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Pet Rock rallies for 1:51 Rooney victory

June 02, 2012
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Pet Rock used a pocket trip and the Yonkers passing lane to rally for a victory in the $306,204 Art Rooney Pace Saturday night (June 2). Driven by Brian Sears, Pet Rock defeated Bolt The Duer in 1:51, a stakes record time. Virgil Morgan Jr. trains the colt sired by Rocknroll Hanover for owner Frank Bellino of Rock N Roll Heaven fame.
 
"Warming him up tonight I was a little concerned because he's never been on a half and he took to the turns like it was nothing so I was pretty confident we could get out of the gate and get a two-hole hole trip," said Morgan. "That was the game plan and it couldn't have worked out better. He's a really good-gaited horse and he paces the turns on the five-eighths and everywhere else flawlessly, but you never really know until you get here."
 
Bolt The Duer, last year's Kentucky Sire Stakes champion, started from the rail and was put on the lead by driver Mark MacDonald. They carved out fractions of :27.1 and :55.4 before the second tier developed, with Hurrikane Kingcole first up and Major Bombay following. Bolt The Duer held his position, but Pet Rock slipped up the inside in the homestretch to win.
 
Pet Rock, bred by Angie Stiller but sold by Perretti Farms as a yearling for $60,000, is eligible to the North America Cup, but Bolt The Duer is not.
 
The $176,484 Lismore, the companion to the Rooney, was won by Handsoffmycookie in 1:53.1. The Art Major sired filly, a winner of nine of 12 starts last season, won in her second start of the year for trainer Scott DiDomenico and owners JFE Enterprise.
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