On a night ruled by upsets, Creatine and Mike Lachance stayed true to course to pull of a slight upset in the $286,500 Carl Erskine trot at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, November 1. After finishing second to Spider Blue Chip in the $500,000 Breeders Crown last week, Creatine was able to reverse the charges and use a sharp, front running effort to hold off a late charge from the recent Breeders Crown Champion and score in 1:54.3.
Lachance left no room for error as he sent Creatine to the front from post two while odds on favorite, Spider Blue Chip and Ron Pierce opted for a pocket trip. Creatine dictated fractions of :27.2 and :57.3 before feeling pressure on the outside from E L Rocket and Yannick Gingras.
Reaching the three-quarter clocking in 1:26.2, Creatine braced for the stretch drive as Spider Blue Chip tipped from the pocket and a host of others followed suit. Saving his best for last, Creatine was able to hold off a hard charging, Spider Blue Chip to get the win by a head.
“We just ran out of racetrack in the Breeders Crown,” winning trainer Bob Stewart noted. “This horse has been racing tough all year and tonight, he showed how tough he is. I leave the driving up to Mike (Lachance), that is my strategy, and tonight it all worked out for us.”
Notching his eighth win from 16 seasonal starts, Creatine has now earned $815,459 for his connections at Diamond Creek Racing. The Kentucky Futurity Champion is sired by Andover Hall and has now won 11 of 23 lifetime outings. Creatine’s next engagement will be at Balmoral Park in the American National.
Pet Rock and David Miller followed suit in the $223,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby by holding off Breeders Crown Champion Foiled Again late in the stretch to score in 1:50.3. After finishing second to Foiled Again in the Breeders Crown Open Pace, Pet Rock and Miller turned the tables and used a similar front running effort to get the victory.
Golden Receiver and Corey Callahan were the first to get a call as they left alertly from post nine to reach the front through the first quarter in a brisk :25.2. Pet Rock made a swift move down the backside and cleared to the front through the half mile time in :53.4. Gingras could wait no longer as he sent Foiled Again to the front to begin a long, first-over bid.
Foiled Again reached the leader’s wheel at the three-quarter station in 1:22.2, but Pet Rock was up to the task. Miller asked his horse for more and Pet Rock responded with a :28.1 final quarter to finish three-parts of a length in front of his nemesis.
Virgil Morgan, Jr. trains the four-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover-Casual Beauty for owner Frank Bellino. Notching his fifth win of the season, the multiple World Champion has amassed$880,820 this season while establishing two world records. It was recently announced that Pet Rock would retire to stud duty in 2014.
“His records speak for themselves,” Virgil Morgan noted after the victory. “He is a true champion, winning on all sizes of tracks speaks to his versatility and it means a lot for him to go out on top here tonight.”
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. The 160-day, all harness racing meet began on April 2 and will be conducted through November 9.