Patience pays off as Bob And Bobby scores

11:47 PM 23 Apr 2012 NZST
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Bob And Bobby & Aaron Merriman
Bob And Bobby & Aaron Merriman - winning Monday’s championship of the Sir Caviar Trot.

Bob And Bobby, whose harness racing connections were so disappointed with his early efforts they nearly sold him, rewarded their patience Monday at The Meadows with an 11-1 upset victory in the $30,200 championship leg of the Sir Caviar Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings.

Trainer William Daugherty, Jr. purchased Bob And Bobby as a yearling, nearly sight unseen, for $4,500. But when he finally scrutinized what he had acquired for his wife Susan, he began looking for a buyer.

"I bought him because he was out of a good dam, and I didn't look at him that closely," he said. "He was about half swayback, and he'd had OCDs removed. I didn't care for his conformation at all. I started training him, and I didn't like him then, either. I darn near had him resold.

"Early in the year, I had all four shoes on him backwards to get him to trot. All of a sudden, he kept getting better. He wants to be a racehorse."

That perseverance paid off Monday when the Andover Hall-Armbro Prowess gelding followed the live cover of Hoorayforvacation and went wide for the stretch drive. He was fumbly gaited in the slop before Aaron Merriman could straighten him out and guide him home.

"This horse is not the most fluid trotter," Merriman said, "but he doesn't want to make a break. He tries really hard. That makes it nice. He put a couple steps in, but he came right back trotting clean. We were just hoping to get a check because there were some really good horses in there."

Bob And Bobby prevailed in 1:59, 2-1/4 lengths better than the rallying Keystone Wyatt, with Prime Caviar third. The former ugly ducking now has won eight of his 21 career starts and, as most of Daugherty's stable, will be pointed to the Pennsylvania Fairs.

Greg Grismore, Dave Palone and Merriman each drove three winners on the 16-race card. Tuesday's program at The Meadows features the $32,400 final of the Here We Go Again Pace for sophomore colts and geldings, which goes as Race 6. First post is 12:55 PM.

by Evan PATTAK

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