10/28/2017 10:35PM

Breeders Crown: Split The House surprises in Open Pace

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Derick Giwner
Split The House picked up his first stakes win since his 3-year-old season

Lightly-raced Split The House was good at the right time, making multiple moves through the mile and winning the $421,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace on Saturday night at Hoosier Park in 1:48 1/5 at odds of 8-1.

With Brett Miller at the lines, Split The House was involved early, landing in third while All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) rushed away from the far outside post nine to hit the opening quarter in 25 4/5.  Keystone Velocity (Daniel Dube) would clear All Bets Off past that marker, but Keystone Velocity was immediately overtaken by Split The House.  Split The House was then confronted by elimination winner Mach It So (David Miller), and Mach It So landed on the point at the 53 4/5 half.

Mach It So was still in front at the 1:21 1/5 three-quarters, with All Bets Off first-over and McWicked (Brian Sears) second-over and Split The House waiting in the pocket.  They remained in that order until the passing lane became available, at which point Split The House scooted to the inside and took over again.  He had one late push from McWicked to hold off, which he did by a length and a quarter.  Mach It So was third, followed by All Bets Off and Missile J (Tim Tetrick).

"Last week (a closing third in his elimination) we felt like he needed another start because he hasn't been racing," said Brett Miller.  "We were surprised ultimately how good he was last week, and that gave me a lot of confidence for tonight.  My whole plan was to follow David.  In the middle of the first turn when I had a couple guys out there and I had David behind me, I thought I had a shot of getting them turned loose and then moving to the front and hoping David came.  It actually worked out. When I went in the passing lane I was pretty confident.  Late down by the wire, I'm not even sure who it was was on the far outside, and they were getting close, but he still felt strong.

He's a pretty big horse and very well gaited.  He can leave the gate in 24 seconds if you want him to.  He's just an all-around great horse.  You can do anything you want with him, and he's definitely got heart."

Split The House, a 5-year-old gelding by Rocknroll Hanover, is trained by Chris Oakes for owner Crawford Farms Racing.  This was his second win of the year, his 12th win from just 29 career starts, and he has now earned $606,333.  He paid $18.40 to win.