TORONTO, ON — After 12 attempts, two-year-old trotting filly Elusive Desire finally found her way to the winner’s circle on Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack, capturing her Gold Elimination in 1:58.4.
Through her first 11 starts, the Angus Hall daughter amassed an impressive record of six seconds, four thirds and earnings of $165,904, but the winner’s circle had in fact been an �elusive desire’.
On Friday the filly started from Post 8 in a nine horse field and was sitting three-wide in sixth when Serenas Genie reached the quarter pole in :28.1. While fan favourite Cumin First sprinted up the outside to the front before the :59 half, driver Paul MacDonell opted for a relaxed trip up the outside with Elusive Desire, rather than an early battle for the lead. Just over four lengths back, and sitting fifth at the half, the filly made steady progress along the outside and had closed to within one-quarter length of Cumin First by the 1:28.2 three-quarters.
Turning for home Elusive Desire had a slight edge over Cumin First, which she extended to one and a half lengths before the finish, stopping the clock at 1:58.4. SOS Respect and Arona closed well to earn the second and third-place share of the $40,000 Gold Elimination purse, leaving Cumin First to settle for fourth. Easter Bonnet finished four and a half lengths behind the winner to round out the qualifiers for next week’s $120,000 Gold Final.
Mike Keeling trains Elusive Desire for Charles Armstrong of Brampton, Robert Fasken of Oakville and P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc. of Cambridge. The half-sister to $296,180 winner Our Man Josh, and consistent sophomore Grassroots performer Valley Courtney ($103,796) was a $65,000 purchase at last fall’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Through just three appearances in the Gold Series, the consistent young trotter boasts one win, one second and one third for a total of 87 points and sole ownership of eighth-place in the division standings.
Three and a half months after she captured her first Gold Elimination, Daylon Mystique returned to the Ontario Sires Stakes winner’s circle with a narrow 1:59.1 victory in the second division.
Starting from Post 6, driver Wayne Henry hustled Daylon Mystique away from the starting gate and landed second on the rail behind Pajama Land. The pair sat contentedly behind the pacesetter through a :28.2 quarter, a :59.1 half and a 1:28.2 three-quarters and then stepped out to challenge around the final turn.
Taking the lead from Pajama Land in the early stretch, Daylon Mystique had to battle to the wire, fighting off hard closing Stonebridge Diva to earn the victory by a head. Friendly Amigo also closed well to finish just three-quarters of a length back in third. Pacesetter Pajama Land held on for fourth, and Paycheck Lavec rounded out the top five. Fan favourite and reigning Gold Final champion Ill Wait For You will not defend her title, finishing three and one-quarter lengths behind the winner in sixth.
Wayne Henry drives and trains Daylon Mystique for his partners in the Henry Stable of Arthur and Daniel McCann of Parkhill. An $18,000 acquisition out of last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale, the Amigo Hall lass has recorded four wins, three seconds and two thirds in 11 starts for earnings of $166,170 and sits second in the division standings with a total of 207 points.
The top five finishers from each elimination will return to Woodbine Racetrack on Friday, Nov. 7 for their last Gold Final.
For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/results/data/rwdbsfr.html.