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Copley Trainees Steal The Show

Published: June 11, 2017 10:31 pm ET

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Skyway Boomer rebuffed a stern challenge from Bali to triumph in the featured $6,500 Winners Over Handicap Pace on Sunday night (June 11) at Rideau Carleton Raceway.

Leaving from post five in rein to Guy Gagnon, Skyway Boomer worked his way to command through a 28-second opener, clearing inside starter Officially Rusty (Stephane Pouliot) at the quarter-pole. After a half in :58.3, Bali (Marie Claude Auger) launched a first-over attack moving out of the three-hole and duked it out with the popular pacesetter down the backstretch past three-quarters in 1:26.1. Both 'Boomer' and Bali fought gamely down the lane with Officially Rusty getting in on the action as he closed along the pylons in deep stretch. However, Skyway Boomer was resurgent late in the mile to prevail in between his rivals by one length in 1:54.3 for trainer Jamie Copley. Bali finished second just ahead of Officially Rusty.

Skyway Boomer, who paid $3.40 to win as the 3-5 wagering favourite, has won two of his last three starts at Rideau for the Copley Stables, Jody Sanderson and Dean Larkin. Lifetime, the five-year-old Sportswriter gelding has won 17 races and more than $90,000 in purse money.

Copley had a perfect night of racing, moving within two wins of the 1,000 career milestone mark. His other training triumph on the card was courtesy of Rideau newcomer Sports Lightning, who posted the fastest Rideau mile of the year in 1:51.1. The time of the mile was just three-fifths of a second off the track record for older pacing geldings and was a new lifetime mark for the first-time Copley starter, who is also a five-year-old son of Sportswriter.

Also driven by Gagnon, Sports Lightning swept around the leading 3-5 favourite, Private Interview (Brett MacDonald), after quick opening panels of :26.1 and :54.2 and moved out of reach of his foes on the way to three-quarters in 1:21.4. Bestofbest Hanover (Melanie Plourde) advanced past the tiring Private Interview and chased after Sports Lightning down the lane as he extended his lead to five and a quarter lengths. Bazinga Brad (Jonathan Lachance) rounded out the top three finish order.

Sports Lightning is a nine-time winner with career earnings over $100,000.

To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Rideau Carleton Raceway.

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