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Georgian Hosts Record-Setting Gold Rush Card

Published: July 7, 2012 7:58 pm ET

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The top Ontario-sired pacers and trotters brought their 'A' game to Georgian Downs for the Innisfil oval's annual Gold Rush card, which featured four record performances on Saturday night.

With close to $1.2 million in purses up for grabs, the 2012 edition of Gold Rush included four $130,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series finals for three-year-old pacers and trotters along with four $160,000-plus Masters Series finals for Ontario-sired older horses and mares.

Prestidigitator and driver Sylvain Filion kicked off the stakes action with a 1:54 career-best triumph in the first Gold Final for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings.

After settling away third at the rail through early fractions of :28 and :55.1, Filion swung the 3-5 favoured elimination winner three-wide around the parked out Cold Certified (Jason Brewer), also an elim winner, and took over command from early leader and eventual breaker Il Mago (Trevor Ritchie). Prestidigitator raced to the 1:24.4 third quarter station with Reckon Im Ready (Mike Vanderkemp) moving up to apply pressure to the leader into the stretch. Digging in down the lane, Prestidigitator drew off to win by three lengths over that foe. Midfield Magic (Rick Zeron) came on for third.

The time of the mile was just one-fifth of a second off the track record for sophomore trotters.

Prestidigitator paid $3.40 to win. The Kadabra-Shesa Priority colt, who won his divisional Super Final last season, is trained by R. Dustin Jones for owner Ecurie Synergie of Montreal, Que. The Hambletonian eligible is two-for-three on the year and now boasts six wins from 14 starts on his lifetime record with $408,672 banked in purses.

Three-year-old pacing filly Cooking The Books earned her first big stakes victory and a new speed badge with a 1:52 winning effort in her divisional Gold Final.

Looking to protect the rail position, driver Jack Moiseyev fired elimination winner Cooking The Books off the gate, but had Apogee Hanover (Doug McNair) and Katys Jet (Scott Zeron) pursuing two and three-wide to the :27 first quarter. Katys Jet pressed on to take over ahead of Cooking The Books while Apogee Hanover took back into third.

Once on top, Katys Jet carved out middle panels of :54.1 and 1:23.1 before Moiseyev pulled the pocket into the final turn and Cooking The Books swept by. The Mach Three-Gallery Girl miss pulled away down the stretch to win by two and a half lengths while Class Of O Nine (Steve Condren) and Hope For Paddy (Billy Davis Jr.) came on for second and third place honours, respectively.

"I was actually looking to cut the mile, but those horses were coming pretty hard," noted Moiseyev. "As soon as I heard someone coming, I'm came out. I got to stay in as long as I could."

Cooking The Books paid $5.50 to win as the 8-5 favourite. John Kopas trains the winner of three (consecutive) races from nine seasonal starts for Ontario owners Glengate Farms of Campbellville, Helen Biback of Thornhill, and Old Aultsville Stable of Mississauga, Ont.

"Last year she had a lot of bad luck -- she drew outside every time -- and this year we're having a little more luck with post positions and it's paying off," said Kopas of the filly's current win streak.

The victory was the former Grassroots champion's fourth lifetime and pushed her career bankroll to $228,657.

Kopas noted that Cooking The Books will remain in the OSS program this season.

"She's a hell of a filly, but when you hook up with American Jewel and those fillies, that's a whole other level," he said. "It [the OSS] is a pretty good program, despite what Dwight Duncan and some of the other people in the government think."

Miss Paris equalled the track and Canadian record for three-year-old filly trotters with her 1:54.2 score in the next Gold Final.

Daylon Miracle (Dave Wall) and eliminaton winner Circles (Jack Moiseyev) fired off the gate together, but outsider Twin B Sensation (Stephen Byron), the other elim winner, swept by them both and cleared to command at the :28.1 opening quarter. However, Daylon Miracle retook the lead in front of the grandstand and reached the halfway point in :56.3.

As the near perfect Daylon Miracle led the way down the backstretch, Circles advanced first up with the Rick Zeron-driven Miss Paris on her back and then dropped into the pocket. Miss Paris continued to advance and took over command near the 1:25.3 third quarter mark. She was all alone on top turning for home and cruised to the wire to match Cross Of Lorraine's record. Sugar Wheeler (Paul MacDonell) came flying home late to finish a length and half behind in second while Circles settled for third.

"I was a little concerned with Dave Wall's filly and Jackie Mo's filly," commented Zeron after the win. "They're both nice three-year-old fillies, but I was pretty confident in Miss Paris tonight because she raced really well for me last week; she came home in :27.3 [in her elimination] and I had to sweep up three-wide around the last turn and Jack got away from me and I just missed him at the wire."

Miss Paris returned $4.40 to her backers for a $2 win ticket. The Kadabra-Pizza Dolce filly, who was a Super Final champion last season, is trained by Richard 'Nifty' Norman for owners Melvin Hartman of Ottawa of Ont., Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, Florida, and David McDuffee of Delray Beach, Florida. The win was her first in five starts this year and eighth lifetime, boosting her bankroll to $576,767.

O'Brien Award winner Frenchfrysnvinegar destroyed the track and Canadian record for older trotting mares with her dazzling 1:52.3 romp in the first $159,000 Masters Series final of the night.

Driver Jody Jamieson sent Frenchfrysnvinegar to the top from post five and cruised past panels of :27.1, :55.2 and 1:24.2 en route to the five length record-setting victory. Magic Wheel (Joe Hudon Jr.) finished second off the pocket trip while favourite China Pearls (Paul MacDonell) advanced first over to show.

Elusive Desire set the 1:54.2 former record in the 2010 Masters Series final.

