09/19/2013 5:28PM

Delaware County Fair: Pet Rock, Maven shatter world records

Derick Giwner
Pet Rock stopped the clock in an amazing 1:48 1/5.

In an age when world records seem to fall like leaves during autumn, two historic marks that seemed to matter went by the wayside on Thursday at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.  Pet Rock and Maven, two classy 4-year-olds, each put on a show and decidedly rewrote history.

Pet Rock erased a mark that has stood the test of time. Before Thursday, three horses were tied with a 1:49 mark on a half-mile track: Ponder (2006) and Jet Lag (1999) set at Delaware, and Bolt The Duer (set this year at Saratoga Raceway).

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The Winbak Pace saw Pet Rock and A Rocknroll Dance gun off the gate and around the first turn. Pet Rock and David Miller, starting from post three, made the lead in front of A Rocknroll Dance (post five), but Tim Tetrick driving the latter was insistent on taking command.

A Rocknroll Dance put the 26-second opening quarter on the board and continued the fast clip past the half in 53 3/5 with Pet Rock sitting chilly in the pocket.

The pace hardly let up down the backstretch. A Rocknroll Dance zoomed past three quarters in 1:21 and Miller made his move with Pet Rock.

“At the three quarter pole he still felt really strong and Timmy was yelling at his horse and chasing him with the whip. So I thought I was in a pretty good spot,” said Miller.

When Miller tipped Pet Rock it took him a moment to kick in. “He actually lost a little bit of ground,” said Miller.

Once in the lane, Pet Rock kicked in and showed his mettle, scoring a narrow neck-long victory over A Rocknroll Dance in an amazing 1:48 1/5.

The victory was the fourth on the year for Pet Rock, who is owned by Frank Bellino and trained by Virgil Morgan, Jr.

“He makes me look so good and it is a pleasure to train him,” said Morgan, Jr.

Pet Rock ($3.20), who has earned $646,633, is one of those once-in-a-lifetime type horses according to Miller.

“I’ve been doing this for 25 or 30 years and when a horse like this comes along it amazes you,” said Miller.

One race earlier, Maven did some record-setting of her own in the $125,000 Miss Versatility final.

The talented trotting mare did all the work on the engine and led at every call through fractions of 26 4/5, 55 4/5, 1:23 4/5 while fending off Beatgoeson Hanover down the backstretch the second time.

In the stretch she found another gear and powered away from her competition. The final margin was seven-and-a-quarter lengths and the timer read 1:51 4/5, smashing the former track and world record (fillies) of 1:53 1/5 set by Frau Blucher one day earlier.

Bax of Life finished second and Daylon Miracle was third.

For Yannick Gingras, who has driven the horse throughout her career, it was another special moment in his memories with Maven.

“She is a special filly. I baby-raced her. It is special when you start from the beginning and drive them through their career,” said Gingras. “She isn’t the strongest physically and mentally, so I do feel a little more connected to her and try to baby her a bit.”

“I really wanted it,” said Gingras on the world record. “I figured she has a 1:52 mile in her for sure, but not (1):51 4/5.”

Trained by Jonas Czernyson for William Donovan, Maven scored her seventh victory in 10 starts this year and bumped her career earnings over $1.2 million lifetime.

“It means a lot to me,” said Czernyson on the record. “We used to have it with Autumn Escapade and it is nice to get it back.”

Maven paid $6.80 to win.

Another world record

On Golden Ponder brought a world record performance with him down from Canada for trainer Bob Mcintosh and driver John Campbell in the Standardbred for 2-year-old colt pacers.

Campbell sat patiently in fourth early on as He’s Got It was pushed to a 26 3/5 opening quarter and 55 half. On the backstretch he edged On Golden Ponder off the cones and quickly accelerated to the front on the final turn. The pair opened up their lead with every stride, crossing the wire first in 1:52 2/5 by over six lengths.

“He is tailor-made for a half-mile track,” said Campbell. “As soon as I got to David’s (Miller, He’s Got It) horse I thought I had a good chance to clear before the turn. Once I did, my colt was gone.”

The victory was the fourth on the year in seven starts for On Golden Ponder. He is owned by Robert Mcintosh stables, C S X Stables and Michael Kohler.

Old Oaken Bucket

Two splits of the Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old trotting colts saw prominent trainers get the cash. Vibe Blue Chip scored in the first division for Ron Burke and High Bridge took home honors in round two.

Vibe Blue Chip watched as the Takter-trained Bluto set the pace. After three quarters in 1:26, the pair hooked up around the final turn and driver Yannick Gingras edged away to a track record 1:54 3/5 score by one length.

The victory pushed Vibe Blue Chip over the $100k mark in earnings this year for owners Joseph Di Scala and Cynthia Lynn Massari.

High Bridge led at every call in his Old Oaken Bucket. He battled around the first turn with Spider Blue Chip before that foe broke and left Gingras alone on the lead with High Bridge. The pair rated a kind 28 1/5, 57 1/5, 1:25 3/5 before crossing the wire two lengths in front of Boffin in 1:55 1/5.

The victory was the fifth on the year in 18 starts for High Bridge, who is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding and Joyce Mc Clelland.

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