08/26/2017 9:08PM

Mohawk: Canadian Pacing Derby eliminations won by Keystone Velocity, Rockin Ron

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Keystone Velocity was charted with a 25 1/5 last quarter in his elimination tonight at Mohawk

Keystone Velocity, a supplemental entry, rewarded his connection's faith, and Rockin Ron dropped his life's mark by nearly three full seconds in the two C$40,000 Canadian Pacing Derby eliminations for older male pacers tonight at Mohawk.

In the first elimination it was Nirvana Seelster (Trevor Henry) putting up fractions of 27, 55 1/5, and 1:22 2/5, but pocket-sitting All Bets Off (Yannick Gingras) was already out and on the move before three-quarters, giving a second-over trip to Dealt A Winner (David Miller) and the third-over spot to Keystone Velocity.  In the stretch All Bets Off took the lead from Nirvana Seelster and looked like he might be home free, but Keystone Velocity came storming down the center of the track inside the final eighth, and he would overhaul All Bets Off to prevail by a length in 1:48 2/5.  Dealt A Winner wound up third, Nirvana Seelster was fourth, and Easy Lover Hanover (Doug McNair) was up for fifth.

"He just doesn't want to get beat.  He's like Conor McGregor; he showed his fight and wants to win," joked Simon Allard.  "I was just going to race him to get in the final, but the horse is so sharp.  He's having a lot of vacation.  We've been training him, keeping him in, and keeping him real brave.  He's very ready for this race, so I'm glad that my brother (trainer Rene Allard) put him in the Canadian Pacing Derby.  It's a dream come true for me to race in there.  I used to be in the dorm back in the day here as a groom and saw Real Desire and Four Starzzz Shark race in that race.  It's really a cool time right now, and I'm really enjoying it."

A 9-year-old Western Hanover stallion, Keystone Velocity is owned by Allard Racing Inc., Kapildeo Singh, and VIP Internet Stable Inc.  This year's Levy and Franklin winner, Keystone Velocity has won 26 times in his career and has now banked C$1,185,252.  Sent off as the 2-1 second choice, Keystone Velocity paid $6.90 to win.

Check Six (Gingras), coming off wins in the Sam McKee Memorial and Dan Patch Stakes, was the favorite in the other elimination, but it would be Ron Burke stablemate Rockin Ron (Louis-Philippe Roy) crunching his competition in 1:47 2/5.  Rockin Ron went to the point from post four, and he would lead two-hole sitting Sintra (Jody Jamieson) through panels of 26 3/5, 54 3/5, and 1:21 2/5.  Check Six tried it first-over out of fourth at the half, but his bid stalled before three-quarters as Rockin Ron thundered away from him and the rest of the field on his way to a 3 1/2 length victory over Sintra.  McWicked (D. Miller) was up for third, followed by Check Six and Rockeyed Optimist (Brett Miller).

"Yannick told me he was a nice horse to drive, and you can do whatever you want with him," said Roy.  "I just sat behind him and was a passenger.  He was strong in the last quarter, and I was real impressed with him.  In the last turn I saw Check Six was coming first-up, so I was trying to keep Sintra in for a little while, but then my horse felt so good I just let him go for the last quarter.  He was sprinting the last quarter and was strong."

Rockin Ron is a 5-year-old Real Desire gelding trained by Burke for the ownership group of Burke Racing Stable LLC., Weaver Bruscemi LLC., and RTC Stables Inc.  Rockin Ron, whose previous-best clocking was 1:50 1/5 when he won last year's Confederation Cup (over the likes of Wiggle It Jiggleit), now has 26 wins in his life and earnings of C$815,858.  A 5-1 shot, Rockin Ron returned $12.40 to win.

Here is how the field will line up for next Saturday night's C$615,000 final:

2-Keystone Velocity
3-Easy Lover Hanover
4-Rockin Ron
5-Rockeyed Optimist
6-All Bets Off
7-Nirvana Seelster
8-Dealt A Winner
10-Check Six