REXDALE, ON — Woodbine Racetrack fans put their faith elsewhere, but Laddie clearly demonstrated what Paul MacDonell calls his wicked piece of speed on Friday night, sprinting down the stretch to an Ontario Sires Stakes record 1:54 Gold Final triumph.
In spite of his Ontario Sires Stakes record equalling performance in last week’s Gold Elimination, fans at the Rexdale oval sent Laddie off as their fourth choice from Post 7. When the starting gate folded the colt quickly indicated the imprudence of that decision by leading the field of ten sophomore trotting colts to a snappy :26.4 opening quarter.
Heading for the :56 half MacDonell allowed second choice Arch Madness to take control of the race and that colt continued to lead at the 1:26 three-quarters, under pressure from third choice San Pail on the outside. Turning for home Arch Madness still had a one and three-quarter length lead, but MacDonell had yet to unleash Laddie.
The Angus Hall son rocketed down the stretch to a :27.3 final quarter, snatching a nose victory from Arch Madness. San Pail finished one length behind the duelling leaders in third, and fan favourite Flirtin Man was another quarter length back in fourth, just ahead of Snazzy Hot Rod. In spite of the brisk mile, less than two lengths separated the top five finishers.
The mile knocked three-fifths of a second off the former Ontario Sires Stakes record, set by Rotation in 2002 and matched by Majestic Son last season and Laddie last week.
MacDonell pilots Laddie for trainer Paula Wellwood and her mother Jean Wellwood, partners in Wellwood Stables Inc. of Cambridge. In 13 starts this season the colt has posted five wins and four thirds and earned $522,971. The colt wrapped up his Gold Series regular season with a perfect record of four wins in four starts for 200 points, leading the three-year-old trotting colt point race by 25 points, and appears to be heading into the Nov. 10 Super Final in peak condition.
Wellwood has had good luck getting Laddie to major races in top form this season. The young trotter was a third-place finisher in the $1.5 million Hambletonian in early August, and a third-place finisher in the $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic in mid-September, both won by the undefeated Donato Hanover.
The top ten Gold Series point earners will return to Woodbine Racetrack for the $300,000 Super Final on Nov. 10, one of eight division showdowns on the $2.4 million season finale.
This Sunday, Oct. 28 the three-year-old pacing colts will wrap up their regular season over the Rexdale oval, with the first race getting under way at 7:40 pm.
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