Points North had his compass set right as he buzzed to the top and kept on going to win the $36,000 Preferred Pace at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday (Nov. 18) evening.
Sylvain Filion and the Carmen Auciello student left from post six and secured the lead. After leading through panels in :26.3, :54.1 and 1:21.4, Points North faced his greatest challenge in the stretch against heavily-backed Poseidon Seelster (Bob McClure) and favoured Emmetts Buddy (Tyler Borth). At the wire, Points North stuck his head out in front to win over Poseidon Seelster in 1:50. Emmetts Buddy rounded out the top three.
An eight-year-old gelding son of Somebeachsomewhere and the Western Hanover mare Northwest Hanover, Points North is co-owned by Jim and David Winske. He earned his fifth win of the season from 39 starts and his 42nd career win, now totalling $907,938 in lifetime earnings. Points North returned $15.50 to win for the 7-1 upset.
Nothingbutadreamer opened up the evening card with a win in the first of three Harvest Series divisions for Ontario-sired sophomore colts and geldings, worth $17,000. The young trotter and James MacDonald got away third through an opening panel in :28 before taking command through panels in :56.3 and 1:25.4. Nothingbutadreamer continued home to a 1-1/4-length victory in 1:55 over Im Above Average (Louis-Philippe Roy) and Lookslikagoodfella (Pat Hudon).
Thestable Nothingbutadremr owns the sophomore gelded son of Muscle Mass-Myimpossibledream as he earned his fifth win in a row and ninth career tally. Trained by Harry Poulton, Nothingbutadreamer has $136,943 in career earnings. He paid $2.40 to win.
The second trotting Harvest Series split went to Cactustotheclouds who, with Trevor Henry on board, sat in the pocket through panels in :29.2 and :58.2 before taking command. After posting the last split in 1:27, Cactustotheclouds held off a charge from Stonebridge Bomber (Roy) to win by a head in 1:55.4. Templeton (MacDonald) completed the triactor.
Trained by Benoit Baillargeon, the gelded son of Alarm Detector-Keep The Spirit is owned by his breeders Thomas and Elizabeth Rankin. Unraced as a freshman, he collected his third career triumph. Cactustotheclouds paid $15.50 to win.
In the first of two pacing divisions for the Harvest Series, Leave It To Luther and James MacDonald were caught on the outside in sixth through an opening panel in :28.2 before they found space in sixth on the rail on the way to the :56.1 half. After that station, MacDonald pulled the Ryan Steward trainee to the outside once again en route to the three-quarters in 1:24.1. With no easy battle, Leave It To Luther achieved victory by a length in 1:53 over Sans Souci (Jonathan Drury) and Full Horse (Roy).
Leave It To Luther (Betterthancheddar-T R Lexus Cam) is owned by Courtney Pollard. The colt recorded his seventh win of the season and ninth career tally while putting up a new career-best time. He paid $13 to win.
The final Harvest Series division of the evening went to Arizona Jackson and Jonathan Drury. The pair got away third through stations in :27.2 and :57. With an outer flow on the move, the Victoria Macinnis trainee was shuffled back in fifth at the three quarters in 1:25. Unrelenting, Arizona Jackson made his way through the traffic at the top of the stretch and he took off to win by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:53.4. Ossie The Second (Filion) was second with Id Imagine (Phil Hudon) third.
Victoria Macinnis earned her first training win on the Saturday evening card with Arizona Jackson. Breeder Robin Morley owns Arizona Jackson (Betterthancheddar-Arizona Beach), who notched his fifth career victory in eight starts as a sophomore. He paid $3.50 to win.
Saturday evening also marked the final time O'Brien Award winner and Canadian Pacing Derby champion Sintra would wear a harness to the track.
Following the first race, the 10-year-old gelded son of Mach Three was tacked up for the final time for a retirement ceremony and was met in the winner's circle by his connections. With a career-best time in 1:47.2, the winner of 48 races and $1.6 million in career earnings completed his racing days under conditioner Harry Poulton and TheStable, but spent most of his career under the care of trainer David Menary. At the ceremony, Sintra was formally returned to the care of the Menarys.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.