By Jay Bergman, for Breeders Crown
Anderson, Indiana – Downbytheseaside got back on the winning track Saturday night, taking the first of two $25,000 eliminations for the Breeders Crown sophomore pacing male division at Hoosier Park. Driven by Brian Sears, Downbytheseaside led virtually wire-to-wire winning in 1:51.1.
A son of Somebeachsomewhere from the Allamerican Native-sired mare Sprig Hanover, Downbytheseaside was able to rate fractions kindly after a :27.3 opening quarter. There were no challengers, allowing Sears to coast through fractions of :57 and 1:24.3 before sprinting home in :26.3 to win by a length over Boogie Shuffle.
A $55,000 yearling purchase from the 2015 Lexington Selected sale, Downbytheseaside won for the 18th time in his career for owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and Diamond Creek Racing Stable. Brian Brown conditions the colt.
"He was having problems with his liver enzymes," said Brown. "Cranberry juice has been helping the horse."
An even-money favorite, Downbytheseaside returned $4 for the victory. Joining him in next week's final will be runner-up Boogie Shuffle, Photobombr Hanover, Miso Fast and Ocean Colony.
The second elimination was the wildest race of the night as 28-1 shot Rock N Tony, an Indiana-bred son of Rockin Image from the Cole Muffler-sired Pandemonious, pulled off a major upset that saw both favorites – Little Brown Jug winner Filibuster Hanover and North America Cup champion Fear The Dragon – fail to qualify for the final. Rock N Tony scored in 1:50.2 for driver Trace Tetrick.
With the favorites racing from off the pace, Blood Line and Rock N Tony both blasted to the front in a :27 opening quarter with Blood Line able to walk to the half in :55.4. That set up a second-half sprint that led to the Indiana Sires champion finding room along the inside and score by a length over Blood Line.
Erv Miller trains Rock N Tony, a $49,000 yearling purchase from the Hoosier sale for owners Anthony Lombardi and Rocco Ruffolo.
"I expected him to be good. That's why I entered him," said Miller. "He was plagued with sickness about a month ago, but he's over that now."
Following Rock N Tony and Blood Line into the final will be Beckhams Z Tam, Mac’s Jackpot and the supplemental entry Funknwaffles.
Rock N Tony returned $58 to win.