BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 27, 2017—He came. He saw. He slapped silly.
Stung early and strong late, world champion Downbytheseaside (Dave Miller, $2.10) was superb Saturday night (May 27th), winning Yonkers Raceway’s $300,000 Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-olds.
The 27th Rooney featured five colts and three geldings at the start, but only one at the finish.
It was 53-1 Summer Side (Tim Tetrick) making the first lead, looping both the eventual winner and second choice Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley).
With Downbytheseaside three-wide (from post position No. 3), Miso Fast leapfrogged by Summer Side, stringing the 1-20 proposition out past a :27.3 opening quarter-mile and well into the second turn. The turned out to ‘Seaside’s’ only issue as he found a 55-second intermission and pokey :29.1 third quarter (1:24.1).
Eight-holer Stealth Bomber (Brett Miller), who had left and wedged in sixth, tired it first-up but was never close to coming close. Downbytheseaside opened four lengths entering the lane, winning by a wrapped-up 3¾ lengths in 1:52.
Summer Side, winner of last season’s Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace here, was a solid second, with 2016’s New York Sire Stakes frosh champ, Funknwaffles (Brian Sears). The latter raced well, forced wide early after Stealth Bomber stopped.
Fourth and fifth went to Henry the Dragon (Montrell Teague) and pole-sitting, 62-1 Mac’s Jackpot (Jason Bartlett), respectively.
Miso Fast faded to sixth, ahead of 90-1 Rollin’ About (Brent Holland) and the rough trip of Stealth Bomber.
For Downbytheseaside, a son of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Brian Brown for co-owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and Diamond Creek Racing, it was his third win in as many seasonal starts (career 11-for-16, three seconds, two thirds, $766,016), The exacta paid $21.80, the triple returned $103.50 and the superfecta paid $838.
The win was Miller’s third in the Rooney (Ashlee’s Big Guy-2002, No Pan Intended-2003 [via disqualification]) and the highlight of a five-win night.
"He's been a pretty solid horse,” Miller said. "I thought he raced well. He got used a 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."
As for trainer Brown, who chose the Rooney because “it fit our schedule and the money’s very good,” the plan did indeed come together for his first local visit.
"I’m thrilled that everything worked out right," he said of last week’s lone (1:52.2) elimination winner. Downbytheseaside stayed in New Jersey, tended to by caretaker Toni Dale and Miller.
"It was a little bit of a tough trip, but I thought easier than last week
“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 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."
Where he was at Saturday night was open lengths ahead of the rest of ‘em.
(Lismore story shortly)