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In The Arsenal victorious in Rooney, Purrfect Bags upsets in Lismore

In The Arsenal victorious in Rooney, Purrfect Bags upsets in Lismore
Saturday, May 30, 2015 - by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications

Yonkers, NY---In The Arsenal diverted ever so slightly from the shortest distance to the finish line, but held on in the final strides to win the $300,000 Art Rooney Pace for three year-old pacing colts on Saturday at Yonkers Raceway in 1:51.2 by a nose. Stablemate Betting Exchange (David Miller) was second and Rock N Roll World (Daniel Dube) was third.

Rock N Roll World and Dube were first to the lead at the :27.2 first quarter, but were soon overtaken by Betting Exchange, who worked hard for the lead by about the three eighths mile mark and held it coming around the second turn.

In The Arsenal and Brian Sears came up on the outside to take the lead before the :56 half. Those two held that spot to the 1:24 three quarters, with Arque Hanover pressing on the outside and Betting Exchange in behind third.

As the field turned for home, Betting Exchange got free to move up on the inside and In The Arsenal drifted to the right, but just did hold off a late rush by Betting Exchange to win by a nose. Rock N Roll World was third behind those two and Arque Hanover (Jason Bartlett) was fourth.

Mike Lizzi photo

In The Arsenal's lifetime earnings increased to $581,843 with the Rooney victory.
In the Arsenal is trained by Kelvin Harrison and owned by White Birch Farm and In The Arsenal Racing. He is a perfect three for three in 2015, his lifetime earnings are now $581,843.

"With every experience, I look for this colt to get better and better," said Sears.

"He was a little green there at the wire, kind of made a little bit of a right hand turn. Fortunately no one was outside him. He's done everything we've asked so far. There's times in the miles with this colt that latches on to you and wants to pace and when they were pacing past the quarter, I was thinking about trying to get Dave in (David Miller, driving stablemate Betting Exchange) but then they took a shot at me pretty good and I couldn't open the hole, but I was able to make my move to the front."

"He felt good right through the turn, the only moment was right at the end where he kind of ran out and I really can't explain it but he's done some funny things in races before. Hopefully, with experience he'll get better and more mature."

Lismore Pace

Mike Lizzi photo

Purrfect Bags upset World Champion Sassa Hanover in the Lismore, paying $24.60 to win.
With a rousing, sweeping rush on the outside, Purrfect Bags, racing off three qualifiers, won the $117,724 Lismore Pace for three year-old fillies on Saturday night at Yonkers Raceway by about two lengths.

Driven by Victor Kirby, Purrfect Bags, who had yet to make a start for a purse in 2015, raced well off the leaders, as the first marker was set by Strut My Stuff (Jordan Stratton) (:27.3) and stablemate Totally Rusty (Jason Bartlett) behind her.

By the :55.3 half, heavily favored Sassa Hanover (George Brennan) had made the lead and held it to the 1:24.3 third quarter and looked to ready to open up on the field as they headed for the homestretch. As the field fanned out for the final march home, it was Purrfect Bags coming fastest of all on the far outside to get the win.

Sassa Hanover held for second and Bedroomconfessions (Brian Sears) was third.

Purrfect Bags is trained by Jim King and owned by his wife, Joann Looney-King., who also trained Tyra, winner of last year's Lismore.

"Last year I won as a trainer and this year as an owner. Winning as an owner is much more profitable," said Looney-King. "I paid $2,000 for the filly (by Roddy's Bags Again) and brought her home and my husband was less than thrilled, but she' been a nice filly all along."

Asked to compare her two Lismore winning fillies, Looney was short and decisive: "They're both fast."

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