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Gotcha Covered Completes Valedictory Sweep

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Published: December 26, 2009 4:08 pm ET

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Gotcha Covered survived a tough trip and trying track conditions to complete a sweep of this year’s Valedictory Pacing Series during Saturday's Boxing Day program at Woodbine Racetrack.

Paul MacDonell guided the three-year-old gelded son of Western Ideal-Day Dreams, who rallied from fifth in the opening half to wear down Blackbird Singing and driver Jack Moiseyev in the final strides of the 1:55.1 mile over a track rated sloppy due to steady overnight rains in Toronto.

Onemorelastchance (Sylvain Filion) finished a lapped-on third with Sombrero Blue Chip (Randy Waples) rounding out the top four. Gotcha Covered won by just half a length as the prohibitive favourite and returned a popular $3.20 for the win.

It was the fourth consecutive victory for Gotcha Covered, who recently returned to the racetrack after successful throat surgery. The lion’s share of the $60,000 purse bumped his seasonal earnings to just over $81,000 for trainer Randy Van Meer and owners Harry Locke of Oshawa and Dan Sarafian of Stouffville, Ont.

The connections purchased the pacer privately this past summer and will now aim him towards the Willowdale Pacing Series, which begins on January 9 and then the Cam Fella Series in mid March.

Making his return to the track after a short vacation, San Pail picked up right where he left off with a front-end score in the $50,000 Open Trot.

With regular reinsman Randy Waples between the wheels, the O’Brien Award finalist left from Post 6 and landed the leading role at the first quarter in :28 seconds. San Pail, sent postward as the 7-2 second choice, set the tempo with middle panels of :58.3 and 1:28 before kicking home in :28.2 for the 1:56.2 victory by three and a quarter lengths.

Two-time O’Brien Award finalist Armbro Chronicle (Jody Jamieson) advanced first up to get second and Mapleleaf Buddy (Jason Brewer) closed well from the back of the pack for show.

Trainer Rod Hughes and breeder Glenn Van Camp of Port Perry, Ont. share ownership of the winning five-year-old son of San Pellegrino-Village Beauty. San Pail has won half of his 24 starts this year earning $730,250 of his million-dollar bankroll.

Hughes told Trot Insider in early December that the Maple Leaf Trot winner is looking to take another shot at the $90,000 grand prize in the Glorys Comet Trotting Series, which begins on Sunday, January 3 at Woodbine.

To view Saturday's results, click here.

(With files from WEG)


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