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Intense America Wins Rideau Race Debut

Published: March 16, 2015 12:32 am ET

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The Woodbine-invading mare, Intense America, nosed out favourite Michelangelo to win the co-featured $6,500 Winners Over $25,000 Lifetime/Not Listed Preferred Handicap Trot on Sunday night for Rideau Carleton Raceway's leading driver Stephane Lareau.

The only mare in the five-horse field with Out Of The Hat scratched sick, Intense America sat third through the early stages of the race before launching her first over attack. Heading around the final turn, she brushed by race leader R Rkadabra, who had carved out panels of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:26.3 over the "good" track, and then held off a from-last Michelangelo in a photo finish. Intense America prevailed by a nose over Michelangelo in 1:58.3, with last week's winner Uncle Freddie closing between the top two and Ghirardelli Lindy on the outside, both less than a length behind.

Owned by Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. Montreal, Que., the seven-year-old Taurus Dream mare was making her Rideau race debut from the Dany Fontaine stable. A winner for the first time in six starts this year, the $300,000 career earner returned $11.70 to her backers at the betting windows.

The victory kicked off a driving triple for Lareau, which helped keep him atop the local leaderboard as the hot-handed Gord Brown pursued a career milestone.

Brown drove four winners on Sunday night, leaving him just one shy of reaching the 4,000 career win milestone (and one away from the top spot in the Rideau standings). Three of his wins were for Rideau's leading Gerard Demers stable: Prince Adam ($6.60), Will To Do ($4.80) and Ive Got It All ($6.80). His other victory aboard Blake Curran trainee Bridget Mary ($32.80) came in a race that was marred by an accident.

Manny Ribera, driven by Sebastien Turenne, broke stride after moving into the lead at the third quarter mark of the second race causing interference to five of the nine starters. Manny Ribera ultimately fell unseating his driver. Double Heart, who was following the cover with Stephane Pouliot aboard, and the Michel Audet-driven Close The Light, also racing in the outerflow, both got caught up in the incident with their drivers also being unseated.

Turenne booked off his remaining drive on the card. Audet was not listed on any other mounts. Pouliot completed his driving assignments and bounced back with a victory in the finale aboard Stonebridge Regent ($5.50).

Sunday's co-featured Winners Over pacing event was won by John MacMillan's popular 10-year-old Anderlecht ($6.80) and driver Rheo Filion after they overtook front-stepper Slight Touch and Brown in the passing lane. The time of the mile was 1:54.4. Anderlecht earned his first win of the season in seven starts and 42nd lifetime while inching closer to the $900,000 earnings mark.

To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Rideau Carleton Raceway.

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