Day At The Track

Thinking Out Loud & Mel Mara win Bluegrass

04:43 AM 30 Sep 2012 NZDT
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Mel Mara Thinking Out Loud
Mel Mara - a 3-year-old son of Lis Mara.
Nigel Soult Photo
Thinking Out Loud - He had to come home in :25 flat or :24.4
Nigel Soult Photo

Sophomore pacing colts were in Bluegrass Series action on Saturday night (Sept. 29) at The Red Mile. The $101,600 first division saw North America Cup harness racing champion Thinking Out Loud take advantage of a three hole trip to power home first in a time of 1:51.

John Campbell picked up the drive for trainer Bob McIntosh as the Ponder-Los Angeles colt won for the sixth time this year, lifting his 2012 bankroll to $996,262 and $1,046,210 lifetime. The winner is owned by Robert McIntosh Stables, C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings.

Pet Rock and Brian Sears cut the fractions in the race, taking the field to the quarter in :28.2, the half in :57.1 and the three-quarters in 1:25.3. Thinking Out Loud was third throughout the mile, but kicked off the rail on the final turn and powered to the 1:51 win. Bettor's Edge also closed to finish second while Pet Rock was third.

"It's a great win," said trainer Bob McIntosh. "The colt's been super all year, you know he won the North America Cup. He had a little bad racing luck, a couple of interferences during the summer, but he's never really went a bad race.

"I know he can pace faster than a bird when he gets loose like that. He had to come home in :25 flat or :24.4, I don't know what they'll give him, but he's got a tremendous kick and if he's in a position he can just about kick with anybody."

The $100,600 second division resulted in an upset as Brittany Farms, John Carver and Riverview Farms' Mel Mara ($14.80) powered to the lead on the final turn and drew off to a 1:49.4 victory. Tim Tetrick was in the bike for trainer Tony Alagna as the son of Lis Mara-M L Revrac posted his fourth win of the year and improved his season's earnings to $229,551.

Bolt The Duer was the early leader, posting first half fractions of :27.2 and :56.2. Mel Mara got away fourth, then came first over on the final turn and engaged Bolt The Duer at the 1:23.3 third quarter.

From there it was all Mel Mara as he paced a swift final quarter to hit the wire in 1:49.4. Sweet Lou rallied late to finish second and Escape The News was third. Bolt The Duer faded to sixth.

"They weren't going much to the half," said Tetrick. "I just pulled my horse and gave him a shot.

"They've had high hopes for this horse. He's always showed a lot of ability, but never put everything together. You know tonight with some of the other colts not on their game, he pounced on them and he raced really, really good."

from the USTA Communications Department

Courtesy of the United States Trotting Association Web Newsroom

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