Historic Mile By Bigtime Ball

Published: June 30, 2009 08:29 pm EDT

The second leg of the Masters Series was contested on Tuesday evening at Georgian Downs, and a number of horses were under the gun to come up with big efforts in order to advance to the $100,000 (added) finals on Saturday, July 11.

On the eve of Canada celebrating its 142nd birthday, fans were treated to the nation’s fastest performance of all-time on a five-eighths mile oval when Bigtime Ball torched the Innisfill, Ontario oval in 1:49 for driver Paul MacDonell and trainer Gord Irwin. The clocking smashed the all-age track record, and it lowered the nation’s record former record of 1:49.3 held jointly by Zooka (Kawartha Downs – July 21, 2007) and Lis Mara (Rideau Carleton Raceway – September 10, 2006).

The five-year-old altered son of Presidential Ball – Keystone Trinidad took over shortly after the :27.1 opener and successfully threw down splits of :54.3 and 1:21.4 before tacking on a :27.1 closing panel for good measure. Runner-up Lyons Geoff was nine lengths back in second. Grand Bend Turbo rounded out the top three.

Sent off as the 1-9 favourite, the homebred improved his 2009 resume to 5-2-0 in eight starts for Irwin Stables Inc. of Cobourg, Ontario. It was his 18th lifetime win and the lion’s share of the purse lifted his lifetime earnings to $750,173.

Later on the card Bigtime Ball’s older sister, Invitro, had her Canadian record for older pacing mares matched by Dreamfair Eternal, who roared to a 1:50.4 performance in the lone $20,000 division for the distaffers. Tony Kerwood mapped out the win for the Pat Fletcher-trained five-year-old daughter of Camluck – J Cs Nathalie. Michelles Power was second and Southwind Swallow grabbed the show dough.

Owned and bred by John and Mary Lamers of Ingersoll, Ontario, Dreamfair Eternal found her way to the winner’s circle for the eighth time this season and for the 20th time in her career. She has stashed away more than $300,000 in career earnings.

In the lone division for the horse and gelding trotters, Earlsact stepped to a career-best clocking of 1:54.1 for trainer/driver Rick Zeron. The seven-year-old son of Earl – Miss Classy Lassie rallied from just off the pace to post the one-length decision over race favourite Define The World. Nureyev, who laid down panels of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:25.2, rounded out the top three.

It was the fifth win of the season in 19 trips postward for Earlsact, who is owned by Rick Zeron Stables, Donato Poliseno and Maureen Dew. The 20-time winner has banked more than $283,000 in his career.

In the first of two $20,000 divisions for the trotting mares, Countess Stormont rallied to a 1:56.2 victory for the duo of driver Jonathan Drury and trainer Norm Jones. The four-year-old daughter of Kadabra – Lady Orbitex held off runner-up Always Dreaming by a length. Race favourite Frenchfrysnvinegar hung up middle splits of :57 and 1:27 before fading to finish third in the six-mare affair.

Stormont Meadows’ homebred has put together a 3-3-1 record in 17 starts so far this season, and that has helped her bump her career earnings to $195,580.

Jtlady Strong, the stablemate of Countess Stormont, was sent off as the odds-on favourite to win the second division but Gostreet stole her thunder for trainer/driver Lyle MacArthur. The five-year-old Angus Hall – Rose Street Jewel mare used off-the-pace tactics to post a career-best clocking of 1:55.1 over Jtlady Strong and Scottish Cross.

It was the tenth win of the season in 18 trips postward for Gostreet, who is owned by Linda Wellwood of St. George and Tammy Aspden of Caistor Centre, ON. The 18-time winner has banked in excess of $74,000 this season and more than $166,000 to date.

To view Tuesday’s results, click here.

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