Rocklamation defended her title in the $284,000 Milton Stakes with a dramatic off the pace victory on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack.
The five-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare matched her 2012 winning time of 1:49.4 with Brett Miller driving for trainer Ron Burke and owners J And T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, New York, Stable 45 of Boynton Beach, Florida, and Our Horse Cents Stables of Clifton Park, New York.
"She's so much better from off the pace," said Miller after the victory. "Last year when I drove her in the elimination I left with her and she finished third. Ronnie told me don't go forward with her, she races much better off the pace. She won the Milton last year from off the pace and I raced her the same way and she was just awesome."
A 23-1 upset winner last year in the Milton, Rocklamation was overlooked again by the betting public and was sent postward at odds of 12-1. She paid $27.10 to win. Even-money favourite and inside starter Drop The Ball (Doug McNair) broke at the start of the race.
Voelz Hanover (Randy Waples) fired to the lead from post seven, but Anndrovette (Scott Zeron) rolled by past the :26 opening quarter mark. Voelz Hanover launched a surprise attack moving out to challenge the new leader approaching the :53.2 half, but was forced to duck back to the pylons as Anndrovette pressed on.
The persistent Voelz Hanover gave it another go nearing the 1:20.4 third quarter station, meanwhile, Shelliscape (Steve Condren) was on the move from the backfield with Swinging Beauty (Sylvain Filion) and stablemate Rocklamation following her cover.
As Anndrovette continued to lead the mares into the stretch with Voelz Hanover to her outside, the backfield began to fan wide and close in. Swinging Beauty and an even wider Rocklamation came surging by with the latter prevailing by one length. Anndrovette finished third.
"At the half they were racing up there pretty hard," said Miller. "Coming off the last turn, a lot of those good mares looked like they were starting to struggle. I pulled her blinds down at the top of the stretch and she just about pulled me off the seat, and when I fanned her out wide, it was over."
Rocklamation earned her fifth win in 17 seasonal starts and 19th lifetime pushing her bankroll to nearly $1.65 million.
"She's big and strong and she doesn't look like a mare; she looks like a big stud," said Miller of her winning qualities. "And she wants to race. When you pull her around a horse, she wants to pass that horse."
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Mohawk Racetrack.