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Major Upset For Pollar Hall

Published: July 4, 2018 10:43 pm ET

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Pollar Hall ($48.70) not only used a two-move effort to grind down odds-on favourite Magic Night in his upset of the $8,500 Preferred 3 trotting event on Wednesday (July 4) at Grand River Raceway, but he also stood tall to thwart a four-wide charge from Vesuvio Bi to seal a 1:58.2 victory.

Bruce Richardson put the five-year-old Amigo Hall gelding in play from the outset, but the pair tucked in fourth after being flanked by early leavers Magic Night (Scott Young) and Its Huw You Know (Ed Hensley). After patiently stalking a :28 first quarter, Richardson angled Pollar Hall first-over with nine-sixteenths to go to encroach upon a :58.1 half.

Up the far side on the second occasion, Pollar Hall worked to the lead, but failed to clear Magic Night before Its Huw You Know switched three-wide from the pocket and Vesuvio Bi (Travis Henry) stacked up a path deeper yet. Despite a host of pursuers looming boldly behind, Pollar Hall maintained his advantage over the persistent Magic Night to his inside — ultimately wearing him down at head-stretch — and held Vesuvio Bi a neck at bay to ice the upset as the second-longest shot on the board. Tammy Jo (Jason Ryan) split rivals in the last sixteenth and rallied up the pegs to take third.

Owner Kevin Davidson also handles the training duties of Pollar Hall, now a 15-time winner.

In the co-featured $8,500 Preferred 3 for distaff pacers, Southwind Ion ($8.90) threw down the gauntlet and found no challengers in a pillar-to-post 1:54.4 score. J Harris gunned the four-year-old daughter of Sportswriter to the front immediately as the gates sprung, and the pair put 2-1/2 lengths on pole-sitting Pinky Tuscadero (Michael Horner) before reaching the first turn. The headstrong Southwind Ion opened the margin up to six lengths through middle splits of :56.1 and 1:24 before starting to come back to the field off the home turn.

Despite slowing more noticeably through the final sixteenth, Southwind Ion maintained two lengths of separation in the end to prevail for the 12th time in her career. Pinky Tuscadero protected the runner-up spot despite facing sustained pressure from Mach Magic (Alfie Carroll) in the second flight, and Grey Bell (Brett MacDonald) finished a ground-saving third.

Craig Gilmour trains Southwind Ion for Steve Mihalic.

To view Wednesday’s harness racing results, click the following link: Wednesday Results – Grand River Raceway.

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