TORONTO, ON — Lemon Candy regained his footing in the Gold Series with an impressive 1:57.1 upset in the first of three $40,000 Gold Eliminations at Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday evening.
The Kadabra gelding made a triumphant debut in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, capturing his Aug. 18 Gold Elimination at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:59, but missed the board in his next three Gold Series starts. The half-brother to a trio of successful siblings, including $300,007 earner Mill Work, finished fourth in the Aug. 25 Gold Final, was pulled up in a Sept. 15 qualifier due to broken equipment, and then delivered another fourth-place effort in the Sept. 25 Gold Elimination back at Mohawk.
Trained by Anette Lorentzon, Lemon Candy went into Saturday’s skirmish off a sixth-place finish in the Oct. 2 Gold Consolation. As a result, the young trotter was rated by fans as their fifth choice in the eight horse field.
Steve Condren picked up the catch drive on Lemon Candy when Jody Jamieson opted for former Gold Final winner Hibbler, and the veteran reinsman allowed the gelding to float away from the starting gate into fifth spot. Mr Escadar rang up the opening fraction of :28.2, and then yielded to reigning Gold Final champion Winning Mister, who clocked a :57.4 half and a 1:27.4 three-quarters.
En route to the half, Condren tipped Lemon Candy off the rail and started up the outside. By the three-quarters the pair were just one and a half lengths behind Winning Mister, and when Lemon Candy kicked into gear around the last turn, the rest of the field was unable to keep up. On top by three and one-quarter lengths turning for home, Lemon Candy hit the wire four and a half lengths ahead of his peers in a personal best 1:57.1.
Pointe Of Honour earned the second-place finisher’s share, while fan favourite Hibbler had to settle for third. Winning Mister will not defend his Gold title after fading to sixth through the last quarter.
ACL Stuteri AB of Paris, KY owns Lemon Candy, who now boasts a record of two wins in six starts for earnings of $52,800.
In the second elimination, favourite Striking Lindsey got a flawless steer from Jody Jamieson to earn his second Gold Elimination trophy. Starting from Post 4, the Striking Sahbra son sat third through the first half of the mile while former Gold Final champ Senator Hall rolled unchallenged to a :29 opening quarter and :59.1 half.
Looking toward the last turn, Jamieson sent Striking Lindsey up the outside and the colt had moved to within a length and a half of the leader when they swept by the 1:29.4 three-quarters. A smart finishing kick propelled Jamieson and Striking Lindsey into the lead and down the stretch to the 1:58.3 victory.
Pacesetter Senator Hall stayed game for second, one and one-quarter lengths behind the leader, and Mapleson rounded out the top three, 11 and three-quarter lengths to the rear.
Kenneth Sommer of Sheffield, OH bred and owns Striking Lindsey, who is the second foal from $203,363 winner Lindsey Fireyimage, a Gold Elimination winner herself as a three-year-old. Through 11 starts the colt has recorded two wins, two seconds and one third for earnings of $130,090.
The favourite also delivered in the final division, as Kingsbury battled tooth and nail with Illusionsndreams to land his first Gold Series victory. The Kadabra gelding and driver Paul MacDonell tripped the teletimer at 1:58.2, one and a half lengths ahead of Illusionsndreams, who was parked for the entire mile. Play Right finished four lengths behind the battling leaders in third and Mopey Corey was another half length back in fourth, but will advance to next Saturday’s Gold Final by virtue of good fortune in the random draw amongst the fourth-place finishers.
Paula Wellwood trains Kingsbury for the Wellwood Stables of Cambridge, and has conditioned the $75,000 yearling to two wins and two seconds in four starts for earnings of $38,250. Kingsbury made his Ontario Sires Stakes and career debut in the Grassroots program at Hiawatha Horse Park on Sept. 27, where he finished second.
Kingsbury will have to contend with Post 9 in next weekend’s $120,000 Gold Final, which saw all three elimination winners saddled with outside posts. Lemon Candy had the best luck and will start from Post 7, while Striking Lindsey will be handicapped by the outside Post 10. The complete line up for the Nov. 8 Gold Final is as follows:
Post 1 — Play Right
Post 2 — Hibbler
Post 3 — Mopey Corey
Post 4 — Illusionsndreams
Post 5 — Senator Hall
Post 6 — Pointe Of Honour
Post 7 — Lemon Candy
Post 8 — Mapleson
Post 9 — Kingsbury
Post 10 — Striking Lindsey
Also Eligible 1 — Northern Illusion
Also Eligible 2 — Mr Escadar
Also Eligible 3 — Dr Cal
For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/results/data/rwdbssa.html.