Three horses who won Breeders Crown finals two weeks ago at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs were in action Friday night at Hoosier Park and all three again had something in common as they all had to settle for second this time around.
Creatine, who finished second by a neck in the Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old colt trotters to Spider Blue Chip, reversed that outcome in Friday's $286,500 Carl Erskine Trot, this time scoring by a head in 1:54.3. In the $223,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, Pet Rock, who was a nose short of catching Foiled Again in the Breeders Crown final for older horse pacers, was able to fend off his rival this time around to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.3. Captaintreacherous was the third Crown champ to fall short on Friday when he settled for second behind Dedi's Dragon in the $252.000 Monument Circle for sophomore colt pacers.
In the Crown 3-Year-Old Colt Trot, driver Mike Lachance made a valiant up-the-pylons bid in deep stretch with Creatine that fell just short, but on Friday he wanted no part of a come-from-behind scenario. He quickly took the lead with Creatine from post 2, forcing Ron Pierce to settle in second with Spider Blue Chip from post 1. After first-half fractions of :27.2 and :57.3, Yannick Gingras moved EL Rocket first-over, but Creatine easily rebuffed that challenge at the 1:26.3 three-quarters.
Pierce angled Spider Blue Chip off the pylons at the top of the stretch but Lachance kept Creatine game in the stretch to score the victory. Finishing third was Yonkers Trot winner Dewycolorintheline and driver Mark MacDonald.
Bob Stewart trains Creatine, who won last month's Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile. Diamond Creek Farm bred and owns Creatine, who went over the $750,000 mark in seasonal earnings with the victory.
"We just ran out of racetrack in the Breeders Crown,” Stewart said. "This horse has been racing tough all year and tonight, he showed how tough he is. I leave the driving up to Mike (Lachance), that is my strategy, and tonight it all worked out for us.”
In the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, driver David Miller made a quarter-pole move to the lead with Pet Rock, taking control after Golden Receiver tripped the first timer in :25.2. Pet Rock led through a :53.4 half and 1:22.2 three-quarters, with Gingras and Foiled Again moving up first-over.
Pet Rock and Foiled Again raced one-two down the stretch, and they finished that way with less than a length between them at the wire. Dynamic Youth and Andrew McCarthy rallied from 10th at the top of the lane to finish 1 1/2 lengths behind in third.
Virgil Morgan Jr. trains Pet Rock for owner Frank Bellino. The 4-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover is a multiple world-record holder, with Friday's win bringing his 2013 earnings past $880,000 and career total to $1.89 million.
Captaintreacherous's loss to Dedi's Dragon in the $252,000 Monument Circle for 3-year-old male pacers was the most stunning of the three Crown champs going down in defeat. Interestingly the other two Crown winners settled for second behind the horse they beat in that race in a photo finish.