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Kawartha Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Published: July 22, 2012 4:40 am ET

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Kawartha Downs celebrated its 40th anniversary on Saturday night with an action-packed card of harness racing, during which millionaire pacer Mystician and Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots colt Santanna One kept the good times rolling for trainer Jeff Gillis and crew.

Mystician won the $40,000 KD 40th Anniversary Open Pace for Hillsburgh resident Gillis, who also celebrated Saturday wins in the Maple Leaf Trot with Mister Herbie and the three-year-old trotting colt division of the Canadian Breeders Championship with Knows Nothing at Mohawk Racetrack.

In the Kawartha feature, Mystician pulled the pocket after the :27.2 opening quarter and swept to command. The Camluck-Mystic Mistress gelding, driven by James MacDonald, never looked back as he rolled past the half in :55.1 and three-quarters in 1:22.4 en route to a 1:51.1 triumph over Amazon Art. Mach Dreamer finished third.

Mystician paid $5.90 to win as the fan favourite. The four-year-old, a winner of 13 races and just over $1.7 million in purses, is owned by Gillis, Ken Henwood of Mississauga, Mac Nichol of Burlington, and New York's Gerald Stay.

Kawartha also hosted nine $24,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings with Gillis homebred Santanna One winning the finale in 1:54.3 in rein to MacDonald. The Santanna Blue Chip-Pro Bowl Best colt, who started his career at the Gold Series level finishing fifth in a June 29 elimination at Mohawk, is owned by Gillis, Nichol, 1140545 Ontario Ltd. of Moffat, and Ellen Ott of New York.

Driven by Mike Saftic, Glammit converted from the pocket to win the fastest OSS division by more than three lengths in 1:54.1 for trainer Larry Micallef and owner-breeder Dawn Lupul of Rockwood, Ont. The Ramabaran-Glamorous Gal colt also started out at the Gold Series level where he made the July 6 final at Mohawk aftering being first-placed-third in his elimination.

Driver J.R. Plante teamed up with trainer Tony Alagna for back-to-back OSS wins. Lis Mara colts Validus Deo and Moon Over Mara turned in matching 1:55.2 miles for the duo.

The other divisions were won by Classic Gent (1:56.1); Rude Boy (1:57.1), Get Around Town (1:55.3), D Gs Stamkos (1:57), and State Of Euphoria (1:55.2).

Havens Buddy won a $10,000 1-1/4 Mile Clockwise Trot carded as part of the anniversary festivities in 2:34.4 while Abstract Artist won a $5,000 5/8 Mile Dash For The Cash Pace in 1:10.4.

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Kawartha Downs.


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