Rock Slide Nips Miesque's Approval in Sea o'Erin

(from Arlington report)
Farish, Elkins & Webber's Rock Slide edged favored Miesque's Approval in a head bobbing finish by a nose in Sunday's $160,650 Sea o'Erin Breeders' Cup Mile at Arlington Park before a Father's Day crowd of 26,101.

Robby Albarado rode the Neil Howard-trained son of A. P. Indy, who covered the mile over firm turf in 1:35.85.

A full brother to Mineshaft (second Saturday in the grade I Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs), Rock Slide earned $98,190 for the victory, his second of the year and ninth in 19 starts overall. His bankroll stands at $409,020.

Rock Slide broke alertly and tucked in behind pacesetter Captain Nicholas, who took the field of seven through three-quarters of a mile in 1:12.01. When even-money favorite Miesque's Approval began to rally on the inside of Rock Slide, Albarado moved with him and the pair battled through the final furlong.

"Rock Slide is known for a fight late in the race and whenever you come up to him, he's determined to win," Albarado said. "I was going to sit as long as I could until I got pressed. (Miesque's Approval) came up on the inside of me and I thought that it was time to go."

Miesque's Approval raced near the middle of the pack, rallied along the rail on the second turn, had a brief lead inside the eighth pole but was unable to hold off the determined bid of Rock Slide.

"It was a tough beat," said Rene Douglas, who rode the beaten favorite. "I was hoping for the pace to be a little faster, but turning for home both of us (Miesque's Approval) made the right move. I got through along the rail and made a nice move but the winner didn't stop either. I'm sorry I didn't win but I did everything I wanted to do."

Fast closing Package Store was another half-length back in third.

Rock Slide paid $9.40, $4 and $3.20. Miesque's Approval returned $2.60 and $2.40. Package Store paid $3.

(Chart, Equibase)