DUNDAS, ON — Michaels Power suffered his first Ontario Sires Stakes loss at Flamboro Downs on Friday evening as Mel Mara rocketed down the stretch to a neck victory in the last Gold Final of the sophomore pacing colt season.
Fans sent Little Brown Jug winner Michaels Power off as their top choice in the tenth race and awarded reigning Gold Final champion Warrawee Needy and US-based Mel Mara second and third standing. As has been his custom in Gold Series action, Michaels Power sprinted away from Post 5 and led the field to a :27.3 opening quarter with Mel Mara dropping in behind him from Post 4 and Warrawee Needy parked on the outside in third from Post 6.
The colts carried on in that fashion through a pedestrian 57 second half, but when Warrawee Needy and driver Jody Jamieson mounted a challenge on the second lap, reinsman Scott Zeron picked up the tempo and Michaels Power reached the 1:24.2 three-quarters with a narrow lead. The parked out trip took its toll on Warrawee Needy in the final turn, and Michaels Power turned for home with a one and three-quarter length lead, but Mel Mara was just shifting into gear.
Taking full advantage of Flamboro’s passing lane, top US reinsman Tim Tetrick put the quick closing Mel Mara into overdrive and the colt powered home in 27 seconds to secure the narrow victory. The colts halted the teletimer in a snappy 1:51.4, just one-fifth of a second off the Ontario Sires Stakes record.
Warrawee Needy finished three and one-half lengths back in third, with Secretsoftheknight and Piston Broke rounding out the money earners in the $130,000 contest.
Tetrick crafted the victory for trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman and owners Brittany Farms of Versailles, KY, breeder John Carver of Bettendorf, IA and Riverview Farms of North Bergen, NJ. Friday’s triumph was the Lis Mara son’s fourth of the season and boosted his earnings to $306,520.
Mel Mara arrived at Flamboro off two impressive efforts at The Red Mile in Lexington, KY. On Sept. 29 Tetrick guided the colt to an impressive 1:49.4 victory in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes and then engineered a fourth-place result from Post 10 in the Oct. 6 Tattersalls Pace.
The colt and his peers will now begin preparations for the Nov. 10 Super Final at Woodbine Racetrack, which will see the top 10 point earners from the five regular season events square off for $300,000.
Friday’s exciting Gold Final completed Flamboro Downs’ 2012 Ontario Sires Stakes season, which saw the Dundas oval host 19 events for the best trotters and pacers in the province.
For complete results please go to Flamboro Downs Results — October 12, 2012