CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — Before Hibbler’s first lifetime start his owners thought the youngster might have star potential, and the two-year-old trotting colt proved them right with an impressive victory in the $120,000 Gold Final at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening.
“He does look like he might be the real McCoy,” said Fred Jamieson four days before the colt debuted in the July 27 Grassroots event at Clinton Raceway. “He’s all trot. The question is, can he trot enough?”
Hibbler answered Jamieson’s question on Monday night, laying down a :28.3 final fraction on his way to the 1:57.3 Gold Final triumph.
Rick Zeron picked up the catch drive aboard Hibbler when Jody Jamieson chose Lemon Candy as his Gold Final mount, and the Oakville resident allowed Hibbler to ease away from Post 1 into third position behind fan favourite Lemon Candy and Gold Series veteran Mopey Corey. At the :28.3 quarter Hibbler and Zeron were sitting comfortably, just two and a half lengths behind the leader, a position they maintained through the :59 half.
Lemon Candy continued to lead the field of ten through the 1:28.4 three-quarters, but Zeron had swung Hibbler to the outside and narrowed the leader’s margin to one and a half lengths. Sprinting around the final turn, Hibbler hit the top of the stretch ahead by a quarter length and proceeded to draw away from the field to a commanding three and three-quarter length victory.
Mopey Corey turned his pocket trip into a second-place cheque, while At The Gate closed smartly to finish third. Favourite and pacesetters Lemon Candy and Jamieson settled for fourth, and Pointe Of Honour turned in the fastest last quarter to nail down fifth spot.
Striking Sahbra son Hibbler is owned by trainer Murray Weber and Fred Jamieson of Putnam, and Renato Confortin of London. The trio acquired the brother to sophomore Gold Series regular Condi Lane out of last fall’s Forest City Yearling Sale, offering up $12,000 for the youngster. In his three flawless outings — a victory in the July 27 Grassroots event, a win in last week’s elimination round at Mohawk, and Monday’s triumph — Hibbler has already returned $90,000 to his delighted owners.
The two-year-old trotting colts stepped off an even faster mile in the $20,000 Gold Consolation, with Mr Escadar converting his pocket trip into a two and three-quarter length victory in 1:57. Illusionsndreams delivered an impressive effort from the outside Post 10 to claim the runner-up’s share, overtaking pacesetter Winning Mister, who faded badly in the last quarter after sprinting to fractions of :27.3, :56.3 and 1:27.1.
Campbellville resident Luc Ouellette steered Mr Escadar from Post 1 for trainer Christopher Beaver of Rockwood and owner Hubert Wick of Warsaw, NY, who also bred the Mr Lavec son.
Mr Escadar had not missed the top five in five previous Gold Series starts, but Monday’s outing marked his first visit to the winner’s circle and boosted his freshman bank balance to $44,600.
Through three Gold Series events, the freshman trotting colt division has seen three different colts crowned Gold Final champion. One of those youngsters will be looking to earn a second provincial trophy when the colts return to Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 25 for their fourth Gold Series event.
Campbellville and area Ontario Sires Stakes fans will have their first look at two-time Gold Final winner St Lads Popcorn on Friday, Sept. 12, when the two-year-old pacing fillies bring their Gold Series show to Mohawk for the first time this season.
For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/results/data/rmohsmo.html.