Before the eighth race, the $552,500 Breeders Crown Open Pace, many of the competitors might have felt it lucky to finish second to 1-9 favorite Four Starzzz Shark, who had won his last seven starts but this was not the Shark's night as he finished seventh, producing boxcar payoffs of $43.60 to win and a hefty $147.80 to place. Boulder Creek, driven by Pierce, scored the two and a quarter length victory in 1:48.1 off a record three-quarter time of 1:19.3. Peruvian Hanover and Royal Mattjesty deadheated for second.
"We weren't racing for a check; we were racing to win," said Pierce. "We were in a real sweet spot [following Royal Mattjesty] and the horse felt real good. I was kind of licking my chop, but I wasn't sure what Mike [Lachance with Four Starzzz Shark] was up to back there, and I turned for home, we had some room. The horse had plenty of pace. Like I said I don't know what happened to Mike."
Boulder Creek is trained by Mark Silva for the partnership of Cliff Siegel of Staten Island, New York; Lee Wasserman of Merrick, New York, and John Fodera of Staten Island, New York. Every final I've had him in he's had the outside," said Silva. "This is the first time we drew halfway decent. And we were going to take a shot from there. He's a beautiful horse. He always draws badly so he hasn't gotten a chance to shine. I'm really proud of him winning this race tonight. He finally got a chance to shine like he deserves. He always races well. He stays in the race. I'm awfully happy."
The $800,000 Breeders Crown Open Trot, the 12th race, had a European flavor as dual-continent competitor HP Paque won by one length over Legendary Lover K, who has campaigned in Europe the last four years. It was two and three-quarter lengths back to Bebop in third. Fool's Goal, who won the Breeders Crown Trot in both 2002 and 2003, finished fourth.
He's a really handy horse," said winning driver Brian Sears. "He's got high speed on both ends of it. I just stepped him out of there. We got a good trip; it just worked out. We were going pretty good at the final turn, around the turn, I see John's horse [John Campbell with pacesetter War Paint who broke in the stretch] get a little rough. It definitely looked like I was going to get out. I was fortunate enough not to get tangled up with John when he did go off stride. The horse fired home good."
Trained by Trond Smedshammer and owned by Timo H. Yll Panula and August Miedel, both of Pompano Beach, Florida, HP Paque won the Su Mac Lad Final this past winter before heading to Sweden and Italy for the major stakes in Europe. "That one made up for the night," said Smedshammer. "At least Brian listens when I tell him what to do. I told him that's absolutely the trip that this horse needs. I said not to move him and he didn't. It was exactly the trip he needed to win that race."