FRASERVILLE, ON — Free N Easy and St Lads Popcorn scored their second straight victories in Trillium Series action on Saturday evening at Kawartha Downs, wrapping up the two-year-old pacing filly provincial stakes campaign.
Regular reinsman Scott Zeron fired Free N Easy away from Post 1 and the Western Ideal daughter hit the quarter pole in :28.4, one and a half lengths ahead of Stonebridge Breeze. Northern Duchess powered up the outside to press the pace through the :58 half and 1:26.3 three-quarters, but Free N Easy refused to relinquish the lead.
The fillies continued to battle right to the wire, but Free N Easy picked up her third straight victory by a half length margin, stopping the clock at 1:56.2. Northern Duchess had to settle for the runner-up share of the $38,947 Trillium purse, with Classic Sakuri rounding out the top three, four lengths behind the leaders.
Blair Burgess trains Free N Easy for his father Robert Burgess of Campbellville and his wife Karin Olsson Burgess of Milton. The Burgess family acquired the filly at last fall’s Lexington Select Yearling Sale for just $13,000. Free N Easy’s dam Mysticaliscape is a half-sister to the dam of Real Desire, who Blair Burgess campaigned to earnings of $3.3 million between 2000 and 2002.
In nine freshman starts Free N Easy has accumulated three wins and three thirds for earnings of $57,446.
St Lads Popcorn wrapped up her phenomenal freshman season with a 1:57.1 victory in the second Trillium split. The Twin B Champ daughter and regular reinsman Jason Brewer led from start to finish, laying down fractions of :28.2, :58.4 and 1:28 en route to a four length triumph over Icey Breeze and Mufasas Place.
Owned and trained by Cambridge resident Jack Darling, St Lads Popcorn was only bested three times in 15 starts between July and November. The talented youngster captured three Gold Eliminations, four Gold Finals, the Nov. 15 Super Final, her Robert Stewart division and a trio of Trilliums for earnings of $602,669.
A modest $5,000 acquisition from last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale, St Lads Popcorn caught Darling’s eye because her sire, Twin B Champ, and dam, Hot Butter, were both horses he had trained.
St Lads Popcorn will now enjoy a well deserved rest before Darling begins preparations for her sophomore provincial campaign.
Saturday’s contest wrapped up another outstanding season of Ontario Sires Stakes action at Kawartha Downs, which featured a track record performance by two-year-old trotting colt Hitithard in a Gold Consolation in July.
For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r1129kdfn.dat.