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Brooms Out Boxing Day At Woodbine

Published: December 26, 2012 4:16 pm ET

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Fans who made the trek to Woodbine Racetrack for the Boxing Day matinee were treated to a 12-race program which featured a pair of series finals – the Valedictory and the Niagara – and the winners in those rich tilts turned up being ‘series sweepers’.

JJ Shark overcame a horrendous trip to capture the $60,000 Valedictory final for trainer Peter Hamilton, and in doing so made it a clean sweep following a pair of 1:52.1 scores in the preliminary legs.

Randy Waples was eighth and parked at the quarter pole with the three-year-old son of Cams Card Shark-Give Me Life, who watched Doowrah Omelet throw down a remarkable opening fraction clocked in :25.1. Donau, who was parked first-over as the field entered the backstretch, was struggling to advance on the way to the mid-way point and that forced Waples to pull the trigger three high with JJ Shark. Doowrah Omelet was still calling the shots at the half in a :54-second clip, but the lead wouldn’t last for much longer.

JJ Shark hustled to the engine shortly past the mid-way point, and he opened up by 3-3/4 lengths at the three-quarter pole in 1:23.1. He used a :28.4 closing quarter to win by 3-3/4 lengths over Boxcar in 1:52. Tyber Tyke, who enjoyed a ground-saving trip throughout the mile, was third.

“We got into some traffic trouble early, but he was able to overcome it,” said driver Randy Waples. “We went three-wide very early because I felt we needed to. We didn’t have the best cover so I had to use him fairly hard early. At the top of the stretch I kept driving him, but I also didn’t hear anyone behind me so I was fairly confident. He’s a really nice horse.”

Sent off as the 3-5 favourite, JJ Shark improved his 2012 record to 9-0-3 from 20 trips to the track for the partnership of Joseph Hemmingway, Valorie Sutton and Sandbur Farms. The $30,000 payday boosted the pacer’s career earnings to $98,406.

In the $60,000 final of the Niagara Series it was Oceanview Bindi capping off her series sweep with a stakes record performance of 1:52.2 in the final for the tandem of driver Keith Oliver and trainer George Plyley.

Oliver got away seventh with the three-year-old daughter of Hunterstown-Hygeia Hanover, who watched Trama Unit rush to the early lead and supply the field with a :26-second opening panel. Natural Instinct, who was parked around the first turn before taking a brief turn on the lead in the backstretch, later gave way to Greystone Ladylike who hit the half-mile marker in :55.2.

Apach Of Luck, who didn’t see the rail in the first half of the mile, was first-over and driving after Greystone Ladylike all the way to the three-quarter pole in 1:25, and lurking on cover from second-over was Oceanview Bindi. Oliver tipped his charge three-wide coming out of the final turn and the filly uncorked a :27-second final frame en route to winning by 3-1/4 lengths over Greystone Ladylike in 1:52.2. Apach Of Luck held on to finish third.

“The race set up as good as you could expect,” said driver Keith Oliver. “I was following the right horses and I got towed into it very well. I just had to feed her racetrack and she did the rest. She’s a very nice filly. That’s a good mile out there today and she had lots left.”

Plyley shares ownership on Oceanview Bindi with William Roloson of Belfast, PE, and together they’ve watched the photogenic lass produce a record of 11-4-3 from just 21 trips to the track this season. The $30,000 payday lifted her lifetime cash stash to $99,565.

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

(With quotes from WEG)

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