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Saftic Celebrates 5,000th Win

Published: October 20, 2014 11:02 pm ET

Last Comment: October 23, 2014 6:17 pm ET | 7 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

On Monday evening at Woodbine Racetrack, Mike Saftic recorded his 5,000th career driving victory behind trotter Magic Shelley.

Saftic, 52, entered the evening only one win shy of the career milestone.

In the evening’s third race, Saftic worked out the perfect trip with Magic Shelley to not only record his 5,000 victory, but also captured a division of the first leg of the Autumn Series.

Saftic began his driving career in 1981 at his hometown track, Sudbury Downs, before moving to the Woodbine Entertainment circuit a few years later.

Since joining the circuit, Saftic has consistently put up solid numbers each season and has driven top horses such as, Hall of Fame pacing mare Ellamony, Armbro Cruiser, Luck Of Michelle and 2002 Metro Pace champion Sir Luck.

A resident of Milton, Saftic has earned more than $1 million in each season since 1989 and has career earnings of more than $93 million.

This season, the veteran reinsman has recorded 96 victories and earnings of just under $2 million.

The other $14,000 division of the Autumn Series for two-year-old trotting fillies went to Mischief Smile and driver Trevor Henry in 1:58.4. The Paul Reid trainee got away second before quarter-poling to the lead. Once in command of the tempo she led the field through fractions of :58.2 and 1:29.2. She used a :29.2 kicker to win by 3-1/4 lengths over Battle Mage. Race favourite Cum Laude Hall rallied from out of the clouds to finish third.

Mischief Smile, a homebred daughter of Majestic Son-Sass Away K, notched her first win in nine tries. She now boasts a 1-3-2 record in addition to a bankroll that stands at $46,240.

Monday’s card also featured the first leg of the Autumn Series for two-year-old pacing fillies. Two divisions – each worth $14,000 – went postward as Races 8 and 10.

Little Miss Sporty celebrated a maiden-breaking win in the first division for Hall of Fame reinsman Steve Condren. The daughter of Sportswriter-Love Scene got away eighth and was shuffled to ninth at the mid-way point of the mile, but after saving ground around the final turn she shook loose and angled to the outside of the track before using a :27.4 closing quarter to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Caviart Cari Ann in 1:55.1. Third prize was earned by race favourite Dublin Rose.

Trainer Stacey Reinsma of Cambridge shares ownership on the lightly-raced lass with partner John Patterson of Bayfield, Ontario. The partners watched the youngster, who was sent off at odds of 16-1, improve her record to 1-2-0 from five tries with the win. The lion’s share of the purse boosted her bankroll to $36,250.

Tessa Seelster captured the other division in 1:55.4 for Team Baillargeon. With Mario Baillargeon at the lines, the daughter of Shadow Play-Titania Seelster rushed to the lead and threw down fractions of :26.4, :56.1 and 1:26.1 before scooting home in :29.3 to win by 1-3/4 lengths over Southwind Luna. Maralika rounded out the top three finishers.

Ben Baillargeon trains the career winner of $15,760 for owner Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, Quebec. The victory was her second in just five lifetime starts.

(With files from WEG)

To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – Woodbine Racetrack.

October 23, 2014 - 6:17 pmCongrats Mike one of the

Congrats Mike one of the great people I've met through harness racing, just like some others have said a heluva nice guy with a quite a wit. Lots of memories and laughs hope you get a few thousand more before your hang em up to start taking some curling lessons from Abby.

October 23, 2014 - 12:22 amWell done Mike Saftic.....we

sly fares SAID...

Well done Mike Saftic.....we need more personalities like yours in this sport, thank you.

October 22, 2014 - 8:37 amMike, Think about


Think about many times did you "Lose" to get those 5000 "Winners!"?
Congrats, stay safe in the bike.

Howard Portelance

October 21, 2014 - 12:33 pmCongrats Mike! Great

Todd Beelby SAID...

Congrats Mike! Great milestone!

October 21, 2014 - 12:11 pmWay to go Mike, you are a

Way to go Mike, you are a much better driver than a curler!!!!! Abbey

October 21, 2014 - 8:25 amOne of the true professionals

One of the true professionals in the drivers colony. Has been consistent and virtually trouble free. Sudbury's loss and our gain. Wish you many more wins. One this Saturday with your own trotter going for half a million would be nice. Good Luck !!!! Cass

October 21, 2014 - 8:04 amWell done Michael!

Dan Fisher SAID...

Well done Michael! Congratulations! Now you just need the Leafs to win a Cup sometime before you win your next 5,000!

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