Returning to the races on Sunday afternoon after a five week layoff, Fraser Downs track record holder Sterling Cooper added another Open victory to his resume for two-time O'Brien Award winning horseman Bill Davis.
In the afternoon's featured ninth race, Thedeadliestcatch left out from the inside over Gotta Have Nukes and led the field through early fractions of :27.1 and :55.4. Meanwhile, post nine starter Sterling Cooper tipped out from fifth and circled around Rock Allstar, who was parked out from the start and beginning to tire. Gotta Have Nukes was pulled from the pocket as the field approached three-quarters in 1:23.4 and moved up alongside Thedeadliestcatch while Sterling Cooper fanned three-wide and eventually took the lead in deep stretch. He prevailed in 1:53.2 while Blue Star Admiral closed late for second-place over Gotta Have Nukes.
Davis and partner Jeff Elchuk claimed Sterling Cooper for $15,000 at the end of 2014 and the seven-year-old Camluck gelding has since won three of his four Open starts. His latest win came following some time off after equalling the track record of 1:50.4 on Jan. 25 and pushed his seasonal earnings past the claiming price.
"The track was really hard that day and he came up a little bit sore and stung his foot," said Davis, explaining the pacer's brief layoff in an interview after accepting his second O'Brien Award of Horsemanship in early February.
Bet down to 4-5 odds after a 33-1/2 length qualifying win in 1:52 on Feb. 20, the favourite paid $3.60 to win.
Sterling Cooper concluded a training and driving triple on the Sunday card for Davis.
To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Fraser Downs.