LONDON, ON — Grand Sovereign put the icing on an already impressive season with a Gold Final victory at Western Fair Raceway on Saturday evening, stopping the clock in a track record 2:00.
The two-year-old trotting colt and veteran reinsman Bill O’Donnell eased off the gate from Post 3 into third spot, allowing Odee Scoot and elimination winer Lucky George to battle to opening fractions of :29 and :58.4. Heading for the 1:29.4 three-quarters O’Donnell sent Grand Sovereign up the outside and the colt had gained control of the race before the final turn. At the top of the stretch the Royal Strength son was on top by two and at the wire he was a comfortable five and three-quarter lengths up on Angus Scot and B Cor Kenny.
The mile took more than one second off the 2:01.1 mark set by Chuckalo Chase Tom in 2000.
Astute London fans sent Grand Sovereign off as their top choice, expecting the colt to avoid the early miscue he made in the elimination round, and he repaid their confidence with a $4.40 return on a win ticket, a $2.60 return on a place wager and a $3.40 return on a show play. Elimination winner and third choice Angus Scot returned $2.60 to place and $2.40 to show, while long shot B Cor Kenny’s third-place effort was worth $8.90. The exactor paid $10.70 and the triactor $72.20.
The win boosted Grand Sovereign’s freshman record to three wins, three seconds and two thirds in eight starts for earnings of $170,950. Fergus resident Budd Thorne trains the talented young trotter for his partners Terry Taylor of Whitby, John Baker of Brampton and Robert Rombough of Mississauga.
Grand Sovereign and nine other leading point earners from the two-year-old trotting colt division now head to Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday, Nov. 8 for their $300,000 Super Final, part of the $2.4 milllion Super Final Championship evening at the Campbellville oval.
The colts wrapped up Western Fair Raceway’s 2003 Ontario Sires Stakes season, which also featured the outstanding two-year-old Grassroots Championships. The provincial program will return to Western Fair in 2004 with a fresh crop of trotters and pacers eager for a crack at the London oval’s track records.