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Cooking The Books Defends Gold Crown

Published: August 9, 2012 11:21 pm ET

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There was no shortage of early speed in Thursday’s $130,000 OSS Gold Series final at Kawartha Downs for three-year-old pacing fillies, and that was music to the ears of driver Steve Byron and trainer John Kopas.

Byron, who picked up a very live catch drive behind the Kopas-trained Cooking The Books, tucked into the four-hole with his charge while Lyons Luck and Apogee Hanover exchanged punches to the quarter pole in :28. Apogee Hanover was released to the lead, but only for a brief moment. Lyons Luck looped right back to the position of command and proceeded to wheel the field to the half in :54.3 over a track listed as “sloppy” with a two-second allowance for time.

Mindsweeper, who was sent off as the 6-5 favourite in the nine-filly affair, was parked and pressing Lyons Luck at the mid-way point and that battle continued all the way to the three-quarter pole in 1:24.1 before both fillies came to a walk. Cooking The Books was tracking those two from her second-over perch, and when Byron fed her three-wide racetrack she gobbled it up and used a :29.3 closing panel to post the neck victory over a hard-closing Class Of O Nine in 1:54.1. Mia Seelster rallied to finish third.

It was the second victory in an OSS Gold Series final this season for the daughter of Mach Three-Gallery Girl, who is owned by Glengate Farms, Helen Biback and the Old Aultsville Stable. After going a mere 1-for-15 last season, Cooking The Books has answered with a 4-1-3 record from 12 trips postward this year. Her bank account climbed to $298,457 with the win.

To view results for Thursday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Results – Kawartha Downs.

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