GLOUCESTER, ON — Rain did not dampen the sparkle of two-year-old pacing filly St Lads Popcorn as she cruised to her fifth straight victory, and her third over the Rideau Carleton Raceway oval, on Friday night in the capital city.

St Lads Popcorn was able to sit off the pace for the opening stages of the mile while Windsun Celestial stepped out to a :27.3 quarter and a :58 half, but regular reinsman Jason Brewer had the filly well in command before the field reached the 1:26.1 three-quarters. Three lengths on top turning for home, St Lads Popcorn sauntered down the stretch to a one length, 1:56.4 triumph over Stonebridge Breeze. Allstar Salute, owned by Barry White of Orleans, David Reid of Glenburnie and David McDonald of Cornwall, hit the wire three and a half lengths to the rear to complete the triactor in the $40,347 Trillium Series contest.

The win marked the third time St Lads Popcorn has graced the Rideau Carleton winner’s circle. The freshman pacing phenom also captured her July 27 Gold Elimination and the Aug. 3 Gold Final at the five-eighths mile oval. St Lads Popcorn started her five race win streak in the July 18 Gold Final at Flamboro Downs and also posted a victory in her division of the Robert Stewart Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 10.

Cambridge resident Jack Darling owns and trains St Lads Popcorn, who will now enjoy a two week break until the Gold Series fillies resume their rivalry at Mohawk on Sept. 12. Through her first six starts the daughter of former Darling trainees Twin B Champ and Hot Butter has earned an impressive $226,323.

The other Trillium Series skirmish went to Bale Me Out, who delivered an impressive four and one-quarter length victory over the Rideau Carleton oval, which was rated one second slower than normal on Friday evening. Sent off as the fan favourite, Bale Me Out and driver Aaron Byron sat on the outside through the :27.4 quarter and :56.4 half clocked by Rossridge Emotion, and then steamed to the front heading by the 1:26.4 three-quarters.

Byron and Bale Me Out were six lengths ahead of the field at the top of the stretch and were able to loaf home to the 1:58 victory over Mark Steacy trainee Quality Goods and long shot Chatelaine, who overcame a break to nail down the third prize.

Randy Van Meer trains the talented Bale Me Out for breeder Harry Locke of Oshawa. The Aces N Sevens daughter has been trailing St Lads Popcorn around the province since capturing her first Ontario Sires Stakes start — a Grassroots division at Grand River Raceway on July 14. Through seven starts Bale Me Out has recorded two wins, one second and two thirds for earnings of $73,608.

Bale Me Out’s former rivals in the Grassroots program make their next start at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday, Sept. 7, the fourth event of the season for the two-year-old pacing fillies.

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