Swan In A Million and trainer/driver Dustin Jones kicked home off cover to win the $100,000 Honourable Earl Rowe Memorial Trot in a Canadian season's record of 1:52.4 for trotters over a five-eighth-mile track on Saturday night at Georgian Downs.
Swan In A Million got away fourth at the pylons through a :27.4 opening quarter and flushed out cover in the form of pocket-sitting Natural Herbie (Verlin Yoder) approaching the half, which was clocked in :57.1. In the stretch, he rallied by favorite Natural Herbie and tempo-setter R Raised Emotions (Mario Baillargeon), who fronted the field past three-quarters in 1:24.2, and held off the quick-closing Intimidate (Rick Zeron) for the half-length victory. Charmed Life (Robert Shepherd) finished three-quarters of a length behind off a three-hole trip.
"[Intimidate] didn't kick in fast enough," said Jones of his late challenger. "I was pretty confident in my horse with the way he finishes. I didn't think anybody would go by him."
Diamond Creek Racing of Wellsville, Pennsylvania owns the six-year-old son of Andover Hall, who joined Jones' stable three wins ago.
"I've had him about a month," explained Jones. "I'm training Danica -- she races in the Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies -- for Diamond Creek. They sent the horse out to Indiana and I guess he tied up out there and the gentleman that was training him wasn't getting along with him so Adam asked me if I would take him up here. The purse money was a little better in the classes than he was eligible to race in."
Prior to Saturday night, Swan In A Million won two races at Mohawk, including last week's Preferred. Tonight's winning time equalled his lifetime mark.
"The only change we made was we put a pair of flip flops on him in front and I do believe flip flops are about the best thing for a horse with sore feet," said Jones. "That's all we changed on him and we've had three wins with him so far.
"Race to race, he's just got better. His feet got sounder and every race he got a little better." (Standardbred Canada)