'Santo' Wins Preferred; More Middlesex

Santo Domingo wired his fellow Preferred foes in Western Fair Raceway's featured $15,000 trotting event during Friday's card, which also included more Middlesex County Series divisions.

Following up a second-place effort to Watkins in Western Fair's trotting feature two weeks ago, Santo Domingo was intent on taking top honours this time out with that rival missing from Friday's contest. Leaving from post three with Ross Battin aboard, the five-year-old Amigo Hall gelding established the lead and rolled past fractions of :28.3, :59, and 1:28 en route to the 1:59 victory over the track rated 'good'. Lexis D J (Brandon Arsenault) closed well from the backfield to place, nearly two lengths behind, while Just One Day (Ryan Holliday) followed in the pocket for third. The popular Perfect Vacation (Trevor Henry) finished fourth after advancing first over.

Santo Domingo paid $15.90 to win as the 6-1 fifth choice in the field of eight. Mike Guitard trains the trotter, a winner of seven races in 29 starts and over $50,000 in purses this year. Santo Domingo is owned by Jalade Investments Ltd. of Oakville, Ont., Deanmar Sons Stable of Mississauga, Ont., Peter Miskolczi,of Brampton, Ont., and Dalmet Farms Holdings Inc., also of Brampton, Ont.

Friday’s card also included four $8,000 opening leg divisions of the Middlesex County Series for trotting fillies and mares.

Betty Oop wore down pacesetter Soul Reason to win the first division in 2:03.4 for Puslinch, Ont. trainer-driver Tom Durand.

Leaving from the inside post position, Soul Reason (Louis Larochelle) established the lead off the gate and carved out fractions of :31, 1:02, and 1:33 while Durand sent his favoured filly first over from third. Betty Oop surged ahead in the stretch with second over Silly Dreams (Robert Shepherd) coming on for second, three-quarters of a length behind. Soul Reason finished back in third.

Betty Oop paid $3.20 to win for the second time in 14 career starts. The three-year-old Ken Warkentin filly is owned by Durand's wife June and Lynn Baker of Shreve, Ohio.

Lightly raced Kendra Hanover clocked the 2:03.1 fastest mile of the four divisions next for trainer-driver Paul Walker.

Walker fired the sophomore daughter of Kadabra to the lead from post seven and she built up a six length lead on her foes as she cruised past panels of :30.2, 1:02.4, and 1:33. Pocket-sitter Strawberry Wine (Durand) narrowed that margin by two lengths as the wire approached. I Am Special (Paul MacKenzie) rounded out the top three finishers.

Kendra Hanover paid $11.40 to win as the 9-2 fourth choice. Walker also shares ownership of the filly, who is now two-for-four in her career, with fellow Owen Sound, Ont. resident Barry Klages.

Majestic Trot was another wire-to-wire winner during the opening leg with Bruce Richardson guiding her to the 2:06.1 triumph for trainer Ron O'Neill and owner Scott Maracle of Brantford, Ont.

Leaving from post five, Majestic Trot cleared to command before the :31-second first quarter mark and cruised through intervals of 1:03.4 and 1:35.1. She then held off The Socialite (Terry Gribbin), who improved one position and finished three-quarters of a length behind in second, while pocket-sitter Lawful Greystone (Brent Belore) came in third.

The three-year-old Majestic Son filly paid $7.70 to win as the 5-2 third choice. The victory was her second career in nine starts.

Dancing Coed broke her maiden in the final division with a 2:03.4 front-stepping score in rein to Mark Pezzarello.

The popular Angus Hall sophomore filly swept from third to first after the :31-second opening panel and led the rest of the way through middle splits of 1:01.4 and 1:32.2 before holding off Raspberry Sunrise (Robert Sparling Jr.) for the three-quarter length score. Finishing over 10 lengths behind in third was Zorgwijk Naveed (Paul MacKenzie).

Dancing Coed paid $5.50 to win. Doug McIntosh trains the 10-time starter for owner Claude Hatfield of Beavercreek, Ohio.

The Middlesex County Series is for Ontario-sired trotters that are four years old and younger and non-winners of $10,000 lifetime as of midnight September 1, 2012. The second leg will take place on Friday, November 9 followed by the $45,000 (added) final on Saturday, November 17.

To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Western Fair Raceway.

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