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All Bets Off Wins Confederation Cup

Published: May 17, 2015 10:23 pm ET

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After setting a 1:50.4 track record for aged pacers in his Confederation Cup elimination last week, All Bets Off came right back to win the $226,575 final on Sunday, May 17 at Flamboro Downs.

The Ron Burke-trained All Bets Off captured the stakes final in 1:51.3 with Matt Kakaley making his Flamboro Downs driving debut a winning one. Kakaley has been the regular driver of the millionaire pacer, although Yannick Gingras made the trip to the Dundas, Ontario half-mile track for the Burke stable for the elimination round.

The other Burke starter, Limelight Beach, and Gingras left from post six and took the lead into the first turn over insider Ideal Cowboy (Tim Tetrick) while Big Boy Dreams (Sylvain Filion) settled behind those two and All Bets Off remained parked out. Tetrick tipped Ideal Cowboy out of the pocket early on, but eventually opted to drop back behind Limelight Beach, who sprinted a :26.2 first quarter.

With Ideal Cowboy settled back in the pocket, All Bets Off drove on and took over the lead from his stablemate. He reached the half in :54.4 and proceeded to three-quarters in 1:22.2. Meanwhile, Ideal Cowboy committed first over and National Debt (Chris Christoforou) gapped his cover forcing the backfield to fan wide around the final turn, including the other elimination winner Lets Drink On It (Billy Davis Jr.).

Rallying widest of all from the back of the pack was Bettorever (Corey Callahan), who was full of late pace, but All Bets Off had already opened up a couple lengths on top and he hit the wire with one and three-quarter lengths to spare. Bettorever made it up for second while Big Boy Dreams finished third. Limelight Beach and Ideal Cowboy completed the top five finishers.

"I just kind of eased back a little bit going into the first turn and let Yannick make front and kind of let the dust settle," explained Kakaley after the race. "Then Timmy popped the two-hole so Yannick got to drive on a little bit more and it took me, obviously, a lot farther [to make the lead] than I wanted it to, but he's a really good horse and he showed that tonight.

"I love driving him and it's been a fun ride," he added. "He's a good little horse."

All Bets Off has proven himself on the half-mile tracks, winning the Art Rooney, New York Sire Stakes Championship and Messenger Stakes at Yonkers Raceway, and Carl Milstein at Northfield Park. Assistant trainer Mickey Burke Jr. is confident the son of Bettors Delight can handle any size track in the future.

"I think he'll be fine everywhere we take him," he said, commending the pacer's versatility. "I think he'll be a good solid racehorse for a good while to come. He wants to win."

All Bets Off is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Frank Baldachino, The Panhellenic Stable Corp. and the Estate of Rosemary J. Shelswell.

After a two-year hiatus, the newly formatted Confederation Cup returned to Flamboro Downs for its 37th edition on Sunday. Previously recognized as one of Canada's signature races for sophomore pacers, the Confederation Cup is now a four-year-old stakes event.

The Confederation Cup undercard included a handful of Preferred races as well as a Racing Under Saddle event.

Driver Jody Jamieson swept the Preferred 2s with front-stepping winners Bestulldotanite and Youwillwishyouhad.

Jjs Stables's homebred pacing mare Bestulldotanite was a three-length winner over Jabas Luck (Scott Young) and Pathtodover (Robert Shepherd). The favoured Robert Ellis trainee persisted on the lead after an early tussle with After Alimony (Jonathan Drury) for the 1:54.4 career-best victory, her 20th lifetime.

Buffalo Raceway invader Youwillwishyouhad fought off Track Master D (Sylvain Filion) to earn his third straight win in 1:53.2 for trainer James Clouser Jr. and owner Leonard Segall. Bigtown Hero (Anthony MacDonald) rallied wide from the backfield and came within one and three-quarter lengths of the 23-time career winner in second-place while favourite Resistance Futile (Billy Davis Jr.) finished third.

The evening's Preferred 3 winners were trotting mare Ashlake (Anthony MacDonald) in 1:57.2 off the claim for the Carmen Auciello stables, pacer Hunch Man in 1:53 for the father-son, trainer-driver team of Bob and Scott Young, and the Doug Brown-trained pacer For A Bettor Time (Bob McClure) in 1:55.4.

The $4,200 RUS event quickly turned into a two-horse race as Massive Muscles and rider Riina Rekila had Santo Domingo and Sarah Town trotting alongside the entire mile. The former duo managed to keep the latter at bay for the 2:00.3 quarter-length triumph. Thor Seelster and Natalie Elliott rounded out the top three finishers over seven lengths behind.

Julie Walker trains the winning four-year-old Muscle Mass gelding and shares ownership with J.B. Renaud. An Ontario Sires Stakes graduate, Massive Muscles was making his first start under saddle.

The popular miniature horses were also part of the evening's entertainment as they competed in a non-wagering race as well as a post-race meet and greet with children of all ages.

The Mini Horse Race was won by not-so-lite Coors, who bolted across the track from his outside post position and galloped home for the victory with Travis Henry at the lines. Simba and Susie Kerwood followed in second-place throughout the quarter-mile contest while Chester and Carl Dawson, winners of Friday night's mini race at Western Fair, finished third.

Coors is owned by Henry's cousin Nicki, who explained how the winning mini prepares for a race.

"If he has a race then I'll start jogging him everyday, usually two laps around the half-mile, and then train him once a week and turn him out the rest of the time," she said.

Coors' owner also noted that the pampered mini loves his treats and gets to winter in Florida every year.

To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Flamboro Downs.

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