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Lookslikeachpndale Wins Record 'Rowe'

Published: August 27, 2016 10:38 pm ET

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Lookslikeachpndale established a new all-age trotting track record in Georgian Downs' signature race, the $100,000 Honourable Earl Rowe Memorial Trot, featured on Saturday night's (August 27) stakes card in Innisfil, Ont.

With Paul MacDonell catch-driving, Lookslikeachpndale took the lead at the half-mile mark and fought off trotting mare Charmed Life to win in 1:51.3 for trainer Luc Blais and owner Determination of Montreal, Que.

Starting from the inside post in his Georgian Downs debut, Lookslikeachpndale got away fourth through a sizzling :26.2 opening quarter as outsider Muscle Up The Goal muscled his way to the lead from post nine over Fearless Man and Whiskey Tax. However, MacDonell sent Lookslikeachpndale first over in front of the grandstand and took over the top spot as they raced by the half in :55.3 with Charmed Life hot on his heels. Charmed Life pursued Lookslikeachpndale in a two-horse breakaway to three-quarters as Muscle Up The Goal backed through the field, and the battle continued on the front end into the stretch. Lookslikeachpndale ultimately pulled one and three-quarters lengths clear of Charmed Life down the lane for the career-best victory, shaving two-fifths of a second off Daylon Magician's 1:52 trotting track and Canadian record over a five-eighths-mile oval from 2012. Il Sogno Dream, the 3-5 favourite, came on for third.

Entering the race off a 1:52.4 victory in Mohawk Racetrack's Preferred class on August 15, Lookslikeachpndale was the 7-2 second choice on the toteboard and paid $8.40 to win.

The four-year-old son of Muscle Hill and Poster Pin Up earned his 10th career win from 28 starts and boosted his bankroll to $256,488.

Three-year-old trotting colts were also in the spotlight on Saturday as Georgian Downs hosted a pair of $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes. Driver Chris Christoforou and trainer Per Henriksen swept the fourth leg divisions with Bee In Charge and another track record-setter Muscle Hustle, who each earned their second Gold trophies.

Bee In Charge took charge in the first division from post five, clearing slight 7-5 favourite Sass at the quarter-pole, which was reached in 29 seconds, and proceeded to carve out middle splits of :57.4 and 1:26.2. Meanwhile, Tony Soprano advanced first over and went head-to-head with Bee In Charge turning for home, but the race leader dug in down the lane to prevail by one and a half lengths in 1:54.3. He paid $5.30 to win. Tony Soprano held on for second over pocket-sitter Sass.

“Bee In Charge has raced well this season and continued that tonight,” said Christoforou. “He got off the gate well, made the front and was a very strong winner. He’s a very smart colt and has a strong pedigree. He has improved quite a bit in the last three months.”

Bee In Charge has now won half of his 10 starts this year while banking $153,940 in purses. The Manofmanymissions-Beehive gelding is a half-brother to the two-time Ontario Super Final champion and triple millionaire Bee A Magician. Purchased for $130,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale as a yearling, Bee In Charge is owned by two of the partners on his sibling, Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, Ont. and David McDuffee of Delray Beach, Florida.

In the second division, Muscle Hustle hustled off the gate from the inside post and led from start to finish. He posted fractional times of :27, :55.4 and 1:23.3 before holding off rivals closing in on both sides down the stretch to score the victory in 1:52.2 by a head. The winning time shattered the 1:53.4 track record and Canadian for three-year-old male trotters, which was set by B Strike Three in 2008.

Muscle Hustle paid $11.80 to win as the 7-2 second choice on the toteboard. Warrawee Roo advanced first over from fourth at the mid-way mark and finished second, with pocket-sitter Dia Monde closing inside third. The 2-5 favourite, Will Take Charge, was rough-gaited and broke stride on the backstretch when following in the outer flow, ultimately giving up his position atop the divisional point standings as Bee In Charge and Muscle Hustle climbed ahead.

“I knew I had two good horses and I thought the first one [Bee In Charge], I thought he was going to win, and the second one [Muscle Hustle], I talked to Chris and I said, I think this horse is very good, I said send him to the front and park them, you’ve got no friends out there,” said Henriksen. “I knew that Muscle Hustle was a very good horse.”

Muscle Hustle was a $60,000 Lexington yearling, who is six-for-10 in his sophomore campaign with seasonal earnings of $174,850. Henriksen co-owns the Muscle Mass-Crown Laurel colt with Sweden's Robert Bergh as part of the Ecurie Bergh Inc. partnership.

The fifth and final Gold leg for the sophomore trotting colts is set for October 6 at Mohawk Racetrack. The Henriksen trainees are expected to compete in the Simcoe Stakes and Canadian Trotting Classic eliminations prior to that Sires Stakes event throughout the month of September.

“They were sick when the Hambletonian went so we’ve just got to look forward and hope they stay healthy, and then they will make pretty good money,” said Henriksen. “They are both pretty big size, good looking horses, and with a nice gait to them both, and they don’t have very many issues health-wise.”

A pair of Preferred pacing events on Saturday's undercard were won by longshots Boat House Row ($29.30) and Gold Star Badlands ($34.40).

Boat House Row trailed the field of seven in the $10,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 2 Handicap through the first half-mile before picking up cover and then circling four-wide outside of her foes to prevail in a photo finish in 1:52.4 over Rubis Prescott and Kyles Secret. J Harris engineered the winning trip aboard the 13-1 shot, who is trained by Rene Laarman for owner Warren Casely.

In the $9,000 Preferred 3 Handicap for horses and geldings, Morley Bradshaw's Gold Star Badlands went head-to-head with the front-striding Rock N Roll Legacy during the final half-mile and persevered despite drifting out down the stretch for a 1:52.4 victory of his own. The Heather Toll trainee survived a judges' inquiry to post the 16-1 upset in rein to Scott Young. Ufdragons Rocket finished second over Rock N Roll Legacy.

Ben Baillargeon led all trainers on the card for wins as he won three of the evening's 11 races, teaming up with Georgian Downs' season-leading driver Bob McClure. California Rachel ($12), Sportsfighter ($3.60) and dead-heat winner Chanceys Luck ($2.80) completed his training triple.

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

(With quotes from OSS)

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