CAMPBELLVILLE, August 31…Boomboom Ballykeel, driven by Sylvain Filion, exploded in late stretch to nail pacesetting favourite Western Vintage at the wire and win the rich $683,000 Metro Pace for two-year-olds Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack.
The task looked hopeless late in the lane until Boomboom Ballykeel, avoiding some stretch interference, rocketed to the leader and went on by to post a going-away two and one-quarter length tally in a career best 1:50.4.
Some Major Beach wound up third, four and one-half lengths behind the winner, with Tellitlikeitis fourth.
Western Vintage, the 3-5 choice with Yannick Gingras, had it all his own way for almost the entire trip. After briefly being parked the first eighth of a mile, Western Vintage got an opening quarter in a quick :26.1, then reached the half in :54.3.
The odds-on choice, who had breezed to a two-length win last week in his elim, was still comfortably in front after three-quarters in 1:22.2, and appeared the winner. But Boomboom Ballykeel and Filion came off the rail in deep stretch when third and suddenly blazed home for the shocking 10-1 upset.
Trained by Richard Moreau for owner-breeder Ballykeel Racing (former mayor Cam McKnight of Tillsonburg, Ontario), the son of Mach Three-Teig N Riley was notching his third win in six starts, along with two second place finishes. In one of three Metro elims last week, Boomboom Ballykeel finished a neck behind Lets Drink On It after a late stretch tussle.
“There was tight quarters down the stretch,” explained Filion, about the stretch interference which was reviewed by the judges for 12 minutes. “I was pretty confident I was in my own right. But anytime there’s an inquiry like this going for that kind of money, it’s pretty stressful.
“He was full of himself. I knew if he could get some room, he’d be real close. When we drew the rail, I thought we had a good shot. He raced so good last week and just missed. You’ve got to give credit to Richard Moreau. He’s done a great job with this horse. He’s a real nice baby. He’s got real good gate speed and he’s real handy.”
Boomboom Ballykeel joined such Metro Pace luminaries as last year’s winner, Captaintreacherous, and other recent champions like Rocknroll Hanover, Somebeachsomewhere and Sportswriter.
“We had a full brother to him and he was a very nice horse, too,” explained owner McKnight. “So we kind of thought he (Boomboom Ballykeel) would be nice, but I have to be honest, until he showed me in a qualifying race, I didn’t know he was that good.”
Elim winner Lets Drink On It, who got tangled up in mid-stretch when third at the time, was distanced. The other elim winner, Arthur Blue Chip, was scratched from the final due to sickness.
Boomboom Ballykeel earned $341,500 for the victory, after banking just $48,202 coming into the richest race on the continent for juvenile pacers. He paid $23, $6.70 and $4.40, combining with Western Vintage ($2.70, $2.30) for a $66 (1-3) exactor. A 1-3-11 (Some Major Beach, $8) triactor returned a healthy $1,318.80 while a $1 Superfecta [1-3-11-5 (Tellitlikeitis)] lit up the toteboard with a $3,699.15 payoff.