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Annear Trotters Sweep Lady Slipper

Published: September 22, 2011 9:30 pm ET

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Trainer-driver Ralph Annear swept a pair of Lady Slipper Stakes divisions for trotters on Thursday night at Charlottetown Driving Park with two-year-old Sweetwater Rukkus and standout sophomore filly Maple Leaf Spirit as the favourites in both fields misbehaved.

Annear’s Sweetwater Rukkus advanced first over from fourth at the third quarter marker and rallied home to take the $14,000 Lady Slipper Stake for two-year-old trotters in 2:06.3. The Bo W-Saulsbrook Image gelding prevailed by a half length over the Bo W pocket-sitting filly, Lil Miss Abbie (Mike Stevenson), while pacesetter Moulded Image (Leonard Myers) finished third. Favourite Dusty Red Lane (Paul Lanigan) made a costly break in stride from the inside starting position to take himself out of contention.

While Sweetwater Rukkus has never missed a paycheque in his 10 career starts, today’s victory was his first. The lion’s share of the purse pushed his bankroll to $21,052.

Sweetwater Rukkus, a 7-1 shot, returned $16.40 to his backers for the win.

Just two races later in the $13,600 Lady Slipper Stake for three-year-old trotters, Annear and Maple Leaf Spirit romped to a nine length victory in 2:02.1, matching her lifetime mark. Mile Hill Bo (Paul Morrison) finished second in the gapping two-hole while The Iceman Aireth (Marc Campbell) recovered from an early break to show. The popular track record holder, Waiting On A Woman (Corey MacPherson), couldn’t get into the racing action after his early break.

Maple Leaf Spirit now boasts seven wins and two seconds in nine sophomore starts with seasonal earnings of $29,749. Annear co-owns the homebred daughter of Meadowagogo-Maple Leaf Legacy with fellow Montague, P.E.I. resident Steven Sorrie. The consistent filly now sports a lifetime record reading 15-8-0 in 23 starts with over $66,000 banked.

Maple Leaf Spirit paid $6.30 to win as the 2-1 second choice.

In the evening's 11th race, the $1,500 Coles Family Pace, pocket-sitter Incredible Mike and driver Ken Murphy shot up the passing lane to pull off a 12-1 upset in a career-best 1:57. Raging Leru (Walter Cheverie) fired home for second, just missing the win by a neck. The favoured pacesetter, Electric Moves (John Holmes), finished two lengths back in third. Gerald MacDougall trains the six-year-old Largo gelding for owner-breeder Judy Macleod of Cardigan, P.E.I. He paid $27.10 to win.

For results from Thursday's harness racing card, click on the following link: Thursday Results - Charlottetown Driving Park.

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