GLOUCESTER, ON — The flight to Ottawa may not have been much fun for driver Jason Brewer, but the one minute and fifty-five seconds spent guiding St Lads Popcorn to her second straight Gold Final victory made the trip home a whole lot more bearable.
Brewer and this season’s two-year-old pacing filly sensation started from Post 1 in the $140,000 Gold Final and there was not a moment in the mile that Rideau Carleton Raceway fans doubted the outcome. Firing to the front in :26.3, St Lads Popcorn made it clear early that she was ready for battle, and the filly maintained a two length lead as she reached the :56.1 half.
Bale Me Out took a run at the leader heading for the 1:25.4 three-quarters, but never got closer than a length to St Lads Popcorn. Down the stretch the fan favourite re-established her two length margin and sailed effortlessly under the wire in 1:55.
Northern Duchess finished second to St Lads Popcorn for the second straight week, with Take My Pulse five lengths back in third. Bale Me Out faded to fourth and Rose Seelster rounded out the money earners in the $140,000 skirmish.
Brewer drives St Lads Popcorn for owner and trainer Jack Darling of Cambridge and has now engineered three straight victories for the youngster. Darling trained the filly’s sire Twin B Champ through his $437,235 career — which included a six race win streak in Ontario Sires Stakes action — and also conditioned her mother Hot Butter until an injury ended her racing career and saw her join the broodmare band at St Lads Farm in Ruscom Station.
A $5,000 bargain at last fall’s Forest City Yearling Sale, St Lads Popcorn has already banked $153,200 in just four lifetime starts — two Gold Final victories, last week’s elimination win at Rideau Carleton and a fourth in the Gold Series season opener at Flamboro Downs.
Although Darling has always been impressed with the filly’s conformation and physical ability, he erred on the side of caution when making her freshman stake payments, so while many of her peers tackle North America’s best in the Eternal Camnation and Shes A Great Lady Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack in August, St Lads Popcorn will be watching from the sidelines. The filly will make her next appearance in the third Gold Series event, Sept. 12 at Mohawk.
Meanwhile, Rideau Carleton Raceway fans will be treated to a four week series of Grassroots and Trillium Series events, starting with the second two-year-old pacing colt Grassroots event on Thursday, Aug. 14.
For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/results/data/rridcfsu.html.