LONDON, ON — Western Fair Raceway fans were treated to outstanding performances by Ontario’s top three-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday evening, as the pacesetters were collared in the stretch of both $33,263 Trillium Series divisions.
In the opening division Ross Battin and Found An Angel sprinted away from Post 3 to a :29 opening quarter, and controlled the front end through a :59.1 half and a 1:29.1 three-quarters. The pair turned for home one and a half lengths ahead of their peers, but there was a line up of contenders powering up the outside, including fan favourites Shane Weber and Keep The Spirit.
Last for the first half of the race, Keep The Spirit had moved into third by the time the fillies turned for home and a sharp kick through the stretch propelled her to a one and a half length victory in 2:00.3. Found An Angel had to settle for second with SOS Respect, who led the charge up the outside, earning the third-place finisher’s share.
Shane Weber trains and drives Keep The Spirit for owner-breeders Thomas and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catharines. Through 17 starts the Revenue S daughter has tallied four wins, five seconds and four thirds. Saturday’s victory pushed her sophomore earnings to $104,494.
In the second Trillium Series contest, fans sent former Gold Final winner Friendly Amigo off as their overwhelming first choice, disregarding Grassroots Champion Daylon Mystique.
As expected, Bruce Richardson and Friendly Amigo took full advantage of Post 1 and reached the opening quarter in :28.2. Starting from Post 4, Wayne Henry and Daylon Mystique dropped into second behind the pacesetter and dogged their heels through the :58 half and the 1:28 three-quarters. The fillies turned for home with only a length separating them, but when Daylon Mystique kicked into gear in the stretch she outstepped Friendly Amigo and sailed off to a two and one-quarter length victory in 1:58.4.
Friendly Amigo held off Shane Weber and Another Vixen, who also closed well, to hang on for second. The top three fillies crossed under the wire seven lengths head of the rest of the field.
Wayne Henry trains and drives Daylon Mystique for his partners in the Henry Stable of Arthur and Daniel McCann of Parkhill. In 16 starts the Amigo Hall miss has posted six wins, one second and two thirds for earnings of $139,112. A Gold Series competitor as a two-year-old, Daylon Mystique captured four of five regular season Grassroots starts this summer, then capped off her Ontario Sires Stakes career with a 1:57.4 personal best in the Nov. 1 Grassroots Championship at Rideau Carleton Raceway.
Saturday’s event concluded the provincial stakes careers of the talented three-year-old trotting fillies, most of whom will now enjoy a well deserved rest. The contest also wrapped up the 2009 Ontario Sires Stakes program at Western Fair Raceway, which featured four Gold Series events, four Grassroots events and one Trillium.
For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r1128lonn.dat.