Abbott Celebrates 1,000th Training Win; Marino Sweeps Preferreds

Gord Abbott celebrates his 1,000th training win in the Fraser Downs winner's circle
Published: February 17, 2024 01:01 am EST

Veteran Surrey, B.C. horseman Gord Abbott celebrated a career milestone on Friday, Feb. 16 at Fraser Downs as he earned his 1,000th training win in the evening's second race.

Abbott's son John drove three-year-old pacer McMoney to a 1:58.4 victory in a $6,500 pace for non-winners of two, overtaking race leader Billy Buxton in the passing lane off a pocket trip and holding off favoured Chief Is Boss by half a length.

Owned and bred by Seaspray Stables Ltd., the McWicked gelding was sent postward as the 7-5 second choice after finishing second in the same class last week and paid $4.80 to win.

Gord Abbott with family in the Fraser Downs winner's circle after his 1,000th training win

Abbott, who has also earned 1,695 driving wins over the course of his harness racing career, was joined by family and friends in the winner's circle to mark the training milestone.   

After teaming for a Thursday triple, driver Scott Knight and trainer Jim Marino were a hot combination once again on Friday. They partnered to win three of the evening's eight races, including a pair of $10,000 Preferreds co-featured on the card with favourites Joe Rich ($3.30) and Sunshine Boy ($2.70). Repeat winner Major Winker ($3.20) kicked off the Friday triple.

In the first division of five pacers, 3-5 favourite Joe Rich left quickly from the inside post and pocketed outside challenger Vertical Squirt during a :28.2 opening quarter. He proceeded to lead the way through a half in :58.2 and three-quarters in 1:26.4 en route to a two-length triumph in 1:55 flat. Vertical Squirt followed in second with Bad Moon Horizon finishing third after his first-over bid in the final turn.

Owned by J J J Stables, the five-year-old gelded son of Custard The Dragon shipped in after the Century Mile meet ended and earned his first win of the season from five starts and his 11th victory lifetime.

Sunshine Boy took the lead in the co-feature after a :26.3 contested opening quarter and the 1-5 bettors' choice never looked back from there, setting middle splits of :55.2 and 1:23 on his way to a 1:51.3 victory. The six-year-old Sunshine Beach gelding missed his lifetime mark by just one-fifth of a second. Itll Be Fine was the only rival able to keep up with the winner, finishing one length behind. Brace For Impact finished 5-1/4 lengths back in third.

A back-to-back Preferred winner to open the Fraser meet, Sunshine Boy now boasts 25 career victories. Marino and J J J Stables share ownership of the pacer with partner Paul Sanders. 

To view Friday's harness racing results, click the following link: Friday Results - Fraser Downs.

(Standardbred Canada)

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