FRASERVILLE, ON — In what is becoming her trademark style, two-year-old trotting filly Stonebridge Diva toughed it out on the outside at Kawartha Downs on Saturday night and finally found her way to the winner’s circle, capturing the $120,000 Gold Final in 2:00.4.
With Woodville, ON resident Brad Rae in the race bike for the second straight week, Stonebridge Diva eased off the gate from Post 5 and was sitting sixth on the outside when fan favourite Cumin First reached the opening quarter in :31.1. Heading for the 1:02.1 half, Stonebridge Diva was still on the outside, following Daylon Mystique and pacesetter Cumin First.
The fillies continued in that fashion by the 1:31.3 three-quarters, but as the fillies turned for home reigning Gold Final champion Cumin First gave in to the pressure and made the first break of her career. Daylon Mystique, who drew into the race off the also eligible list when SOS Respect was scratched due to sickness, almost ran off with the big prize, but Stonebridge Diva had more in reserve and out-sprinted Daylon Mystique to the wire to record a three-quarter length victory.
Easter Bonnet also closed well to be third, with Napanee Seelster and Kor Mel Lil Lady, owned by William, Brenda and Melissa Killen of Hampton, rounding out the money earners.
The victory marked Stonebridge Diva’s second appearance in the winner’s circle in four outings. The daughter of Angus Hall and Velvia also captured the Aug. 4 Gold Consolation at Mohawk Racetrack in a personal best 1:57.3. Trained by Gro Formia, the sister to $497,629 winner Stonebridge Diablo started her provincial career with a fourth-place finish in the Mohawk eliminations and finished a scant nose behind Keep In Dutch in last weekend’s elimination round at Kawartha Downs.
Breeder Angie Stiller of Arva, ON and Robert Kauffman of New Albany, OH share ownership on Stonebridge Diva, who boosted her lifetime earnings to $83,200 with the victory and leapt up the Gold Series standings into a tie for sixth spot with 83 points.
In the $20,000 Gold Consolation fan favourite Pajama Land led from gate-to-wire, digging in down the stretch for a head victory in 2:00.1. Dominica AS finished a narrowly beaten second and Lunar Stream, owned by Al Libfeld of Pickering and Marvin Katz of Toronto, picked up the third-place share.
London, ON resident Jeffrey O’Brien trains Pajama Land for his partners Eldon and Carol Wettlaufer and Pamela Kampers of St. Thomas, ON. In seven outings the Kadabra lass has posted one win, one second and one third for earnings of $37,200. Prior to Saturday’s triumph the filly’s best finish in Ontario Sires Stakes action was a second in the season opening Gold Elimination at Flamboro Downs.
The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their fourth Gold Series appearance on Sept. 26 at Rideau Carleton Raceway. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Kawartha Downs on Tuesday, Sept. 16 with the fifth Grassroots contest for the three-year-old trotting colts.
For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/results/data/rkdfsa.html.