CAMPBELLVILLE, September 3 – Simply Business, a 20-1 longshot driven by Ron Pierce, nailed pacesetter A Rocknroll Dance near the wire to win the $1 million Metro Pace, the richest race on the continent for two-year-olds, Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack.
Trained by Jimmy Takter, Simply Business, a son of 2004 Metro winner Rocknroll Hanover, was a $350,000 Lexington yearling purchase, but got it all back tonight for his owners, and then some, pocketing $500,000 for the surprising victory.
It was the first Metro win for Pierce and Takter and capped a big night for both, as they also teamed to take the $123,644 Simcoe Stakes with Pastor Stephen. But the Metro win meant an even bigger evening for Takter, who also conditions the undefeated American Jewel, winner of the $633,000 She’s a Great Lady Stakes, one race earlier on the card, in world record time for two-year-old pacing fillies.
Not to be outdone, Pierce followed his Metro win with another huge victory, steering We Will See to the winner’s circle in the $832,000 Canadian Pacing Derby.
As expected, Hurrikane Kingcole tried to go to the front in the Metro, but was challenged right off the bat by Simply Business, leaving from the nine-hole, as the opening quarter was reached in 26 seconds flat. But both were immediately passed by A Rocknroll Dance and driver Yannick Gingras, who took the field to the half in :54.1, then the three-quarters in 1:22.1.
In mid-stretch, it appeared the 2-1 second choice, A Rocknroll Dance, another Rocknroll Hanover colt, might hang on, but Pierce, who was never worse than second throughout, shook up Simply Business and gunned down the pacesetter by a half length in 1:50.1. Speed Again, the 9-5 favourite, charged late to finish third, just another half-length behind.
Interestingly, Pierce had reined A Rocknroll Dance to a world record 1:49.1 victory in one of last week’s Metro eliminations, but chose Simply Business, who had finished third to D Terminata in his elim, for the final. Prior to the elim, Simply Business had finished a good second to Metro rival Major Bombay in the Woodrow Wilson at the Meadowlands on August 20.
“Yes, I did (have the choice),” explained the 55-year-old veteran Hall of Famer Pierce. “Jimmy and I have been bringing this colt along nice and slow. I love the way he’s bred, I love the way he’s put together, and I loved the way he’s been coming around. Each week, he’s been getting a little better and better. I knew Jimmy could get him to peak tonight. I figured with the right kind of trip, we could lick them.”
“We’ve been racing him from the back most of the time off a helmet but tonight we changed strategy. He’s like a fourteen and a half, 15-year-old kid. Not sure what he’s supposed to be doing. Go fast, but not sure if he’s supposed to do it. It (the trip) couldn’t have worked out any better.”
In recording his third win in six outings, Simply Business paid $43.70, $19.30 and $7.80, combining with A Rocknroll Dance ($4.40, $3.30) for a $224.10 (9-5) exactor. A 9-5-3 (Speed Again, $2.60 to show) triactor returned $1,009.50, while a $1 Superfecta [9-5-3-1 (I Fought Dalaw)] came back $2,707.55.