Stage Set For Lifetime Dream Final
Published: January 14, 2012 9:29 pm ET
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Round two of the Lifetime Dream Series went postward on Saturday evening at Woodbine Racetrack, with 19 mares divided into a set of $35,000 divisions.
All eyes were on the 1-5 favourite Sashay in the opening division, but Defy Time rained on that one’s parade. Luc Ouellette mapped out the winning trip last year’s OSS Grassroots champ from the three-year-old trotting filly division.
Defy Time dropped into an early three-hole while Maple Leaf Spirit led the field to the quarter pole in :28.2. Miss Dangles marched to the lead in the backstretch, but she quickly gave way to Sashay who cruised to the half in :58.2. Defy Time angled off the rail and went first-over around the final turn, and she pressured Sashay to the three-quarter pole in 1:28.3. Defy Time kept digging to the line, and her :29-second closing panel was good enough to earn her the win by three-quarters of a length over Sashay, with third prize going to Nordic De Vie.
“Before I talked to the connections, I thought that maybe I could leave and just sit in until the end and just make one move with her, but going into the first turn, quite a few horses had left,” said Ouellette, following the win. “I thought that some of the tired ones were in the front in the two-hole at that point. She had a good year last year and I qualified her before," he said. "She acted like a nice horse, so we came [first-up]. She was really in hand. She gives 110 per cent out there.”
After breaking stride in the first leg, Ouellette knew he was going to be cautious.
“At the end I thought I had a good shot at it, but I wasn’t positive,” said Christoforou of the photo-finish. “She is a nice-gaited mare. She just gives you that feeling that she is going to do all she can to get you there on time. She is just a pleasure to drive.”
Ian Downey trains the four-year-old daughter of Southfork-Cinnabar Hanover for Susan Downey of St. George Brant and Scott Maracle of Brantford, ON. The victory was her first of the season and the 12th of her career. She has managed to stash away in excess of $145,000.
Runaway Misty pulled off an upset of her own in the second division, but her upsetting of the applecart came to the tune of 25-1.
The four-year-old daughter of Yankee Glide-Brontes Image settled into a mid-pack position while Firstclassprincess sprinted to the lead from Post 10 and sliced out panels of :27.2, :57.2 and 1:27.2. Maplegrove Shaelyn came first-over at the half, with Runaway Misty following her closely from a second-over position. Chris Christoforou swung Runaway Misty off cover in the lane, and the mare uncorked a :28.4 closing panel to nail Firstclassprincess by a nose in a time of 1:56.4. The show dough was earned by Cleopatre Duharas.
“At the end I thought I had a good shot at it, but I wasn’t positive,” said Christoforou of the photo-finish. “She is a nice gaited mare. She just gives you that feeling that she is going to do all she can to get you there on time. She is just a pleasure to drive.”
Bred, owned and trained by Gordon Henry of Belmont, ON, Runaway Misty won for the fifth time in her career while boosting her earnings to $66,450 in the process.
The $75,000 final of the Lifetime Dream Series is scheduled for Monday, January 23 at Woodbine Racetrack.
(With quotes from WEG)
To view results for Saturday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Saturday Results – Woodbine Racetrack.