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Swan In A Million Wins Rowe Memorial

Published: August 23, 2014 10:53 pm ET

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Swan In A Million and trainer/driver Dustin Jones kicked home off cover to win the $100,000 Honourable Earl Rowe Memorial Trot in a Canadian season's record of 1:52.4 for trotters over a five-eighth-mile track on Saturday night at Georgian Downs.

Swan In A Million got away fourth at the pylons through a :27.4 opening quarter and flushed out cover in the form of pocket-sitting Natural Herbie (Verlin Yoder) approaching the half, which was clocked in :57.1. In the stretch, he rallied by favourite Natural Herbie and tempo-setter R Raised Emotions (Mario Baillargeon), who fronted the field past three-quarters in 1:24.2, and held off the quick-closing Intimidate (Rick Zeron) for the half-length victory. Charmed Life (Robert Shepherd) finished three-quarters of a length behind off a three-hole trip.

"[Intimidate] didn't kick in fast enough," said Jones of his late challenger. "I was pretty confident in my horse with the way he finishes. I didn't think anybody would go by him."

Diamond Creek Racing of Wellsville, Pennsylvania owns the six-year-old son of Andover Hall, who joined Jones' stable three wins ago.

"I've had him about a month," explained Jones. "I'm training Danica -- she races in the Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies -- for Diamond Creek. They sent the horse out to Indiana and I guess he tied up out there and the gentleman that was training him wasn't getting along with him so Adam asked me if I would take him up here. The purse money was a little better in the classes than he was eligible to race in."

Prior to Saturday night, Swan In A Million won two races at Mohawk, including last week's Preferred. Tonight's winning time equalled his lifetime mark.

"The only change we made was we put a pair of flip flops on him in front and I do believe flip flops are about the best thing for a horse with sore feet," said Jones. "That's all we changed on him and we've had three wins with him so far.

"Race to race, he's just got better. His feet got sounder and every race he got a little better."

Swan In A Million earned his 16th career victory and lifted his bankroll to $342,297.

He paid $15.80 to win.

The complete order of finish was: Swan In A Million, Intimidate, Charmed Life, Natural Herbie, Flanagan Memory, R Raised Emotions, Whiskey Tax, and Catch The Dream. Daylon Magician was scratched sick.

There were five $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots events for two-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday night's undercard at Georgian and the last split was the quickest as Southwind Luna toured the five-eighths mile oval in 1:54.

With driver Billy Davis Jr. calling the shots, Southwind Luna was in the lead through panels of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:24.3. Faithful Friend (Rick Zeron) took a shot out of the pocket in the final quarter, but Southwind Luna held sway to prevail by half a length. Wicked Speed (Scott Young) finished third.

Otis Hall trains Southwind Luna, a Sportswriter filly, for owner Nasussito Racing Inc. of Ayr, Ont. Southwind Farms bred Southwind Luna, who has won twice from five starts and has earned $23,540. Southwind Luna, the first foal out of Lil Presto Hanover, a The Panderosa half-sister to $2.6 million earner McArdle, sold for $20,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale.

Drivers Rick Zeron and Trevor Henry split up the other four Grassroots sections, with each of them winning two. Zeron scored with Mister Big filly Show Some Leg in 1:54.4 for trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman and Shadow Play daughter Chase The Shadows in 1:54.2 for trainer Dave Menary. Henry’s victories came courtesy of Vic Puddy trainee Twin B Honour (1:55) and Richard Moreau pupil Ms Mac N Cheese (1:54.2).

The next Grassroots test for rookie pacing fillies comes on September 2 at Flamboro Downs.

Henry also teamed up with Puddy to win the $7,000 Preferred 3 Pace with Winning Dream in 1:52.1. Czar Seelster was victorious in the $11,000 Preferred 2 in 1:51.1 with Tyler Moore driving for trainer Greg Weatherbee.

Also on Saturday's card, Travis Henry's Crouch End nosed out Gunning For Glory and Billy Davis Jr. in 1:55.3 to win a $5,000 Innisfil Summer Claiming Series prep race.

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

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