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Career-best efforts for favs in Town Pro elims

July 06, 2011
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Thirteen three-year-old pacing fillies contested two Town Pro Stakes eliminations Tuesday evening at Mohawk, but only two have earned the right to pick their posts for the final.

Swinging Beauty captured the first $20,000 elim as well as her first victory of her sophomore campaign in the process for trainer Gregg McNair.

Into the first turn, From The Start (Scott Zeron) inherited the lead from Taxi Fare Hanover (Jody Jamieson) who broke stride. From The Start took the opening panel in :27.

Driver Doug McNair pulled the 1-5 favorite, Swinging Beauty, first-over from third and made a bid for the lead as the field entered the backstretch.

Swinging Beauty held the lead through fractions of :55, 1:23.4 and paced home in a career best clocking of 1:52.3, half a length ahead of  From The Start. Artic Byrd (Sylvain Filion) finished third.

McNair explained that he had to think quickly and change his driving strategy when the field entered the first turn.

“I didn’t really want to cut it with her, but we got away fourth, kind of where we wanted,” he said. “I was going to wait as long as I could and then Jody (driver of Taxi Fare Hanover) run and that kind of  changed my plan so I removed her and Scotty (driver of From The Start) stung me pretty good in a half in :55, but she did what she had to do and won.”

With almost a week and a half layoff following the Fan Hanover Consolation, the Guelph resident believes the elimination win will act as a good prep.

“It will definitely help her,” McNair stated. “She didn’t do too much in-between, but this race will help her going into next week.”

The daughter of Art Major-Stunning Beauty is owned by William Switala and James Martin of Clarence Center, New York. The pacing miss has a lifetime record of 2-3-7 in 19 starts and boasts career earnings of $168,236

Swinging Beauty paid $2.60 to win.

The second dash was won by the heavily favored Timothy Pinske-trained Rockratese.

It was P L Emily (Chris Christoforou) who cut the opening quarter in :27.4, but into the backstretch Jody Jamieson sent Rockratese first-over from third.

Rockratese cleared the front and hit the half in :56.1. Mistys Art (Travis Henry) attempted to catch the leader into the last turn, but could not match Rockratese’s strides. The bettor’s choice passed the
three-quarters in 1:23.4.

In deep stretch, Rockratese put in some steps, but held it together to win by two lengths in a new lifetime mark of 1:52.1. Rock For Glory (Scott Zeron) got up for second and Mistys Art held on for third.

Following the win, Jamieson says he was confident that his filly would get them to the winner’s circle, even though it was a bumpy road to get there.

“She was a little rough at the head of the stretch, kind of gave me a little bit of a surprise there,” he said. “I thought it was going to be a little easier. She put a couple of steps in there and I nearly lost her, but she stayed at it and dug in, to the wire.

“Once we hit the stretch and she put her head down and started pacing, I knew no one was going to get me."

Jamieson admits he didn’t know too much about the bay so he did his research. "It looks like the Pinske Stables are really high on her. They say she tries real hard and that was no different today.”

The win was Rockratese’s second of the season in six starts and third lifetime, which pushed her career earnings to $57,580 for the Pinske Stables of Plato, Minnesota.

The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Merculese paid $2.70 to win.

Here is how the three-year-old fillies will line up behind the gate for the $60,000 Town Pro final on Tuesday, July 12:

PP - Horse - Listed Driver
1 Done Fooln Witcha - S. Filion
2 Swinging Beauty - D. McNair
3 Rockratese - J. Jamieson
4 P L Emily - C. Christoforou
5 Mistys Art - Tra. Henry
6 From The Start - S. Zeron
7 Rock For Glory - S. Zeron
8 Kissngrin - Ph. Hudon
9 Artic Byrd - S. Filion
10 Artsy Princess R. Zeron
AE Ms Curator - R. Waples
(WEG)


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