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Hypnotic Blue Chip Delivers In SPC; St Elmo Hero Carries Streak To Canada


Published: April 2, 2011 9:56 pm ET

Last Comment: April 3, 2011 10:11 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Millionaire pacer Hypnotic Blue Chip came flying home from the backfield to capture the $125,000 Spring Pacing Championship for older pacers on Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack.

Reuniting with driver Jody Jamieson, Hypnotic Blue Chip settled back in seventh off the gate from the seven-post. Meanwhile, Schoolkids (Pat Berry) fired off the gate to take control of the nine-horse field during a :26.4 opening quarter.

As he headed down the backstretch, Lisagain (John Campbell) began to roll from third but was forced three-wide as pocket-sitter Mr Saratoga (Keith Oliver) also launched his attack. Mr Saratoga took the lead but found himself back in the pocket as Lisagain cleared past the :55.4 half-mile mark.

Lisagain reached the next marker in 1:22.3 while Presidential Series winner Alexie Mattosie (Paul MacDonell) advanced from fourth leading the outer flow, which consisted of Ideal Race (Rick Zeron), Willowdale champion Twin B Warrior (Randy Waples) and Hypnotic Blue Chip.

As the field entered the stretch, Ideal Race rallied off cover and went head-to-head with stablemate Lisagain as they approached the wire, but it was Hypnotic Blue Chip who had the biggest late kick (a :27.1 final quarter) and came on to score in 1:51 by a half-length. Lisagain held on for second over Ideal Race.

"He raced just unbelievable tonight but I wasn't too happy with Jody at the three-quarter pole,” laughed trainer Kevin McDermott after the race. “We made a small equipment change and that seemed to help. I was worried about him after his defeat prior to tonight at The Meadowlands but he usually needs a few starts under his belt to get on his game. I’m thinking about leaving him here in Ontario to race at Woodbine and would love to take on St Elmo Hero.”

Hypnotic Blue Chip paid $3.70 to win as the heavy 4-5 favourite. The victory was his first in three seasonal starts for owner Francis Azur of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. The five-year-old son of Art Major-A Traceofmagic, who was 2010's fastest pacer by virtue of his 1:47.2 U.S. Pacing Championship tally, now boasts 21 wins on his lifetime record and earnings of over $1.4 million.

Later on the card, the undefeated St Elmo Hero earned his 25th consecutive career win while making his Canadian debut in the $28,000 Preferred 2 Pace.

Also driven by Jody Jamieson, St Elmo Hero left from Post 6 in his ninth race assignment and cleared ahead of Ok Boromir (Doug McNair) past the :27-second opening quarter.

Down the backstretch, Lennon Blue Chip (Mark MacDonald) advanced first over from third and pushed ahead at the :55.2 half-mile mark. Rock Me Please (Randy Waples) made his move next from fourth as the field headed to three-quarters in 1:23.2, but St Elmo Hero had the jump start on him. 'Elmo' pulled the pocket and cruised home to a 1:51.1 victory, with his final quarter clocked in :27.4. Rock Me Please was the runner-up, finishing one and three-quarter lengths behind, and Ok Boromir finished third.

"He is just a terrific horse to drive,” said Jamieson after the win. “I was surprised that Mark [MacDonald] came at me when I made the front. I decided to pull before the three-quarter mark because I didn’t want to get locked in. When you’re trying to keep a horse's huge unbeaten streak alive, you have to take your shot and move him.

“When I pulled him to the outside, he was pacing so hard that I had to keep him together. Once we straightened up, he was gone. He’s a contender in the Open ranks this year, that’s for sure.”

St Elmo Hero paid $2.90 to win as the 2-5 bettor's choice. The five-year-old gelded son of Western Hero-Crystal Crickett, who has recorded six of his 25 victories this year, now boasts $216,950 in earnings for owner John Barnard of Orland Park, Illinois. He is trained by Meg Crone while in Canada for his regular conditioner Charles Eustis III.

St Elmo Hero, whose biggest win to date came in the $65,000 Complex Series final at the Meadowlands in a stakes record time of 1:49.1 on Jan. 29, was scheduled to make his Canadian debut last month in the Cam Fella Stakes before competing in the Spring Pacing Championship, but his debut was postponed until tonight due to sickness and foot issues.

Jamieson won five of the evening's 11 races to extend his lead in the WEG drivers standings. The recent Ontario Regional Driving Championship winner holds a 19-win lead at Woodbine over Randy Waples, and is the leading money earning driver in all of Canada.

For results from Saturday's harness racing card, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack.

(With quotes from WEG)

April 3, 2011 - 10:11 amTwo real nice horses we got

Peter Smith SAID...

Two real nice horses we got there... match race - who wins?? :)

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