After making a break and finishing seventh in the Governor’s Plate at Summerside Raceway on July 18, Astronomical bounced back and out-dueled rival Outlawpositivcharg to win the $7,500 Exhibition Cup Invitational
on Saturday at Truro Raceway.
With the inside post advantage, Astronomical and driver Kenny Arsenault established the led and rolled past the opening panels of :27.1 and :55.4 with the Post 5 starter and fan favourite, Outlawpositivcharg (Terry Gallant), parked out in second. Outlawpositivcharg matched strides with the pacesetter by three-quarters in 1:25.1 and those two battled heading for home, but Outlawpositivcharg eventually began to fade leaving the game Astronomical to fend off the pocket-sitter, St Pete Star (Danny Romo), for the half-length victory in 1:54.4. Abby Best (Clare MacDonald) was third.
Astronomical – 2009 Exhibition Cup
The seven-year-old Astreos-Hey Girl gelding is now five-for-six with $12,225 earned this year for trainer Dr. Ian Moore, who shares ownership with William Shearer of Brookfield, N.S. and R G McGroup Ltd. of Bathurst, N.B. The 40-time winner has banked $767,183 to date.
Atlantic Sires Stakes also headlined Truro's Saturday program with four $6,140 "A" divisions and two $2,500 "B" divisions for three-year-old pacing colts.
The first division went to Seawind Dropper, who front-stepped his way to a career-best 1:57.4 victory with trainer Phil Pinkney at the lines. The Drop Off-Seawind Alpha gelding prevailed by two and a quarter lengths over the favoured Kingofthecastle (Earl Smith) and third-place finisher Urge To Win (Shane Bernard). The win was Seawind Dropper’s third straight win and fifth of the year lifting his bankroll to $9,266 for Caneast Standards Inc. of Berwick, N.S.
Pictonian Leo converted a pocket trip into a 1:59.1 score by one and a half lengths in the second “A” division for the tandem of driver Mike Stevenson and trainer Wade Sorrie. The Western Paradise-Cammie Leigh colt out-sprinted Whoisit (Darren Crowe) and the pacesetter and favourite Island Banner (Danny Romo) for his fourth win in six ’09 outings. The five-time winner has earned $8,136 to date for Sorrie, who shares ownership with Walter Simmons of Summerside, P.E.I.
Extreme Measure, with Shane Bernard in the bike, carved out all the fractions and turned back a challenge from Ultimate Success (Gilles Barrieau) in the stretch to win his split in 1:57.3 by two and a quarter lengths. Rocky Bubba (Marc Campbell) rounded out the top three. Tom Weatherbie trains and Charles MacLennan of Charlottetown, P.E.I owns the Largo-Suddenly gelding, who has won three of his eight starts and banked $10,266.
In the fastest and final division, favourite Stars Xample and trainer/driver Terry Gallant rolled to victory in 1:56.4 in wire-to-wire fashion. The pocket-sitting Porthill Gatsby (Todd Trites) finished three-quarters of a length back in second and Porthill Galaxy (Gilles Barrieau) was third. The homebred son of N Xample-Hidden Assets, who is owned by Catherine MacNeil of Glace Bay, N.S., has won seven of his nine starts this year and has finished no worse than third. Stars Xample’s 12th lifetime win bumped his earnings to $31,161.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click here.