After finishing fourth last weekend in his Breeders Crown elimination for 2-year-old colt trotters--while charted making a break three separate times--Manofmanymissions did not have a spot in Saturday night's $600,000 final at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. But when trainer Noel Daley scratched Broad Bahn--who had won his elim--prior to the draw last Tuesday morning, the first also-eligible Manofmanymissions found himself with a spot on the starting gate--albeit from post nine.
With Andy Miller driving, Manofmanymissions overcame the outside starting spot and a slow start to score a 13-1 upset victory, edging the Yannick Gingras-driven Pastor Stephen in the final strides in 1:53.2. The time obliterated the world record of 1:55 shared by Explosive Matter and Dejarmbro, the latter equaling the mark in one of the three Crown elims at Pocono.
Ron Pierce had Leader Of The Gang on the lead early, a task made easier when Big Rigs broke in the two hole for John Campbell. After Leader Of The Gang trotted a first quarter of :28 and half of :55.4 while rebuffing a challenge from favored Dejarmbro and Jeff Gregory (who was able to drop back into a hole), Gingras moved Pastor Stephen first-over and Miller had Manofmanymissions following. Pastor Stephen reached the three quarters in 1:24.3 but was unable to fend off his late-charging rival, who put his head in front at the wire. Swan In A Million was third for David Miller.
A son of Yankee Glide, Manofmanymissions won for the third time in just five starts this year. Erv Miller trains the winner for owners Mystical Marker Farms, Mario Biasuzzi Stable and John Carver.
"Last week he must have spotted the field 15 or 20 lengths because of his trouble behind the gate," said driver Andy Miller. "But he's got a ton of go and never quits. This week he just inched his way up and got to finally follow Pastor Stephen. He had a little trouble on the turn, but in the straight, he just took off."
"He can get too buzzed up behind the gate," noted trainer Erv Miller. "We're witing for him to mature, he's got scary speed and we think can be a really good three year old."
Martiniontherocks, the richest filly in the $600,000 Breeders Crown 2 Year Old Filly Trot with $109,938 on her card, before the race was even contested was nonetheless sent off at 30-1 in her Crown event. But in just 1:57 seconds, the Conway Hall filly had effortlessly added another $300,000 to her coffers for owners Ecurie Synergie and trainer Dustin Jones.
With Ron Pierce in the bike, Matiniontherocks grabbed the early lead as several fillies, including Sweet Love, Seducedbycholate, Celebrity Katie, Lady Rainbow all made breaks during the mile.
Leaving from post eight, Pierce had the unchallenged lead by the quarter in :28.2 and with some of the rest of the field in disarray, was able to back the half down to :59.2 as Seducedbychocolate and John Campbell galloped while coming first over.
Pierce and his filly were able to repel all remaining challengers to the three quarters in 1:28.2 and were all alone to the wire in 1:57, another new Breeders Crown record over a five-eighths mile track. Angellette Hanover at 33-1 was second with Fitness Girl third.
“I just left out of there and crossed over,” said Pierce of his 22nd Breeders Crown win. Obviously, all of the breakers helped my filly.”
Despite the fact that Martiniontherocks has been racing in Canada, Pierce said he was well aware of her ability.
“She caught my eye about 5 weeks ago and I’ve been watching her ever since. She was always well within herself and finished each week with a lot of trot.”