Downbytheseaside Triumphs In Rooney

Published: May 27, 2017 10:19 pm EDT

Downbytheseaside ($2.10) turned in a sharp 1:52 performance to take the $340,000 Art Rooney Pace featured on Saturday night (May 27) at Yonkers Raceway.

When the wings of the gate folded, the quick-leaving Summer Side (Tim Tetrick) crossed to command from post six before post two starter Miso Fast (Matt Kakakley) took over. David Miller had the overwhelming 1-9 favourite Downbytheseaside floating to their outside from post three and he worked his way to the lead, stretched out past the quarter in :27.3. After clearing in front of the grandstand on the way to the half in :55, Downbytheseaside rolled on through three-quarters in 1:24.1 without facing any serious threats and drew off down the stretch to score in dominant fashion. Summer Side finished three and a quarter lengths behind in second while Funknwaffles (Brian Sears) rallied off fading cover to show.

Downbytheseaside and driver David Miller winning the Art Rooney on May 27 at Yonkers Raceway. (Mike Lizzi)

"He's been a pretty solid horse last year and this year," said Miller, who drove a total of five winners on the night. "I thought he raced well. He got used a little bit more than I thought he would in the second quarter, but he held up.

"I tried to rate him up the backstretch, but he got through the turns a lot better tonight. I asked him going into the last turn and he got right around it really good and finished 'er off."

Ohio trainer Brian Brown said he was "thrilled that everything worked out right" with his decision to race his star colt in the Rooney. After Downbytheseaside's 1:52.2 elimination win last week, he stayed in New Jersey with caretaker Toni Dale and Miller.

"It was a little bit of a tough trip, but I thought easier than last week," said Brown. "And the horse had a foot bothering him last week and Toni and David worked on it all week. Toni took care of him every day. David actually jogged him and trained him all week and he kept texting me every day that the horse was getting better and really liked where we were at."

Brown trains the Rooney champ for Country Club Acres Inc., Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, and Diamond Creek Racing.

The Somebeachsomewhere-Sprig Hanover colt, who is undefeated in three starts this year, never missed the board in 13 freshman starts earning eight wins and almost $645,000.

Downbytheseaside was one of five Pepsi North America Cup eligibles in the Rooney and is the 9-2 second choice behind U.S. divisional champ Huntsville in Trot's Spring Book. The connections of Macs Jackpot, Miso Fast, Henry The Dragon and Stealth Bomber also made the final sustaining payment for Canada’s richest harness race, set for Saturday, June 17 at Mohawk Racetrack.

Tequila Monday and driver Brian Sears stalked 1-9 favourite Agent Q before blowing by that filly foe to win the companion $180,770 Lismore Pace by four and three-quarter lengths. The American Ideal-Margarita Monday miss established a new lifetime mark and was one-fifth of a second off the stakes record with her 1:52.2 clocking.

After opening panels of :27 and :56.2, Agent G (David Miller) swept to command from third with Tequila Monday following hot on her heels and edging ahead of the favoured elimination winner at the 1:25.2 third quarter mark. Tequila Monday cleared around the final turn and opened up a commanding lead down the lane to seal the deal. Agent G finished second and Caviart Ally (Andrew McCarthy) came on for third.

Tequila Monday and driver Brian Sears winning the Lismore Pace on May 27 at Yonkers Raceway. (Mike Lizzi)

"She's got a lot of ability and just needs a little ironing out," said Sears after the race. "Sometimes she gets a little steppy. She made a break in the [New York Sire Stakes] final last year and was able to overcome it. With a little shoeing change, she was real solid today."

The Chris Oakes trainee banked nearly $190,000 as a freshman with wins in four of her five starts, including the NYSS Championship. Sent postward in the Lismore as the 4-1 second wagering choice following a pair of runner-up finishes to start her sophomore campaign, Tequila Monday paid $10.60 to win. She is owned by Susan Oakes and Chuck Pompey.

This week's $55,000 Open Handicap Pace went to repeat winner Mach It So ($4.40) in 1:51.3. Brent Holland drove the seven-year-old Mach Three-Beach Dancer millionaire for trainer Jeffrey Bamond Jr.