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Michaels Power Captures Upper Canada Cup

Published: May 26, 2012 9:40 pm ET

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The lightly raced Michaels Power romped to a dominant four and three-quarter length victory in the $600,000 Upper Canada Cup for Ontario sired three-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Saturday night at Georgian Downs


Driven by Scott Zeron, elimination winner Michaels Power forged to the front from post three with Huxley and Robert Shepherd leaving from post five and settling into the two-hole. Meanwhile, Hard To Mach and Jody Jamieson were parked out with Rebel Jet and Paul MacDonell on their backs.

The Casie Coleman-trained Michaels Power carved out opening fractions of :26.2 and :54 before Mel Mara, another elimination winner, went three-wide from third over down the backstretch under Luc Ouellette's guidance and dropped into third past the 1:21.4 third quarter mark.

Back on top, Michaels Power spun into the stretch and drew off with a :28.1 final frame to win in a career-best 1:50 flat. Huxley followed for second place honours and Mel Mara finished third. The third elimination winner, Secretsoftheknight and Doug McNair, rallied wide from the back of the pack after a post nine start to come on for fourth. Fifth went to longshot Lyons Josephjnr and Paul MacKenzie.

The winning time established a new three-year-old gelding track and Canadian record and was three-fifths of a second away from the overall male record held by colt Watermelonwine.

"When I got the post three I was pretty confident with the other two elim winners having the eight and the nine; they were going to have to work really hard," commented Zeron after the victory. "I felt like I had the best horse in the race so I was going to position him the best and things just really worked out. I was very surprised [nobody went with me]. I thought Mel Mara would be coming at me and I was willing to sit in the two-hole behind that horse."

The richest restricted race in harness racing marked the biggest win in Zeron's burgeoning career. The Oakville, Ont. reinsman, who celebrated his 23rd birthday just three days ago, noted that he wasn't going to take any chances with such high stakes and pulled the earplugs on his mount in the stretch.

"The running joke with Casie is I never pull the plugs and I didn't think I had to, but I wasn't taking any chances."

Michaels Power paid $3.20 to win as the 3-5 favourite. He now is a perfect three-for-three this year and five-for-six lifetime.

"I always thought he was an okay colt, but I wasn't this high on him," said Coleman. "But once he got racing he was just all racehorse. Realistically, he should be undefeated. The one start he got beat there he just had some road trouble and he would have won it if he got out."

The homebred Camluck-Michelles Jackpot gelding is owned by New York's Jeffrey Snyder, who decided to make the trip to the Innisfil, Ont. oval after his sophomore drew well in the final.

"This is very special win for us because we campaigned his dam, Michelles Jackpot, who was Three-Year-Old Filly of the Year," commented Snyder. "She won the Three Diamonds and was a great, great mare. She's a sister to Cams Card Shark so it's very special that we bred her and raced her and we never expected for him [Michaels Power] to be this good. Although he's a full brother to [millionairess] Michelles Power, it's just wonderful. We've had a lot of luck up in Canada. Casie's done an amazing job and she's got great staff. I appreciate everything she's done."

Michaels Power will race in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes next and is eligible to the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup. He has been assessed at odds of 65-1 in Trot Magazine's 2012 Spring Book.

In the $50,000 Consolation, Thunder Steeler ($7.80) opened up daylight on the field to break his maiden in 1:50 flat with Simon Allard aboard for new trainer Isaac Waxman. The Lis Mara-Avacal Future colt, who won by nearly 10 lengths, is owned by the Uncirculated Stable of Burlington, Ont. and Frank Smyth of Dundas, Ont.

Driver Brett Miller, trainer Richard Gillard and Pennsylvania owner-breeder Robert Key swept both divisions of the Honourable Earl Rowe Memorial Trot featured on the undercard with a pair of millionaires getting up in time to score.

Winning Mister lowered the trotting track record by two-fifths of a second and the Canadian record by one tick with a 1:52.4 victory in the $113,250 Gold division.

The six-year-old son of Angus Hall forged to the front from post position five and posted a :26.4 opening quarter with favourite Daylon Magician and Jack Moiseyev parked out and rolling. Daylon Magician cleared to command as the trotters raced in front of the grandstand for the first time and led the way past the half in :55 and three-quarters in 1:24 with second choice Mister Herbie and Jody Jamieson advancing first over from fifth, but not making much progress. As the field headed for home, Miller pulled Winning Mister from the pocket and wore down the leader for the half-length victory. Imperial Count and Scott Zeron finished two lengths behind in third off a three-hole trip.

The former trotting track record of 1:53.1 was set by Adam T in 2008 and the old 1:53 Canadian record was held by Majestic Son. The win for Winning Mister was his 11th in 14 seasonal starts.

"I drove this horse a lot last year and I always felt that he was better out of a hole," commented Miller after the race. "When Daylon Magician came at me, I was happy to turn him loose. It felt like we were trotting really hard so to actually get by Daylon Magician, Mister Herbie was going to have to go one heck of a mile. He's a very good trotter, I just got lucky and got the trip."

Third choice Winning Mister paid $10.80 to win for the 34th time in his career.

With Miller aboard Break The Bank K for the first time in the trotter's 42 career starts, the 3-2 favourite survived an inquiry to win the $63,250 Silver division.

Miller sent the five-year-old Revenue S gelding to command from third at the :28.1 first quarter mark and cruised past middle panels of :56.3 and 1:24.4 before holding off the first over attacker, Undercover Strike and Moiseyev, to win by a head in 1:54 flat. Pocket-sitter A Crown For Lindy finished five lengths behind in third in rein to Luc Ouellette. Judges ruled that Break The Bank K only went inside one pylon and therefore did not violate the pylon rule.

"The horse does have some problems and obviously he's not quite the trotter he used to be, but he's got a big heart and he keeps going," said Miller of the former Breeders Crown champion who did not race as a four-year-old. "He was on the right line pretty bad [at the top of the stretch] and that was causing me to get real close to the pylons. There's something that was bothering him, but he's a tough horse and kept going."

Break The Bank K paid $3.30 to win for the 13th time in his career.

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

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