Fire’s Finale came from last with a half-mile to go, swept past eleven rivals and went on to win the $80,000 Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes for state-bred two year-olds at Parx Racing by a length. It was the second win in seven starts this year for the Jump Start colt, his first stakes victory, and pushed his freshman earnings to just over $101,000.
After keeping a busy schedule, making six starts through mid-October, trainer Kelly Breen opted to rest Fire’s Finale for nearly two months before returning to the races for the Nursery. Breaking his maiden in that sixth start here at Parx, winning in a special weight over a sloppy track, maybe he had started to figure things out. Returning to the work tab at Belmont in November, he posted a bullet work at five-eighths on November 17th and then impressed everyone with another bullet work at half-mile on November 25th, a two-year-old working the best of 92 that day.
He late-season development continued into the Nursery. Taken back in the early part of the race by winning jockey Mychal Sanchez, Fire’s Finale began to make headway as the race entered the far turn. Able to make a run on the inside of horses in the bulky field, he followed the move of Kidnapped as they rounded the far turn. While Kidnapped got the first to run on the two tiring front runners, Just a Thought and Beren, Fire’s Finale was still moving well and coming off the turn was able to angle out for a clear path and started to kick into high gear in the final furlong. Kidnapped held the lead briefly in the stretch, but it was clear the lead wouldn’t last. Fire’s Finale surged past with about 70 yards to go and moved away at the end to win by a full length.
Owned by Kenwood Racing and Degaetano and Pastore, Inc., Fire’s Finale went off at odds of 11-1 and returned $25.80 to win. Kidnapped, the 5-2 second choice, was next to last early, ran a terrific race with another big run from the back but simply could not hold off the winner and settled for second. Just a Thought (18-1) in a pace duel with Beren, held on for third. The final time for the seven furlongs on a fast track was 1:25.35.