $7.60 and $3, Wishing Stone returned $34.40 and $6.20, and Lucky Chucky paid $2.10 to show.
Break The Bank K has 10 victories in 29 lifetime starts for owner and breeder Robert J. Key. The $250,000 winner's cheque raised the colt's lifetime earnings to $898,983.
Also, Rock N Roll Heaven set a Breeders Crown record for pacing colts and geldings and stamped himself as the leader for harness racing's horse of the year honours. Rock N Roll Heaven had a 5 1/2-length victory for driver Daniel Dube and set a Breeders Crown record in 1:49.
The son of Rock N Roll Hanover from Artistic Vision paid $2.40 in what may have been his last race. After the trophy presentation, trainer Bruce Sanders confirmed the colt will be retired to stud next year. The Breeders Crown win was Rock N Roll Heaven's 15th in 25 starts for owner Frank J. Bellino of Bronxville, N.Y. The winner's $250,000 share of the purse raised his lifetime bankroll to $2,066,403.
- With files from the Associated Press.
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