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Waples Is Resilient At Woodbine


Published: January 2, 2010 9:06 pm ET

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After being dumped from the bike one race prior, Randy Waples dusted himself off and guided Keystone Horatio to victory in the $50,000 Open Pace on Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack.

Shortly after the start of the second race claiming handicap, Waples's charge, Cat Four, made a break and stopped suddenly. While off stride he veered into Smithsonian and Luc Ouellette, and when the bikes got tangled up both drivers were unseated.

Both drivers were up right away and fortunately suffered no injuries. The horses proceeded to run around the track once before being apprehended. Both suffered minor abrasions, but no major injuries.

Waples jumped right back in the bike for the following race to guide five-year-old Keystone Horatio to victory in 1:52.4. With the field of Open pacers reduced to five after the scratch of Dali, 4-5 favourite Keystone Horatio left from Post 3 and carved out panels of :27, :56.1 and 1:25.1.

Heading into the stretch, Keystone Horatio opened up by three lengths, which was enough to secure the victory over a hard-closing Kindly Poet (Sylvain Filion), who rallied off second-over cover to finish three-quarters of a length behind in second. Hyperion Hanover (Rick Zeron) also closed well for third.

John Kopas trains Keystone Horatio for the Estate Of George F Hempt Trust of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. The millionaire son of Rustler Hanover-Keystone Havoc, now an 18-time career winner, has prevailed in four of his last five starts at the Open level.

Ouellette also scored a victory later on the card with Caviars Dream (1:58.4) for owner-trainer Scott West.

Open action continued with a $44,000 pace for fillies and mares and it was Southwind Madonna who swept past her rivals in deep stretch for the victory.

Ubetterthink Think (Randy Waples) was the quickest off the gate but was overtaken by 3-1 second choice Southwind Madonna, who was sent to the top from third by driver Lyle MacArthur as the field approached the :27.4 first quarter.

From there, favourite Four Starzz Meliss (Jason Brewer) made a backstretch brush and was on top before the half flashed up in :56.2. Michelles Power (Sylvain Filion) then took a shot at the leader and battled head-to-head past three-quarters in 1:25.2 and down the lane, but Southwind Madonna moved into the three-path and glided past her foes for the 1:54.2 triumph with a final quarter clocked in :28.4.

Michelles Power edged out Four Starzz Meliss for the runner-up’s share of the purse.

Southwind Madonna, a seven-year-old Camluck-My Mystic mare who is approaching the million-dollar mark in career earnings, notched her 24th victory tonight. She has banked $964,171 to date for trainer Carl MacArthur, who shares ownership with the Talacadac Stable of Caledon East, Ont.

To view Saturday’s results, click here.

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