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Lucky Chucky Wins Canadian Trotting Classic


Published: September 18, 2010 8:59 pm ET

Last Comment: September 20, 2010 10:38 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

After finishing second to Muscle Massive in the Hambletonian earlier this year, Lucky Chucky got his rematch and came out on top this time around winning the $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic for three-year-old trotting colts in a stakes and track record time during an action-packed Saturday night program at Mohawk Racetrack.

Pilgrims Taj (Mike Lachance) made an early break while Take My Picture (Andy Miller) fired to the lead from Post 9 with Temple Of Doom (David Miller), Muscle Massive (Ron Pierce) and Lucky Chucky (John Campbell) filling the top spots.

After a :26.4 opening quarter, Pierce sent the Hambletonian winner to the lead. Muscle Massive reached the half in :56 while Campbell sent Lucky Chucky after his rival.

Muscle Massive and Lucky Chucky battled head-to-head past three-quarters in 1:24.2, but this time is was Lucky Chucky who edged away in the stretch. The son of Windsongs Legacy-Aerobics charged home to win in stakes and track record time of 1:52.2 over a track downgraded to "good" and one second off. Break The Bank K (Brian Sears) shot up the rail to finish two lengths behind in second with Muscle Massive settling for third.

“Drawing inside [Post 1], I was pretty sure we were going to be first up,” said Campbell, who won the Canadian Trotting Classic in 1983 with Joie De Vie. “As long as you don’t use him too hard in that first quarter he gives you a great effort even without the cover and he certainly proved that tonight.

“This is a great win for him," continued Campbell. "It’s a million-dollar race and there’s only a handful of those during the year and we’re fortunate enough to get one.

“Chucky [trainer Chuck Sylvester] and I, we’re best friends and certainly Troy Sylvester, Chuck’s son who passed away, was a big part of this colt training down and owned a piece of him and so there’s certainly a lot of emotion every time this horse races. We think of Troy all the time, but especially when we get to the winner’s circle with Lucky Chucky.”

Lucky Chucky notched his fourth win in seven starts this year for trainer Chuck Sylvester and owners SGS Partners of Williamstown, Perretti Racing Stable LLC of Cream Ridge, New Jersey, and the Lindy Racing Stable of Enfield, Connecticut. His other major wins include the Colonial at Harrah's Chester and Zweig Memorial Trot at Tioga Downs. Lucky Chucky's earnings climbed to $1.2 million for 2010 and $1.9 million lifetime.

He paid $4.10 to win as the even-money favourite.

Sylvester indicated that the winner has a busy schedule in the next month or so.

"He'll get a week off, then prepare for the Breeders Crown [at Pocono Downs], then go to the Red Mile for the Kentucky Futurity. It'll be tough from here on out."

Pastor Stephen Edges Broad Bahn In Wellwood

Pastor Stephen got up in the final strides to edge out Broad Bahn in the $500,000 Wellwood Memorial Trot for two-year-old trotting colts on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack.

Pastor Stephen’s stablemate Leader Of The Gang (Ron Pierce) rolled to command from Post 3 with Big Rigs (John Campbell) moving up alongside before making a costly break around the first turn.

As the field moved past the opening quarter in :27.4, Jack Moiseyev rolled Broad Bahn to the top and he carved out middle fractions of :57.3 and 1:27.1 with longshot Bruce The Brave (Randy Waples) first over and Pastor Stephen and Yannick Gingras locked in third at the rail.

Down the stretch, the pocket-sitting Leader Of The Gang offered up a challenge along the pylons, but Pastor Stephen unleashed a :28.3 final frame to surge past them both in the final strides for the 1:56.3 triumph over a track rated “good” and one second off. Broad Bahn finished just a neck back in second with Leader Of The Gang third.

"He's a big strong colt but it does take a bit to get him into gear," Gingras commented in the winner's circle. "If I could of got loose right at the top of the stretch I think I could of won by a length or two but it was almost halfway down the stretch were I finally got racing room.

"He always puts his nose on front, that's what I said last week and he proved it again tonight. I actually thought I won by more [than a neck]. I thought I won by a head but I knew I got there."

Pastor Stephen is trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Christina Takter of East Windsor, New Jersey, John Fielding of Toronto, ON and breeder Brittany Farms of Versailles, Kentucky. The son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream has won six of his seven starts to earn $367,315. His only career loss came in the $500,000 Peter Haughton Memorial at The Meadowlands earlier this year. Pastor Stephen won the rich event but was placed sixth -- that result has been appealed by the connections.

"He's a big growthy colt and he's growing on me," added Takter. "He keeps on winning, he's never lost a race and he's becoming a special colt."

Takter indicated that Pastor Stephen will now prepare for the Breeders Crown.

Crys Dream Cruises In Peaceful Way

Crys Dream made a backstretch brush in the $466,000 Peaceful Way Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies and cruised to the biggest victory yet in her young career Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack.

Lady Rainbow (Rick Zeron) and As Yall Like It (Paul MacDonell) made early breaks before the wings of the gate folded and Musclemad (Yves Gauthier) shot to the lead from Post 6. Oh Sweet Baby (Mario Baillargeon) got away well leaving from the outside Post 10 and was on the move early rolling up to take over at the :28.3 first quarter.

Luc Ouellette sent 4-5 favourite Crys Dream, who was positioned third, to the top down the backstretch and she hit the half in :59. Martiniontherocks (Sylvain Filion) advanced first over and applied mild pressure past three-quarters in 1:29 but Crys Dream was untouchable. She cruised home in :28.2, holding off a late-charging Intense America (Tim Tetrick) by three-quarters of a length in 1:57.2. Lady Rainbow recovered from her early miscue to show.

“She is really push button, she makes my job really easy," said Ouellette in the winner's circle. "She’s not that easy during the week the guys tell me; she’s got a lot of character to her. But on the racetrack she’s very professional.

“We weren’t going that [fast] in the middle half," he continued. "I was just keeping my mare awake and she felt really good. Late in the stretch, I heard Timmy [Tetrick with Intense America] coming on the outside so I urged her on because she was a little sleepy. She hadn’t really got started yet, but she picked up the bit and went on.

“At that point [entering the stretch], she had things her way. She’s a good strong horse.”

Crys Dream paid $3.70 to win for the fourth consecutive time. The homebred daughter of Taurus Dream-Crystas Image, a half-sister to Breeders Crown winner Brigham Dream ($639,981), is trained by Henrik Hollsten and owned by Reve Avec Moi Dreamwithme of Knowlton, QC. She is now five-for-six in her career with prior wins in the In Free Trotting Series and Champlain Stakes. The lion’s share of the purse boosted her bankroll to $332,565.

When asked what's left on her stakes schedule, Ouellette said, "There's not a whole lot for her this year, which could be a blessing in disguise because she’ll be fresh and there’s plenty for her to go on to for the rest of her career.”

For recaps and replays of tonight's eliminations for the Milton Stakes (aged pacing mares) and an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final (two-year-old pacing colts), click here.

To view Saturday's results, click here.

(With files from WEG)

September 20, 2010 - 10:38 amGO, ---- JOHN CAMPBELL

GO, ---- JOHN CAMPBELL ----- YOU'RE THE BEST, and so is Lucky Chucky!!!

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