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Exit Smiling Bounces Back

Published: June 15, 2020 10:22 pm ET

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Exit Smiling disappointed as the betting favourite in last week’s feature race at Grand River Raceway, but he was anything but disappointing in Monday’s follow-up performance in the $11,500 Preferred 2 for horse and gelding pacers.

Sent off at odds of 5-1, Exit Smiling got away fifth in Monday’s assignment while Hes Got Swagger and American Risk waged war through fractions of :27 and :55.2. Exit Smiling tipped to the outside in the backstretch and made a three-wide move to go after Hes Got Swagger on the way to the three-quarter pole.

Hes Got Swagger sped past that marker in 1:24.2, but he lacked staying power after getting chased in the early stages of the mile. Exit Smiling swept off cover and powered home in :28.4 to win by 1-1/2 lengths over Carsons Shadow in 1:53.2. Jack Of Clubs took home the show dough.

J.R. Plante guided the Stephane Larocque trainee to the win for owners Fred Gillis, Geoff Smith, Natasha Peiskar and Jamie Gray. The five-year-old son of Vertical Horizon is now 3-for-10 this season. The 13-time winner surpassed $150,000 in career earnings with the win.

Kenny Joe pulled off a 10-1 upset in the $8,500 Preferred 3 for horse and gelding pacers thanks to his come-from-behind score in 1:55.2 for driver Scott Coulter and trainer David O’Brien.

The gelding got away seventh while Amazon Dragon rolled to the lead and hustled the group through fractions of :28, :57.2 and 1:26.4. Coulter got Kenny Joe into the flow on the way to the half, and he had his charge making a three-wide bid while sitting fifth at the three-quarter pole. Kenny Joe then used a :27.4 closing panel to win by 3-3/4 lengths over race favourite Big Mach N in 1:55.2. Amazon Dragon faded to finish third.

Kevin Gillis of Windsor, Ont. bred and owns the four-year-old son of Shadow Play-Real City Blues who now boasts a 2-1-2 record this season from eight starts. The nine-time winner has banked over $65,000 to date.

To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – Grand River Raceway.

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