OTTAWA, ON — Heading into Friday night’s $140,000 Gold Final at Rideau Carleton Raceway, I’ll Wait For You had been brilliant in all of her Gold Elimination starts, and made heartbreaking errors in every one of her bids for a Gold Final title.
As the two-year-old trotting fillies rolled in behind the gate for the sixth race on Friday, trainer Dan Creighton and his partners in the Danterra Racing Stable of Strathroy were just hoping I’ll Wait For You could shake off her bad luck and get around without making an error. Just over two minutes later the partners were greeting the filly in the winner’s circle and hoisting their first Gold Final trophy.
Starting from Post 2, trotting specialist Trevor Ritchie rolled I’ll Wait For You away from the gate to a :29.3 opening quarter, but the smart early move was overshadowed by the collective groan that went up from the grandstand when prohibitive favourite Cumin First made a break leaving the gate from Post 5.
Alone on the front end through the opening stages of the race, Ill Wait For You came under pressure from Pajama Land heading to the sedate 1:00.4 half. Pajama Land and trainer-driver Jeffrey O’Brien maintained their presence on I’ll Wait For You’s flank through the 1:30.4 three-quarters, but Ritchie stepped up the pace around the final turn and I’ll Wait For You had drawn away to a three length lead by the top of the stretch.
Easter Bonnet, owned by driver Guy Gagnon of Gatineau, QC and trainer Richard Moreau of Lachenaie, QC, advanced on the leader in the final strides, but I’ll Wait For You was able to hang on for a half length victory in 2:01. Daylon Mystique finished three more lengths to the rear in third.
Cumin First, owned by Mary Anne Lauzon and Dr. Ruth Irving of Russell, Jim Fielding of Toronto and John Jesson of Tillsonburg, was unable to recover from her early miscue and finished at the rear of the nine filly field. Her stablemate Quantum Royalty finished fourth, just one-quarter length behind Daylon Mystique.
Her flawless Gold Final effort gives I’ll Wait For You a freshman record of four wins and one third in nine starts, for earnings of $141,820. She currently sits in second spot in the division standings with a total of 200 points, 75 behind leader Cumin First.
Creighton and his partners acquired the daughter of Kadabra and Blue Cookie from last fall’s Forest City Yearling Sale for $62,000, and the filly made her debut in the second Gold Series event, July 28 at Mohawk Racetrack.
I’ll Wait For You has one opportunity to defend her Gold Final title, when the two-year-old trotting fillies wrap up their regular season at Woodbine Racetrack on Oct. 31 and Nov. 7. The top 10 point earners will return to the Rexdale oval on Nov. 15 for their $300,000 Super Final.
Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues in the nation’s capital on Sunday, when the three-year-old trotting fillies arrive in town for their last Gold Eliminations. The fillies open the Rideau Carleton Raceway program at 6:30 pm in Race 1, and will also face off in Races 4 and 8.
For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/results/data/rridcffr.html#N6.