Woodmere Stealdeal became the fastest three-year-old in the history of Inverness Raceway with an impressive performance to close out Sunday's Atlantic Sires Stakes third leg.
Trained by Danny Romo and driven by Clare MacDonald, Woodmere Stealdeal lowered the track record for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings to 1:54.2 and came within one-fifth of a second of the all-age track record held by Formal Affair. (The three-year-old pacing filly record is 1:55.3.)
Jadensmagicsteel (Adam Merner) left from the inside post in the afternoon's final $8,160 'A' division with Elliot Moose (Jason Hughes) and Hotlikewasabi (Richie Baryluk) three-wide through a :28.1 opening quarter. It was Elliot Moose who won the early battle for top spot as he rushed ahead of Jadensmagicsteel, with Hotlikewasabi taking back.
Favourite Woodmere Stealdeal then went first-up to engage the leader past the :57.1 half-mile mark and edged ahead on the way into the backstretch the final time. He opened up 2-1/2 lengths past three-quarters in 1:25.1 and continued to pour it on down the stretch en route to the 4-1/2-length record win. Elliot Moose finished second with Hotlikewasabi third.
After an undefeated 13-race freshman campaign, Woodmere Stealdeal improved his sophomore record to 2-2-1 from five starts and is just shy of the $90,000 earnings mark. The Stealhead Hanover-Very Ideal Hanover gelding is owned by Kevin Dorey of Middle Sackville, N.S., and Robert Sumarah of Halifax, N.S. He paid $2.20 to win.
Woodmere Stealdeal lowered the divisional track record that rival Dustylanegoliath equalled in the earlier Atlantic Sires Stakes event for three-year-old male pacers.
Dustylanegoliath had matched the 1:56.1 colts and geldings mark that Rancousy previously established in 2014.
Trained and driven by Gilles Barrieau, favourite Dustylane Goliath established the lead into the first turn with Woodmere Alvin (Mike McGuigan) progressing into the pocket spot ahead of insider Pictonian Thunder (Adam Merner). He carved out panels of :29.1, :59 and 1:28.2 on the way to a 4-1/4-length victory. Woodmere Alvin held off Pictonian Thunder in the race for place.
Dustylanegoliath returned $2.50 to win. The Steelhead Hanover-Mission Beach gelding entered the Sires Stakes following a 1:53 all-age track record performance in the Barrieau-McIsaac Stakes at Exhibition Park Raceway. Now six-for-eight this year, he has recorded 10 wins lifetime while earning $68,546 in purses for owner Daniel Ross of Belfast, P.E.I.
The Atlantic Sires Stakes three-year-old pacing filly division leader Mystifying extended her win streak to six in one of two $9,760 'A' filly events on the card with a 1:57.1 triumph in rein to Barrieau.
The Source Of Pride-Dreaming filly advanced first-up from fourth after a :29.2 first quarter and took over command from Maggiesdelight (Corey MacPherson). She cleared at the half in :59.2 and began to widen her lead past three-quarters in 1:28.1, ending with a 5-3/4-length winning margin. Tobins Brownie (David Dowling) came on to finish second over Maggiesdelight.
Trained and co-owned by Darryl MacLean, Mystifying has won seven of her eight starts this season. The win was her 10th lifetime and lifted her bankroll to $26,815. Gordon MacLean of Winsloe, P.E.I., and Stephen Downey of Quispamsis, N.B. also share ownership.
Following back-to-back victories at Truro Raceway, Woodmere Leah carried her winning momentum into the Atlantic Sires Stakes for trainer/driver Darren Crowe.
After a :29.1 first quarter game of 'give and go' with Woodmere Stella (Brodie MacPhee) in the first filly split, a 30-second middle breather set her up to put away a stern challenge from the favoured Aspoonfulofsugar (Corey MacPherson) through three-quarters in 1:27.3. The Rollwithitharry-Oh Pretty Leigh filly then held off a hard-charging Emmy Lou Hayes (Jason Hughes) for the victory in 1:57.2 by three-quarters of a length. Woodmere Stella finished back in third ahead of Aspoonfulofsugar.
Woodmere Leah paid $6.80 to win as the 2-1 second choice. After going winless in six starts as a two-year-old, she has won half of her eight outings this year for owners Kenneth and Susan Lowthers of Three Mile Plains, N.S.
The $3,000 'B' divisions were won in wire-to-wire fashion by colts Dusty Lane Morgan (Ameripan Gigolo-Briannas Attitude) in a career-best 1:58.4 for trainer/driver Clare MacDonald and Betterthanbutter (Westwardho Hanover-Suckitupbuttercup) in 2:02 with Myles Heffernan aboard for trainer Alex MacQuarrie. Driven by Redmond Doucet, Elm Grove Penelope (Stonebridge Terror-Elm Grove Camlady) took the 'B' filly event in 2:01 for trainer/co-owner Stephen Lewis.
The fourth leg of Atlantic Sires Stakes for three-year-olds will take place at Charlottetown Driving Park with pacing fillies facing off on August 14 and male pacers competing on August 16, followed by trotters on August 17.
Darren Crowe worked out the winning front-end trip, as Smile For Me Sara prevailed in 2:01.4 by 1-3/4 lengths over Western Bandit (Corey MacPherson) in the afternoon's third race. The daughter of Sportswriter is owned by her trainer and Malcolm MacEachen of Port Hood, N.S.
HF Jesse James later closed out the Sunday card with a 1:58.2 victory in the $1,250 top pacing class, prevailing by a neck over Daddy Let Me Drive (Rodney Gillis). Myles Heffernan drove the five-year-old Pang Shui gelding for conditioner Rick Beaumont.
To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Inverness Raceway.