Stage Is Set For Masters Stakes Finals

Published: July 1, 2010 02:20 pm EDT

Ontario sired stars were out in full force on Canada Day at Georgian Downs, as the Innisfil, Ontario oval hosted a prep and a number of eliminations

for this year’s Masters Stakes.

The top four finishers from each of the elimations plus one fifth-place finisher advanced to next week's rich finals. Here's a recap of today's events:

$20,000 Prep for Pacing Mares

Dreamfair Eternal (Randy Waples) used her tenacious closing kick to wear down pacesetter Voelz Hanover (Mario Baillargeon) en route to a 1:52.2 triumph. The six-year-old daughter of Camluck-J Cs Nathalie, who holds the Georgian Downs track record for older pacing mares, watched Voelz Hanover distributed splits of :27.2, :55.4 and 1:24.4 before taking down that foe in the final strides. Defending Master Series champ, To Helen Back (Mike Saftic), was third.

Sent off as the 1-5 choice, Dreamfair Eternal won for the sixth time this season for owner/breeder John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ontario. The O’Brien Award-winning homebred is a 35-time winner who has stashed away $962,915 to date.

$25,000 Eliminations for Older Trotting Horses

Maple Leaf Buddy (Jack Moiseyev) rallied to win in 1:55.2 for the partnership of Ralph Piller, Sugar Rush Stable, Bruce Irving and the Estate of Gregory Gardiner. The eight-year-old son of San Pellegrino-Way To Rendevous hauled down the tempo-setting favourite, Misterizi (Rick Zeron). Third prize went to Adam T (Shane Weber) and finishing fourth was Harlequin (Jason Brewer).

Sent off at odds of 5-2, Maple Leaf Buddy won for the third time this season and for the 21st time in his career. The Garth Gordon pupil has banked $485,820 to date.

Lubbock (Rick Zeron) front-stepped to a 1:55.4 in the second elimination, which featured the return of Canada’s representative at this year’s Elitlopp, Define The World (Paul MacDonell).

Things didn’t go well for that John Bax pupil, however, and that trotter’s misfortune was the good fortune of Lubbock. The Bill Robinson-trained five-year-old son of Angus Hall-Luby was parked to the quarter pole in :27.4 before clearing to the top and laying down middle panels of :56.4 and 1;26.3. Lubbock, who survived a late break and an ORC Judges’ inquiry, got home in :29.1 to win the contest in 1:55.4 over Angeldrive (Mike Saftic), Striking Lindsey (Jody Jamieson) and Meadowview Matty (Doug Brown). The 2-5 favourite, Define The World, finished sixth and thus was denied a spot on the gate in next week’s final.

Lubbock has won nine of his 16 starts since being purchased by owner Joseph Fanelli of Wayne, Pennsylvania. The 11-time winner has banked more than $177,000 in his career.

$25,000 Eliminations for Older Pacing Horses

Lucky Man (Mark MacDonald) delivered on a 2-5 pari-mutuel promise to the Georgian Downs’ faithful, and that was music to the ears of the pacer's owner Tom Hill of Lancashire, Great Britain. The hulking five-year-old son of Camluck-Under Her Spell was a much-the-best winner in front-stepping fashion. He threw down panels of :27, :55.2 and 1:23.4 before roaring home in :27.4 to seal the deal over The Ladies Man (Simon Allard), OK Boromir (Jack Moiseyev) and Power Off (Rick Zeron).

Casie Coleman trains the gelding, who is now two for seven this season. The 12-time winner has stashed away more than $595,000 in his career.

Keystone Horatio (Randy Waples) went wire-to-wire in his assignment, and he did so as a 5-1 mild upsetter. The John Kopas-trained five-year-old son of Rustler Hanover-Keystone Havoc, who has spent the greater part of life being an underdog, lined up his foes and successfully led them through fractions of :27, :55.3 and 1:23.3 before scooting home in :26.3 for the 1:50.1 decision. Stonebridge Terror (Mark MacDonald) was next best, Ramegade Bruiser (Rick Zeron) finished third and the 4-5 favourite, 4-5 Bigtime Ball (Paul MacDonell), had to settle for fourth.

A career winner in excess of $1.4 million, Keystone Horatio improved his 2010 record to 3-5-5 in 22 starts with the victory. The 20-time winner is a homebred owned by the Estate of George F Hempt Trust of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.

$25,000 Eliminations for Trotting Mares

Two-time O’Brien Award winner Elusive Desire (Paul MacDonell) picked up her first win of the 2010 campaign when she sped to a 1:56.3 score in her elimination. Sent off as the 1-5 choice, the four-year-old daughter of Angus Hall-Valley Amber chopped out panels of :27.2, :57.1 and 1:27 before slipping home in :29.3 to win in 1:56.3. Defending Masters Stakes champion, Gostreet (Lyle MacArthur), was a distant second. Third went to
Parkhill Fantasia (Mario Baillargeon) and finishing fourth was Mets Inn (Steve Byron).

Mike Keeling trains the 15-time winner for the partnership of P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc, Charles Armstrong and Robert Fasken. The mare is just shy of $1.3 million in career earnings.

Friendly Amigo (Trevor Ritchie) needed every inch of the racetrack to haul down tempo setter Allmar Surprise (Jack Moiseyev) in the second elimination. Sent off as the 1-5 choice, Friendly Amigo got up to win in the final strides over Allmar Surprise, who supplied the field with fractions of :27.4, :56.3 and 1:25.4. Countess Stormont (Jonathan Drury) was third and fourth prize went to Dr Sparky (Randy Waples).

It was the first win of the season in five attempts for the Blair Burgess-trained four-year-old daughter of Amigo Hall-Diminutive. The seven-time winner, who is owned by Robert Burgess and Karin Olsson-Burgess will enter next week’s final with a bankroll that stands at $352,843.

To view Thursday’s results, click here.