Eagle Artesian lit up the toteboard at odds of 63-1 with a pylon-skimming score in the $50,000 Beat The Heat Pacing Series final on Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack.
Driver James MacDonald guided the five-year-old son of Artesian-Workin Lady to his second victory of the year for trainer-owner Marty Fine of North York, Ont.
Ultra Jimmy (Paul MacKenzie) showed early speed to clock the opening panel in :26.3, but as the aged pacers past the quarter pole, All Tiger N (Scott Coulter) was on the move from the pocket. The eight-year-old gelding cleared to the front into the backstretch and remained the tempo-setter putting up fractions of :54.1 and 1:22.3.
As the backfield started to get to All Tiger N in the stretch, Eagle Artesian and MacDonald, who were on the rail in fourth at the three-quarter marker, found a seam between horses. The pacer then snuck up the cones to pull off the upset by half a length in a new mark of 1:50.3. The Ladies Man (Aaron Byron), who was looking for a series sweep from post 11, got up for second and All Tiger N finished third.
“I thought [the competition] was a little rugged,” said MacDonald following the win. “He was good last week, but he just had no racing room. Marty had him really good tonight.
“When I landed third, I just kind of sat there,” he explained. “It just parted like the Red Sea turning down the lane and it couldn’t have worked out any better.”
The 11-time career winner finished third and fifth, respectively, in the first and second legs of the series. With the win, Eagle Artesian lifted his earnings to $46,950 in 2012 and $143,336 lifetime.
The bay returned $128.90 to win.
The Beat The Heat Pacing Series was for aged pacers that were non-winners of $25,000 in 2012 as of May 31 (winners over $100,000 in 2011 are ineligible).
Saturday's $38,000 Preferred Pace was won by Bettor Again and trainer-driver Mike Vanderkemp in 1:50.3 while the $30,000 Preferred 2 went to Tony O'Sullivan trainee Camaes Fellow and Chris Christoforou in 1:50.1.
Live racing returns to the Campbellville oval Monday evening with two $20,000 opening round divisions of the Dream Maker Pacing Series. The 12-race program gets underway at 7:10 p.m.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Mohawk Racetrack.
(With files from WEG)