CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — Freshman trotter The Game Plan delivered a convincing victory in the first of two $40,000 Gold Eliminations at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday evening.
The Kadabra gelding and driver Jack Moiseyev left smartly from Post 4 and were part of the early scrum into the turn, settling into fourth by the time Pokerface It reached the :28.3 opening quarter. Heading for the :58.3 half Moiseyev sent the gelding up the outside and The Game Plan had taken over top spot before the 1:27.4 three-quarters.
Trotting by the seven-eighths with a three and three-quarter length lead, The Game Plan maintained that margin to the wire, ringing up an impressive 1:56.4 personal best. Former Gold Final winner Good Sound Advice sprinted home to grab second-place honours, relegating Ill Be There to third. The Golden Child and Pokerface It rounded out the qualifiers for next Friday’s $130,000 Gold Final.
John Kopas trains The Game Plan for his partners LLK Stable of Mississauga, Gary Grieve of Union and Anthony Wagner of Mississauga. The flawlessly bred youngster is a half-brother to $1.4 million winner Pure Ivory, and has more than paid for his $20,000 purchase price since making his July 7 debut.
Milton resident Kopas has harnessed the son of Kadabra five times this season — four times in the Gold Series and once in overnight action at Mohawk — and The Game Plan has delivered three wins, one second and one third, for earnings of $85,800. He currently sits at the top of the two-year-old trotting colt and gelding standings with a total of 137 points earned in Gold Series action. Friday’s win was the gelding’s second in Gold Elimination action, he also captured his elimination at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Aug. 5 and finished a narrowly beaten second in the Gold Final one week later.
The colt that best The Game Plan in the Aug. 12 Gold Final captured the other Gold Elimination at Mohawk on Friday. Il Mago and driver Trevor Ritchie caught a ride behind fan favourite Prized Fighter heading for the :28.3 opening quarter and then sailed by that colt and into command as they swept by the half in :59.2.
Il Mago was comfortably in hand at the 1:29.2 three-quarters and into the stretch, but had to battle hard to the wire to secure the half-length victory over the accelerating Summer Indian and Prized Fighter. The trio of trotting colts halted the teletimer at 1:58.2, well ahead of Warrawee Nimby and Heres The Magic.
The win was the second straight for Il Mago, who also has one second-place finish on his resume through five starts. Cambridge resident Rod Boyd conditions the son of Kadabra for breeder Chris Alexander Stbls. Inc. of Aurora and Mark Harder of Freehold, NJ. The victory boosted Il Mago’s earnings to $92,210 and elevated him to second spot in the division standings.
The top five colts from each Gold Elimination will return to Mohawk Racetrack next Friday to compete for $130,000 in the third Gold Final of their young careers.
For complete results please go to: Mohawk Racetrack Results — Aug. 19, 2011