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State Treasurer Triples In Molson

Published: May 29, 2015 9:29 pm ET

Last Comment: June 4, 2015 12:06 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

State Treasurer closed out the meet at The Raceway at the Western Fair District on Friday, May 29 earning his third straight Molson Pace title and becoming harness racing's newest millionaire.

State Treasurer defeated 3-5 favourite All Bets Off in the $150,000 invitational at the wire in a stakes record clocking of 1:51 flat. The former stakes record of 1:51.1 was set by Eagle Luck in 2008 and equalled by State Treasurer in his first Molson Pace victory in 2013.

There was a three-across battled into the first turn with Confederation Cup champion and 3-5 favourite All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) emerging with the early lead from the inside. He reached the first quarter in :26.2 while Evenin Of Pleasure (Sylvain Filion) settled into the two-hole ahead of the trailing tier starter and defending champion, State Treasurer.

Canada's reigning Driver of the Year, Chris Christoforou, made his move committing first over with State Treasurer coming off the turn in front of the grandstand with early challenger Lucan Hanover (Trevor Henry) picking up the cover while All Bets Off continued to lead to the half in :55.3.

State Treasurer advanced up alongside All Bets Off down the backstretch and those two battled head-to-head past three-quarters in 1:23.1 and into the stretch.

State Treasurer refused to let up and eventually collared All Bets Off in the final strides for the half-length victory while Evenin Of Pleasure came through along the pylons for third. P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) finished less than a length behind in fourth while Lets Drink On It (Billy Davis Jr.) came from last to finish fifth. Night Pro (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.), Lucan Hanover and Duc Dorleans (Dan Dube) completed the order of finish.

Dr. Ian Moore trains the six-year-old son of Real Desire for owners Sally Macdonald of Souris, P.E.I and Paul MacDonald of Toronto, Ont.

The only other horse to win three consecutive editions of Western Fair's signature race was Jambo Dancer, who completed the feat back in the 1970s.

"It's fantastic. I was lucky enough to sit behind State Treasurer for two of those and he just proved how great a horse he is tonight," said Christoforou after the race. "He's just a special kind of horse. The trip he went...unbelievable...first up like that and to go to war with that other horse and beat him, it was spectacular.

"My biggest was concern was I didn't want to get pinned in with him because he can be a real handful at times. Actually at the Meadowlands, he was almost in an accident. He tried to run over horses that were in front of him. If he gets boxed in, he doesn't like it so I just wanted to make sure I had some clearance at some point around that first turn and it worked out good. After that, I just let him do the rest."

State Treasurer now boasts 23 career wins in 75 starts and a bankroll totalling $1,057,420. He currently has two (consecutive) wins in four 2015 starts following a $480,000 campaign last season in which he was named an O'Brien Award finalist in the aged pacing division.

State Treasurer paid $9.00 to win.

The Molson Pace undercard included the first leg of the Ontario Sires Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, which was split into three $70,000 divisions.

North America Cup contender Go Daddy Go ($2.90) opened his sophomore season with a stellar 1:53.1 triumph in the first division for the Hall of Fame duo of John Campbell and Bob McIntosh.

Go Daddy Go, the 2-5 favourite, swept around the quick-leaving outsider Robert Hill by the :27.4 first quarter and proceeded to the half in :57.2 and three-quarters in 1:25.4. Meanwhile, 9-5 second choice Sportsmanship caught up with the top pair after gapping early in third and charged after the leader as they neared three-quarters in 1:25.4, but he broke stride leaving Go Daddy Go to cruise home uncontested for the seven-length victory. Moonwriter came on for second and Dialamara finished third.

"I was able to get back to the front going to the quarter and an uncontested second quarter," said Campbell in a post-race interview. "He was full of himself from there on and he finished up very well."

Go Daddy Go clocked his final quarter in :27.2 and was two-fifths of a second off the 1:52.4 track record for three-year-old male pacers that was set by Stonebridge Tonic in 2010. Campbell noted that McIntosh always has his horses ready to go.

"Oh, he has them ready. We've been together a long time, he doesn't send them out if they're not ready," said Campbell. "There were only two horses on the gate so it was a pretty easy decision to leave."

The chestnut son of Ponder was last year's Battle Of Waterloo champion and earned nearly $400,000 in his freshman campaign. An O'Brien Award finalist, Go Daddy Go also scored victories in his Metro Pace and Breeders Crown eliminations and was a runner-up to divisional champion Artspeak in the Governor's Cup. The homebred colt is owned by Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. of Windsor, Ont., Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, Ont. and new partner Diamond Creek Racing of Wellsville, Pennsylvania.

Go Daddy Go has been assessed at odds of 14-1 as a top-five contender for the 2015 Pepsi North America Cup in Trot Magazine's Spring Book.

Windsong Leo ($4.70) extended his win streak to seven in a row as he tackled stakes competition for the first time in his career in the next division.

Stablemates Mikes Powerhouse and Bob Ben And John traded turns on the lead in the early going, but outsider Windsong Leo forged to the front at the :28 first quarter mark under the guidance of driver Jody Jamieson. The 6-5 favourite continued to lead the field to the half in :58 while Big Moment advanced first over. However, that rival only made it to the leader's wheel by three-quarters in 1:26.2 before Windsong Leo drew off for the 1:54.1 victory. Bob Ben And John followed in second while Win One Soon came on for third.

"I wasn't sure what I was going to do. There was lots of speed in there," said Jamieson. "Casie [Coleman] had two horses in there and she's tough when she has one in there. It worked out good. I was going to settle third for a little longer, but it just made sense to move to the lead and control [the pace]."

