With help from jockey Clifton Berry, Mike and Mary Kindred’s 3-year-old colt did just that, soaring through the middle of the racetrack to overtake heavy favorite Grasshopper by a length. It was the first graded stakes win for Going Ballistic, who took the Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes at Lone Star for his only previous victory in 2007.
Although the Donnie Von Hemel-trained colt had not won this summer, a second-place finish in the $250,000 American Derby (gr. II) July 21 and a third in the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 11, both on Arlington Park turf, were encouraging.
This time, on the dirt, Going Ballistic saved ground on the rail through soft early fractions, which were set by Forty Acres (:23.72 for a quarter, :48.34 for a half, 1:12.80 for three-quarters). Then, just as 1-5 favorite Grasshopper took the lead from Past the Point after six furlongs, Berry moved Going Ballistic to the outside, picked off horses around the final turn and powered by the leader in deep stretch to get up just in time.
Grasshopper, who was second to Street Sense in the Travers Stakes (gr. I), finished second, while Past the Point held for show. The final time for the 1 1/8-mile was 1:50.32.
Going Ballistic, at odds of nearly 9-1, paid $19.80 to win. The exacta (10-9) was worth $35.60.
It was the fifth win in 16 career starts for Going Ballistic, who was bred in Florida by Adena Springs. He has now earned nearly $700,000.
Forty Acres tired to finish seventh in the 10-horse field.