"When Joe came off my back a little at the head of stretch...when she see's a horse coming she just digs in," commented Jamieson. "When she's on her game there are not too many Open trotting mares that can go with her."

Frenchfrysnvinegar paid $3.80 to win as the 4-5 second favourite. The seven-year-old Angus Hall-Gugus mare now has five wins in 15 seasonal starts, including victories in the first two legs of the Miss Versatility Series. Lifetime, she boasts 27 wins and earnings of more than $800,000 for trainer Jeff Gillis owner and co-breeder David Smith of Rockwood, Ont.

Upper Canada Cup champion Michaels Power continued his perfect Georgian Downs record with a 1:50.2 romp in the final Gold event for three-year-old pacing colts and gelding.

Driver Scott Zeron made his move aboard the 1-2 favoured elimination winner at the :27.4 opening quarter mark and swept around early leader Secretsoftheknight (Doug McNair) in front of the grandstand. Michaels Power proceeded to the half in :54.4 and three-quarters in 1:22.2 before drawing away for the two and a quarter length tally. Piston Broke (Sylvain Filion) came on for second over Secretsoftheknight.

"Every time he's come here he's been the 1-9 favourite so I drive him like the favourite and he delivered," noted Zeron following the win. "I think he's going to step it up a bit more [this year]. I think he definitely has a [1]:48 mile in him. I had to ask him a little bit today down the lane because there was nobody there with him and he was just kind of out there lollygagging around so I think he has lots left in him."

Michaels Power paid $2.90 to win. The Camluck-Michelles Jackpot gelding is now seven-for-nine in his career (six-for-six at the Innisfil oval) with $467,400 banked for trainer Casie Coleman and New York owner and breeder Jeffrey Snyder.

"He is doing better than I expected," said Coleman. "I always thought he was nice colt, but it's hard to say I thought he was this nice. That's a big mile here tonight because it's windy and cool here right now. That's a huge mile."

Michaels Power is expected to compete in the Canadian Breeders Championships and Confederation Cup in addition to the OSS program.

Ellamony Classic champion Camille earned back-to-back stakes win as she turned in a 1:50.3 track and Canadian record-equalling triumph in the $160,000 Master Series final for aged pacing mares.

Voelz Hanover (Mario Baillargeon) left alertly off the gate with Warrawee Koine (Anthony MacDonald) firing to her outside and settling on top during a sizzling :25.4 first quarter. Her lead was short-lived though as Western Silk (Scott Zeron) came charging first up from fifth and cleared to command at the :54 half-mile mark leaving Dreamfair Eternal (Jody Jamieson) in the first over position with early trailer Camille and Brett Miller on her back.

Miller then made the winning move as he sent Camille three-wide near the 1:21.4 third quarter station and grabbed the lead at the top of the stretch. The 3-1 third choice extended her lead to nearly three lengths as she paced home for the record victory. Warrawee Koine came through for second with Monkey On My Wheel (Rick Zeron) rallying home for third.

The winning time matched 2011 Masters Series champion Dreamfair Eternal's track and Canadian record.

"This mare right here, she is super sharp right now," said Miller. "To come from off-the-pace against these kinds of horses, you don't see that too often."

Camille returned $8.10 to her backers. The four-year-old Camluck-Art Of Design miss, who has now won half of her 10 seasonal starts, is trained by David Menary while in Canada for Pennsylvania owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, M1 Stable LLC, and Jack Piatt III. Her 14th career win pushed her bankroll over the half-million dollar earnings mark.

Menary said that Camille will head to her home-base on Monday and return to Canada later for the Roses Are Red Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack.

O'Brien Award winner Daylon Magician lowered his own trotting track and Canadian record to 1:52 flat with an overpowering world record-equalling effort in the $162,000 Masters Series final for older trotting horses and geldings.

Trainer-driver Jack Moiseyev sent the overwhelming 1-9 favourite from third to first following the :27.2 opening quarter and never looked back. Daylon Magician raced past middle panels of :55.4 and 1:24.2 while opening up three lengths on the field. Down the stretch, the millionaire trotter extended his lead to nine and a half lengths en route to lowering the record he set last week in a prep race by one-fifth of a second. The mile time also matched the world record for trotting stallions on a five-eighths mile tracks, shared with Fox Valley Iliad.

Longshot Tamarind (Billy Davis Jr.) and early leader Imperial Count (Scott Zeron) finished second and third, respectively.

Daylon Magician paid $2.10 to win for the fourth time in six seasonal starts. The four-year-old son of Kadabra and Daylon Marvel, a winner of 17 races and $1,457,425 in purses, is owned by Daylon Farms Ltd. of Komoka, Ont.

Some of Daylon Magician's upcoming stakes include the Maple Leaf Trot and Nat Ray.

Sparky Mark and driver Sylvain Filion capped off the stakes action with a 1:50.4 triumph in the $163,000 Masters Series final for older pacing horses and geldings.

The elimination winner established the lead from post two and never surrendered it as he rolled past fractions of :27, :55 and 1:23 while Thepaninsulahotel (Jack Moiseyev) applied mild first over pressure. Sparky Mark turned back that foe and held off the pocket-pulling Mystician (Scott Zeron) for the three-quarter length victory. Bigtime Ball (Paul MacDonell), the other elim winner, followed from the three-hole to show.

"I think if he stays healthy and sound he can compete again the best," said Filion. "He has no weaknesses."

Sparky Mark paid $3.60 to win as the 4-5 favourite. The five-year-old son of Astreos and Luckbealadytonite, who notched his third straight win and fourth in 13 starts this year, is trained by Mark Austin for owner-breeder Leo Thibodeau of Windsor, Ont. Sparky Mark's 24th career win boosted his bankroll over the half-million dollar earnings mark.

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


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