Maplelea Dominates Series Opener

Published: March 6, 2015 09:28 pm EST

Maplelea scored an impressive victory Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack in the first leg of the Horseplayer Interactive Series.

Just one $17,000 division comprised of seven horses was needed for the first leg of the three-week series for Ontario-sired three-year-old pacing fillies.

Maplelea and driver Rick Zeron sent a strong message to their six rivals with a five-length victory in 1:56. The time of the mile was new lifetime mark for the winner.

Sent off as the heavy 2-5 favourite, Maplelea got away fifth in the early stages and Zeron would wait until just past the midway point to bring the public’s choice to the outside. Around the final turn, Maplelea made a powerful charge first up and took over command from Wake N Bake (Chris Christoforou) heading into the stretch. Maplelea immediately created separation from her rivals in the lane and paced home in :28 to take the first leg of the Horseplayer Interactive in a new lifetime mark. Wake N Bake held on to finish second, while third went to War Filly (Simon Allard).

A daughter of Sportswriter, Maplelea was coming off a second-place finish in the Miss Vera Bars Series final last week. She is owned and trained by Andrew Moore and now has three wins from five starts in 2015 after going 0-for-3 as a freshman. Friday’s victory pushes Maplelea’s career earnings over $39,000.

She returned $2.80 to win.

In order to be eligible to the Horseplayer Interactive, the Ontario-sired sophomore pacing fillies had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014.

The second leg of the Horseplayer Interactive is scheduled to take place next Friday (March 13).

Just one race later in the top fillies and mares Preferred class, Greystone Ladylike, the longest shot on the board at odds of 17-1, circled a six-horse field in the stretch to steal the glory in the final stride.

Driven by Doug McNair, the six-year-old daughter of Stonebridge Regal sprinted home in :27.4 and got up to prevail in 1:54.1 by a neck over leader Waasmula (Randy Waples) and the first over 3-5 favourite, Marquise De Sarah (James MacDonald).

Brent Belore trains Greystone Ladylike, now an 18-time winner, for owners and breeders James and Jean Caddey. The lion's share of the $30,000 purse pushed her career bankroll to $328,368.

A $2 win ticket on Greystone Ladylike returned $37.10.

Defending Trainer of the Year Richard Moreau sent out three winners for the second consecutive night at Woodbine. Meanwhile, Bill Robinson won with his first starter at Woodbine in more than a decade as Machnbyrd Princess pulled off a 15-1 upset in the sixth race.

The Jackpot Hi 5 pool climbed past the half-million dollar mark, with the carryover at $514,132.21 going into Saturday night's card.

To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Woodbine Racetrack.

(With files from WEG)

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