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Molson Elims Drawn; Coleman Enters Two


Published: May 18, 2009 1:29 pm ET

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A premium night of eliminations action is set for Friday evening, May 22 at London’s Western Fair Raceway for the 37th renewal of the Molson Pace and the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series three-year-old pacing fillies.

“I think Clowns Smile is coming into the Molson Pace in great shape” says trainer Casie Coleman. “Actually Mark MacDonald and I thought we won the photo on May 9 at Mohawk over Bigtime Ball. We were closing on him again last Saturday night and fortunately he’s not in the Molson Pace.”

Clowns Smile has however, drawn into the second elimination against Levy Series champion Foiled Again and the highly regarded Shadow Play, who chased Somebeachsomewhere throughout 2008.

“Those are a pair of real half mile track bearcats,” the conditioner of the 2006 Molson Pace champion Our Lucky Killean says. “It’s a great cast overall for the Molson Pace this year.” Also drawn into the second elimination against Clowns Smile are WEG circuit Free For All standout Ramegade Bruiser and the defending Molson Pace winner, Eagle Luck.

The other Casie Coleman entrant in this year’s Molson Pace is eighth race starter Lucky Man. He’s drawn into the first elimination against the 2007 Molson Pace runner-up Maltese Artist, Western Fair’s three-year-old colt pace track record holder Stormaway, the 2008 Molson Pace third place finisher Silent Swing, and OSS Grassroots Series graduate Lyons Geoff.

“I shut Lucky Man down after the (March 21st) final of the Four Leaf Clover Series at The Meadowlands,” Coleman explains. “He’s acting like he’s appreciated the rest and has come back with a pair of strong qualifiers. No doubt it’s going to be tough since he’s a four-year-old facing older horses. Last year I was cursed with draw luck for the final when Tigerama (the beaten favourite) drew London’s outside seven hole. So I’m hoping that luck changes this year too.”

Both of the May 22nd eliminations will be contested for $25,000 and the May 29th final will equal last year’s record purse of $280,000.

‘Popcorn’ Set To Go

The May 22nd program at Western Fair also features an $18,400 Preferred Trot and Pace and a pair of $40,000 eliminations for the Ontario Sires Stakes. No doubt the marquee entrant for the OSS action is third starter St Lads Popcorn who is making her three-year-old season’s debut.

“I had her into London on Monday morning (May 18) and she trained in 1:57,” says owner-trainer Jack Darling. “She’s in good shape and we’re happy to have drawn the inside post for the start of her three-year-old season. She’s just as good as she was last year, she’s wintered well, really she hasn’t changed except she’s matured.”

Saying that St Lads Popcorn is as good as last year is saying a lot. On a chilly and breezy night last November 8 she set Western Fair’s two-year-old filly pace track record of 1:55.3. It was part of a multiple stakes win campaign that saw her compile a bankroll of $602,000. In the same elimination are recent Mohawk winners Kabbalah Karen B, the Ontario Spring Series champion Warrawee Koine and Arts Star, the runner up to St Lads Popcorn on several occasions in 2008.

The second OSS Gold Series elimination will mark the three-year-old season’s debut of $221,000 winner Northern Duchess from the care of London area trainer John Pentland. She’ll be facing off against Not Enough, a recent Mohawk winner in 1:52.1 and Take My Pulse from the John Kopas operation.

Post time is 7:05 p.m. at Western Fair on Friday evening for the Molson Pace and OSS Gold Series eliminations program.

To view Friday's entries, click here.

(Western Fair Raceway)

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