Daniel O'Brian trains the Jeremes Jet colt, who went unraced as a two-year-old, for owner Everette Hanson of Maugerville, N.B.

The Coleman-trained Sportskeeper ($7.90) held off 6-5 favourite Physicallyinclined to win the fastest Sires Stakes division of the night in 1:53 flat. The time of the mile was just one-fifth of a second off the aforementioned overall male record for sophomore pacers and established a new record for geldings.

Driven by Chris Christoforou prior to his big Molson Pace victory, 5-2 second choice Sportskeeper protected his rail position and forced the leaving J Js Delivery to settled in behind through a :27.2 first quarter. He continued to lead through middle splits of :57 and 1:24.4 with North America Cup eligible Physicallyinclined looming first over. The favourite dug in down the stretch, but Sportskeeper held him off for the victory. J Js Delivery followed in third.

"He got off the gate pretty good and Jody's horse [J J Delivery] left quite well as well so I had to keep pushing around the first turn," said Christoforou. "He got to the front and controlled the pace from there and he had enough to hold on. It was surprising to me that we had to go a track record to win it, but I'm happy he could do it."

A Gold winner at two, Sportskeeper earned the first victory of his sophomore campaign following a runner-up effort to Windsong Leo in his season's debut last week at Mohawk Racetrack. The homebred Sportswriter gelding is co-owned by Coleman and Merlin Howse of Langton, Ont.

The City of London Series wrapped up with a quartet of finals on Friday night. The series was for Ontario-sired four-year-olds and younger that are non-winners of $10,000 lifetime as of midnight February 28, 2015.

Canada's 2015 leading dash-winning driver Alfie Carroll navigated 8-5 favourite Magic Dancing ($5.20) to the lead through the first turn in the $41,000 fillies and mares trot and kept two-time challenger Brinkers Dream at bay through a career-best 1:59.4 mile. The Kadabra filly is now eight-for-nine in her sophomore season for trainer Victor Puddy and Percy Elkins of Milton, Ont.

The $40,400 final for male trotters turned into a two-horse race as favourites Muscle Mack and Ja El Storm took off in a final quarter sprint to the wire with the former trotting away to a 1:58.3 triumph. Ja El Storm had taken the lead before the half and Muscle Mack had swept three-wide off cover approaching the third quarter mark to set up the stretch duel. Driven by Ryan Holliday and trained by David Holliday, Muscle Mack ($3.50) earned his fourth straight win and is now five-for-six in his debut season. The three-year-old Muscle Mass gelding is owned and bred by Ronald Corbett of St. Jacobs, Ont.

Bad Mood ($61.30) pulled off a 29-1 upset in the $44,600 fillies and mares pace as driver Bruce Richardson put the sophomore filly in play early and then nosed out the leading Pinky Tuscadero for the career-best 1:57.2 victory. The daughter of Badlands Hanover is owned and bred by trainer Jeffrey and Lori Thomson of Chesley, Ont.

Overwhelming 2-5 favourite Naturescape ($2.80) and driver Billy Davis Jr. drew off to a 1:54.3 five-length triumph in the $44,400 final for male pacers, with first over Alexas Prayer finishing back in second. Gregg McNair trains the three-year-old gelded son of Art Colony, who took a new lifetime mark in his second straight victory for owners Wayne MacRae of Fall River, N.S. and Bloomingwood Farms Ltd. of Harriston, Ont.

In Preferred action, Hunch Man ($46.10) pulled off 22-1 upset in a $12,500 event, wiring the field of pacers in 1:54.4 for the father-son, trainer-driver team of Bob and Scott Young. Barry Treen trainee Cluster Hanover ($10.90) and driver Scott Coulter put an end to Sandburg Hanover's win streak that extended back to last August as he defeated the 2-1 favourite in 1:54.3 in a $10,000 Preferred 2 & 3 Pace. Veteran pacer Monster In Law ($15.20) edged out even-money favourite Sky Desperado in another Preferred, scoring his 40th career win in 1:55.3 with Trevor Henry in the sulky for trainer Don Beatson.

This year's Molson Pace night produced an overall record handle of $610,000, up from $404,000 last year. The race itself set a record single-race handle of $196,000 and the live on-site handle was $125,000, up from $100,000 last year.

Racing is scheduled to resume at The Raceway at the Western Fair District in October.

To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Western Fair.

June 4, 2015 - 12:06 pmIt was a fantastic evening

It was a fantastic evening with great racing and a super atmosphere. Greg, Sarah and Sugar did a fantastic job. Well done!

May 30, 2015 - 5:59 amWhat a night... And I was so

What a night... And I was so nervous waking up on Friday morning.

Was it because of all the hype leading up to Molson Pace night? Or was it because I had never had the pleasure of announcing John Campbell in a horse race before? Not sure what it was, but through the afternoon I received a message from the former voice of the old CDP - Kevin 'Boomer' Gallant - with some words of encouragement and that was all I needed to toss aside those nervous feelings and head in to work.

Yes indeed - there were still some jitters watching & calling 'Mr. Harness Racing' win with GO DADDY GO, but I was still having fun... As the night went on, the excitement just kept building from race to race and when the Molson Pace went behind the gate, I could barely contain my enthusiasm. The 'two-time reigning champ of The Pace' wins for the 'three-peat' and the night is over...

Congratulations to all on a fantastic night of racing in London - it sure was fun - we'll see you in October!

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