DUNDAS, ON — Four months after she emerged onto the provincial scene with an Ontario Sires Stakes record performance in the first Gold Final of the season, two-year-old pacing filly St Lads Popcorn returned to Flamboro Downs with an impressive performance in Friday’s Trillium Series contest.
With 10 wins from 13 starts, including an outstanding 1:54.4 effort in the slop at Woodbine Racetrack last weekend to claim the Super Final title, Flamboro Downs fans were confident the Jack Darling trainee could best the field of Trillium contestants and sent her off as the prohibitive favourite in the fifth race.
Starting from the advantageous Post 1, St Lads Popcorn and driver Jason Brewer took command of the race as soon as the gate folded and cruised through fractions of :28.2, :58.4 and 1:28.1 before sprinting home to a two length victory in 1:57. Icey Breeze circled out three-wide around a stalled Star Gazed to earn the runner-up share of the $41,047 Trillium Series purse, leaving Star Gazed three-quarters of a length behind in third.
Cambridge resident Jack Darling owns and trains St Lads Popcorn, who now boasts a record of 11 wins and one second in 14 starts for earnings of $582,846, a very tidy return on the $5,000 investment Darling made to acquire the Twin B Champ daughter from last fall’s Forest City Yearling Sale.
The other Trillium Series division went to Blair Burgess trainee Free N Easy, who delivered an impressive performance up the outside to wrestle a three-quarter length win away from pacesetter Shellace. Stonebridge Breeze turned her pocket trip behind Shellace into a third-place cheque in the $41,747 division.
The 1:57.3 victory was Free N Easy’s second through seven starts. The Western Ideal daughter and driver Scott Zeron were also victorious in a Nov. 13 overnight at Woodbine Racetrack.
Burgess trains the young pacer for his father Robert Burgess of Campbellville and wife Karin Olsson Burgess of Milton. The pair acquired the filly from last fall’s Lexington Select Sale for $13,000.
The two-year-old pacing fillies have one last Trillium Series event on their schedule, meeting up next Saturday, Nov. 29 at Kawartha Downs. Friday’s battles wrapped up another outstanding season of Ontario Sires Stakes action over the province’s fastest half-mile oval. A total of four Ontario Sires Stakes records were set or equalled at Flamboro this summer, including St Lads Popcorn’s 1:53.3 clocking.
For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r1121flmdn.dat.