Musical Rhythm Romps In Don Mills

Published: April 23, 2016 08:39 pm EDT

Musical Rhythm devastated his foes in the Don Mills Series, completing a sweep of the three-week event with another dominating effort in the $42,600 final featured early Saturday evening (April 23) at Mohawk Racetrack.

Musical Rhythm's latest series sweep pushed his win streak into the double-digits for trainer Ben Baillargeon and partners Santo Vena, Nunzio Vena, and Claude Hamel. The trotter now has 10 wins in a row dating back to December 19, 2015 that includes a sweep of Woodbine's General Brock Series in February.

Driven by Baillargeon's brother Mario, Musical Rhythm swept from third to first after a :27.1 first quarter over Hillsonator (Rick Zeron), who had forged to the front with the inside post advantage and forced the leaving Olympic Son (Doug McNair) to settle in behind. Musical Rhythm then cruised through middle splits of :56.2 and 1:25.3 unchallenged and began to widen his leading margin to five and a half lengths in the stretch before hitting the wire in 1:52.4. Hillsonator held for second over Grana Padanno (Jody Jamieson), who had advanced first over from fourth at the half. Mystery Bet (Paul MacDonell) tracked the show finisher's cover from the back of the pack and finished fourth. Olympic Son was fifth and Ramas Last Son (Mike Saftic) completed the line up.

Musical Rhythm was the overwhelming 1-9 favourite, with his five foes sent off at odds of 21-1 or higher. He paid $2.10 to win.

The son of Cantab Hall has gone 12-for-13 since being purchased by Baillargeon and company for $33,000 at last fall's Harrisburg sale. He has exceeded expectations for his connections, who were looking for a trotter to fit the General Brock Series and non-winners of three or $75,000 condition on the WEG circuit.

"The hopple broke the one time he broke stride at the gate or else he would have been perfect for us," noted Baillargeon, adding that "time will tell" what the Maple Leaf Trot eligible can do as his season progresses and he aims for the big dances.

The Don Mills Series was for four and five-year-old trotters that were non-winners of $150,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2015. Musical Rhythm has earned $112,300 in his eight starts this year, giving him a career bankroll of $208,421. He is currently the season's top money-earning trotter in Canada.

In the weekly $34,000 Preferred Pace, Nirvana Seelster lasted on the lead to earn his fourth win of the year for driver Rick Zeron and trainer Bill Budd. Beaten by a half-length in last week's edition, the five-year-old Camluck gelding held on by that same margin this time out.

Zeron drove on with the inner advantage to secure the lead over Grin For Money (Jody Jamieson) through a :26.3 first quarter and continued on to the half in :54.4. That's when 3-5 favourite Nickle Bag (Trevor Henry) committed first over from fourth with The Rev (Doug McNair) following his cover. Those two rivals threatened outside after the 1:23.1 third quarter mark while Boomboom Ballykeel (Sylvain Filion) weaved inside off a three-hole trip down the stretch. However, Nirvana Seelster prevailed in 1:50.3 over Boomboom Ballykeel, with Nickle Bag finishing one length back in third and The Rev fourth.

Nirvana Seelster, the nation's fastest pacer of 2016 courtesy of his 1:49.1 victory on March 26 at Woodbine, paid $8.80 to win as the 7-2 second choice on the toteboard.

The victory sent his seasonal earnings over the $100,000 mark and lifetime bankroll well past $400,000. The 20-time career winner is owned by Bruce Davy of Brockville, Ont.

In other Saturday night action, North America Cup eligible Easy Lover Hanover rebounded from his Youthful Series loss with a career-best 1:51.4 victory over four-year-old Rafa and Youthful champion War N Munn in a $20,000 pace for non-winners of three or $80,000 lifetime. Ben Wallace trains the Somebeachsomewhere colt, who has been assessed at odds of 40-1 in Trot Magazine's 2016 Spring Book, for owner Brad Grant of Milton, Ont. Jody Jamieson is his regular driver.

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

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