Boomboom Ballykeel wins wild Metro Pace

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RICHARD MAUNTAH / QMI Agency

The Metro Pace was filled with bumps and ended with a boom.

Boomboom Ballykeel, sent off at odds of 10-1, took advantage of a chaotic stretch drive and caught 3-5 favourite Western Vintage to win Mohawk's $683,000 signature race for two-year-old pacing colts.

Breaking from the rail, Boomboom Ballykeel secured a nice spot, sitting third as Western Vintage took the field through a half of 54 3/5 and three-quarters in 1:22 2/5.

Western Vintage was still clear in the stretch but chaos ensued behind him. Lets Drink On It, who made a mild first-over move, began to stall in the stretch but as Boomboom Ballykeel was looking for a way by him on his inside, Lets Drink On It appeared to lock wheels with Some Major Beach, sending him off stride and forcing three horses behind them to move wide.

Once that happened the way was cleared for driver Sylvain Filion to move Boomboom Ballykeel off the rail and he stormed past the tired pacesetter to win in 1:50 2/5. Filion was among several drivers asked to speak to the stewards during a lengthy inquiry but in the end, he was allowed to keep the victory. Some Major Beach survived that bump and closed to end third at 45-1.

Though it could have been disastrous, Filion thought the rail was beneficial for his colt.

"When we got the rail I thought we had a good shot here," he said. "It was tight quarters down the stretch. I thought I was all right but when you have a long inquiry, it is a little tense."

It was the third win in seven starts in the young career of the son of Mach Three. Owned by Ballykeel Racing of Tillsonburg, and trained by Richard Moreau, Boomboom Ballykeel was a very close second in his elimination last week. The win pushed his earnings to nearly $400,000.

In the $451,000 Shes a Great Lady, 6-5 favourite Precocious Beauty, usually placed close to the early pace, showed some versatility in winning in a stakes record-equalling 1:50 2/5.

She left the gate fourth, patiently sat behind scorching early fractions and then worked out an ideal second-over trip around the turn. In the stretch she cruised by long-time leader Gallie Bythe Beach in the final strides. Second-choice Beach Gal ended third.

It was the fourth win in six starts for the two-year-old.

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