The first American National of the night started with a bang as 99-1 longshot Tough Rose captured the $115,000 Am-Nat for 2-year-old pacing fillies in a modest 1:54.2, then in the next race Let's Drink On It rallied to overtake Unlocked to capture the $113,000 colt division in 1:51.2.
Stanley Miller of Etna Green, IN owns, trains and bred Tough Rose, a daughter of United Ace-Orgami Rose, who returned $254.60 for a $2 ticket.
"Stan (trainer Miller) told me to leave and see if I could get a spot and I was able to do just that,” said winning driver Andy Shetler. "Yannick (driver Gingras) was whipping his horse (Southwind Silence) and it spooked mine and she just kept getting stronger and stronger. The mile just worked out perfect for us.”
After the leading Sweetnsinful (Jimmy Whittemore) led through fractions of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:25.4, she began to tire in the stretch and the field closed in around her, with Tough Rose getting her nose in front at the wire.
Tough Rose added the $52,900 winner's share to her seasonal bankroll of $40,200 and now has four wins in 15 starts this year. Jaded Dream (Brett Miller) finished second by a whisker, while Boxed Chocolates (Marcus Miller) notched the third-place prize.
Let's Drink On It, driven by Brian Sears, wore down the leading Unlocked (Dave Magee) to secure his fifth victory of the season and push his seasonal earnings to $172,341. Trained by Joe Seekman, Let's Drink On It is owned by Martin Scharf, Larry Bond and H. Hewitt. The time was just a tick off the Balmoral Park track record for freshman pacing colts.
The freshman colt used a come-from-behind effort to secure the victory, sitting in the back of the field as the leading Unlocked carried the field through fractions of :27 and :55.1 when Kingofthejungle went offstride while poised to take the lead at the opening quarter. Somesizesomestyle (Yannick Gingras) took the lead going into the last turn and led to the 1:23 three-quarters. As Unlocked found a seam along the rail, Let's Drink On It found space on the outside and quickly got in stride, mowing down the leader for the win, a half length in front at the wire.
Unlocked held on for second, while Let's Drink On It's stablemate Wicked Business finished third (Travis Seekman). (Balmoral Park)