06/09/2013 5:02PM

Tioga: Pet Rock and Camille post record miles in Roll With Joe, Artiscape

Ken Weingartner
Camille tied a world record with her 1:48 3/5 win in the Artiscape.

Driver Dave Miller couldn’t have scripted it better from the second tier on his way to victory in Sunday’s $184,000 Roll With Joe at Tioga Downs. Just eight days removed from one of the more troubled trips a horse could endure, Pet Rock was able to draft behind live and perfect cover and score in a career best 1:48 1/5 track record-equaling mile.

The Roll With Joe had all of the leading aged pacers in attendance. From the start it was older versus young, as the seasoned Golden Receiver blasted out to early command and was soon joined by the rugged four-year-old Sweet Lou. Those two hooked up early, with Golden Receiver passing the quarter in :26 flat before yielding the front.

Once in command, Sweet Lou faced an attack from 7-5 favorite Betterthancheddar. The five-year-old, driven by George Brennan, moved quickly towards the Yannick Gingras driven Sweet Lou. That pair engaged in a prolonged and fierce battle, hitting the half in :53 2/5 and three quarters in 1:20 1/5, with little separating them.

Pet Rock was poised behind his cover and once Miller gave the command late on the final turn, the son of Rocknroll Hanover surged immediately to take control.

Pet Rock, the 5-1 third choice in the field of 10, easily held a resurgent Foiled Again at bay, with Rockincam finishing third. Betterthancheddar and Sweet Lou rounded out the money earners.

“We got away pretty well and there were only a few leavers,” said Miller, of his luck to be in striking position despite starting from the second tier. “I took my time moving up, Betterthancheddar popped out to give me cover and [Pet Rock] did the rest."

Virgil Morgan trains Pet Rock, who is scheduled to compete next in the Ben Franklin at Mohegan Sun Pocono, for owner Frank Bellino.

Earlier, racing fans got their money’s worth even if the 6-5 favorite captured the $158,000 Artiscape. Camille, perhaps the least respected from the four-ply Ron Burke-trained entry, converted on a second-tier trip to equal the world record, scoring in 1:48 3/5 in a race packed with action from start to finish.

Though recent Golden Girls winner Feeling You had early speed and started from the rail, she was outsprinted big-time with Ontario-based invader Big McDeal blasting out from the start. Driver Jody Jamieson meant business and that forced the hand of second choice Anndrovette and driver Tim Tetrick. Jamieson finally allowed Anndrovette to pass but not before the :25 1/5 opening quarter.

One would have thought the pace would slow some after that, and Tetrick did his best to calm his mare, but before the field hit the half, Feeling You was already on the move towing Rocklamation into the picture.

But Jamieson surprised many at this point, pulling the pocket on Anndrovette. Big McDeal looked to be going right by, that is until Tetrick and Anndrovette regained their composure and their fighting spirit. Anndrovette shook off the bid of her rival, but not before hitting the three quarters in a breath-sapping 1:19 4/5.

That set things up for a closer and while Rocklamation was perfectly spotted to get the job done, it was her entry-mate Camille, with Matt Kakaley in tow, that had the most pace finishing. The five-year-old daughter of Camluck scored over Rocklamation, with the hard-luck and hard-used Anndrovette gamely holding the third spot. Drop The Ball and Royal Cee Cee N rounded out the money finishers.

“It was my plan to follow Yannick (Gingras driver of Rocklamation) from the start. I needed hot fractions and we got them,” said Kakaley, following the race.

Burke Racing Stable, Weaver-Bruscemi, M1 Racing Stable and J. Piatt III own Camille.

Both Pet Rock and Camille started from lucky post 10 in the second tier.