Two-year-old colts and geldings – both trotters and pacers - battled in the first leg of the Autumn Series during Friday evening’s 13-race card at Woodbine Racetrack, and trainer Dave Menary had a profitable night at the office.
The trotters occupied the first two races on the program, with Ramas Last Son and Aventure capturing their respective $12,000 divisions.
Ramas Last Son and catch-driver Rick Zeron were parked through the opening half of the contest, but they eventually worked their way to the front and cruised to an easy victory in 1:58.2. Runner-up Federal Strike was 1-1/4 lengths in arrears, with SAS Warkentin grabbing the show dough.
Sent off as the 1-2 favourite, Ramas Last Son extended his winning streak to three-in-a-row for trainer Ed Peconi, Jr. and owner Garry Patterson of Kirkfield, Ontario. The son of Majestic Son-Smokin Rama improved his rookie record to 4-2-1 from 11 tries with the win. His bankroll climbed to $32,330 in the process.
Aventure went to the front and didn’t look back in the second division for driver Sylvain Filion. The son of Muscle Mass-Linas Lottery front-stepped through panels of :28.4, :58.2 and 1:29.1 before sprinting home in :28.3 to knock off the 1-2 favorite, Hitchin A Ride, by 1-1/4 lengths. Kremlin was a distant third.
Bill Budd trains the gelding, who won for the second time in 10 tries, for owner Orville Rursch of Taylor Ridge, Illinois. The lion’s share of the purse lifted his cash stash to $18,250.
The pacers were up next, with four divisions going postward. Allstar Seelster won his assignment by a head in 1:53.2, but he had to survive a driver’s objection before being declared the official winner. Jody Jamieson hustled the Jack Darling trainee to the lead and cut the opening quarter in :26.3 before releasing Pop Pop Joe to the position of command in the backstretch. Pop Pop Joe carved out middle panels of :56.1 and 1:24.4 before being out-sprinted by Allstar Seelster in the final quarter. OK Galahad was a lapped-on third.
The son of Artistic Fella-Aqua Rose, who is owned by Jack Darling Stables Ltd of Cambridge, Ontario, now owns a 3-3-2 record from 12 starts. He’s stashed away more than $37,000 in his rookie season.
Brodys Scrapper rallied from far back to capture the second division in a career-best clocking of 1:54.2 for driver Randy Waples. The homebred son of Mach Three-Witness To Fame watched Big Green Tractor, P L Haymaker and Lyons Likethewind take turns on the lead through panels of :26.4, :55.3 and 1:24.1 before making his bold charge from the backfield. The gelding used a :29.1 closing quarter to win by a half-length margin over longshot Vital Bliss. Royal Canvas came on late to nab third prize.
Trainer Bud Sinclair shares ownership on the five-time winner with his wife, Lindsey Sinclair, and partner Kenneth Bryant. The $6,000 payday padded his bank account which now stands at $24,986.
Italian Rebel overcame Post 10 and pulled off an 18-1 upset in the third division for the tandem of driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Dave Menary. The gelding, who was winless in nine starts going into the assignment, powered to the lead and threw down an opening quarter of :27.3 before taking a backseat to Shadios in the backstretch. That foe wheeled the field through middle fractions of :57.1 and 1:25.3 before self-destructing in the lane. Italian Rebel regained the lead and staved off a late challenge from Royal Ashton by a nose. Prince Clyde, who was sent off as the 1-5 favourite, recovered from a miscue at the head of the lane and came on to salvage the show dough.
Menary shares ownership on the son of Badlands Hanover-Modelaag with Badlands Racing LLC of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. He’s stashed away $19,350 in 10 starts.
King Royalty gave Jamieson and Menary their second Autumn Series division thanks to a 1:54.1 score in the final split. The son of Classic Card Shark-Royal Lady Les survived a firsts-over trip and wore down the even-money favourite, Waco Bruiser, in deep stretch. King Royalty’s final quarter of :27.4 earned him the win by 1-1/4 lengths over Concert Artist. Taking home third prize was Major Starlight.
Dave Menary, Larry Menary and Michael Guerriero own the two-time winner who now owns a 2-1-3 record from 12 trips to the track. He’s managed to stash away earnings of $25,722 in the process.
To view results for Friday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Friday Results – Woodbine Racetrack.