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Zeron Sweeps Woodbine Series Finals


Published: May 12, 2012 10:25 pm ET

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Driver Scott Zeron scored a series double on Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack as he guided Im The Pied Piper to an upset victory in the $75,000 finale of The Diplomat Pacing Series and clicked with filly Stage It Right in the matching Princess Series final, both for three-year-old pacers that are non-winners of $100,000 in 2011.

Im The Pied Piper and Zeron followed the cover of 4-5 favourite State Treasurer (Randy Waples) and rallied home to prevail in a three-horse photo in The Diplomat for the colts and geldings.

Zeron and inside starter Im The Pied Piper got away fifth while Retail (Anthony MacDonald) fired to command from the outside post 10 and carved out hot early fractions of :26 and :54.1 with Ontheclock Hanover (Jack Moiseyev) in pursuit and State Treasurer moving into the second over spot.

At the midway point, Zeron moved his charge off the pylons behind State Treasurer and followed that foe wide around the fading Ontheclock Hanover as the field raced towards three-quarters in 1:21.4.

State Treasurer wore down the pacesetter in the stretch, but had Im The Pied Piper to contend with and the late-rallying Piston Broke (Sylvain Filion). Im The Pied Piper got his nose to the wire first in a career-best 1:50.3 over State Treasurer and Piston Broke.

Im The Pied Piper, a runner-up in the opening legs of the series, paid $23.60 for the upset.

“This horse has a ton of speed,” said Zeron following the victory. “His last few races haven’t been in his favour because he’s faced some tough trips with no luck. Tonight was a different story. Everything couldn’t have worked out any better tonight, especially when I saw three-quarters in 1:21.4. He’s terrific to race from off-the-pace and he beat some pretty good horses in there.”

Unraced at two, the Western Ideal-Lisjune gelding has only missed the board once in 10 starts (three wins) and boasts $96,937 in earnings for trainer Tony O'Sullivan and owners Richard and Joanne Young of Florida.

Earlier on the card, Stage It Right completed a sweep of the Princess Series with a win in the matching final for three-year-old filly pacers.

Zeron worked out a perfect pocket trip for the 8-5 second choice behind Blossom Series winner Yagonnakissmeornot (Chris Christoforou) after the favourite, Jet Wash (Sylvain Filion), broke stride to their inside off the gate.

Yagonnakissmeornot led the field of six past panels of :29, :58.4, and 1:26.4 before Stage It Right rolled up alongside and drew clear in the stretch. The pacesetter tried to battle back in the final eighth of a mile, but came up a half-length short as Stage It Right hit the wire in 1:54.2. Cooking The Books (Jack Moiseyev) rounded out the top three finishers.

“She’s a sweetheart to drive,” said Zeron of the winning filly. “The slow fractions didn’t bother me one bit because my filly has very quick speed for a piece and can explode off a helmet. She was very handy tonight and I didn’t need to kick the ear plugs.”

Stage It Right paid $5.40 to win. The daughter of Artiscape out of Whenuwishuponastar is trained by Rick Zeron for owners Richard Lombardo of Ohio and Howard Taylor of Pennsylvania. Stage It Right, also unraced at two, was a runner-up in the Blossom Series Final in mid-April and has never missed the board in nine career starts (six wins) while banking over $100,000.

In Open action, Ideal Choice doubled up in the top $50,000 pace with a 1:49.4 front-end effort. Anthony MacDonald drove the six-year-old Western Ideal-My Baby And Me gelding for trainer Mike Weller and Indiana's BNB Stable LLC. The 3-2 favourite won by two and a half lengths over Razzle Dazzle (Paul MacDonell) and Dalhousie Dave (Scott Zeron), returning $5.10 to his backers.

The popular pacing mare Put On A Show, with Steve Condren catch-driving, front-stepped her way to a 1:50 half-length score over Monkey On My Wheel (Randy Waples) in the $42,000 Fillies & Mares Open. Do Me Honour (Keith Oliver) finished nearly three lengths behind in third. The Chris Ryder trainee paid $2.90 to win for the fourth consecutive time. The five-year-old Rocknroll Hanover-Steinams Place mare is owned by Craig Henderson of Illinois and Florida's Richard and Joanne Young.

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

(With quotes from WEG)

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