Favoured Fillies Lower Rideau Record

Published: September 22, 2011 08:28 pm EDT

Ontario-sired two-year-old trotting fillies headed to the nation's capital on Thursday night to vie for a spot in their fourth Ontario Sires Stakes Gold final of the season

. There were no surprises in the $40,000 eliminations as all three favourites delivered on their pari-mutuel promises. Two even lowered the Rideau Carleton Raceway track record, beginning with the OSS divisional leader, Circles.

Reigning Gold champion and divisional leader Circles and driver Jacques Hebert delivered an easy 1:57.3 winning performance in the opener, lowering the 1:58.4 track record for two-year-old filly trotters held by My Whispering Eye.

Counter Pointe (Wayne Henry) flashed early gate speed and forged ahead of the 1-5 favourite while the hard-leaving outsider, Princess Fortune (Anthony MacDonald), made a costly break in stride. Counter Pointe reached the opening quarter in :28.3, but as she took the field in front of the grandstand for the first time Circles swept up to take over.

Circles then led the single-file field past the half in :58.2 and three-quarters in 1:28 with Cool Creek Breeze (Chris Christoforou) then advancing first up from fourth around the final turn. Cool Creek Breeze rallied home into the runner-up spot while Circles hit the wire with two lengths to spare. Counter Pointe finished third.

Circles paid $2.40 to win. John Smith trains and owns the homebred daughter of Majestic Son-Merles Image, who boasts five wins and two seconds in seven career starts -- all in Gold Series action. The lion’s share of the purse pushed her career earnings over the $200,000 mark.

Another popular Majestic Son miss, this one out of Gypsys Bonnie, was victorious in the second elimination, winning in 1:58.3 with Sylvain Filion in the bike.

Mark Steacy trainee Miss Majestic worked her way to the top from Post 6 during a :29.1 opening quarter. The 4-5 favourite led the seven-horse field past middle panels of 1:00.3 and 1:29.3 while Elin (Robert Shepherd) launched a first over attack from third. Miss Majestic was able to keep her main rival at bay and opened up down the stretch for a winning margin of one and three-quarter lengths. Frisky Strike (Stephen Byron) came through at the rail to place over Elin.

Miss Majestic paid $3.80 to win. The victory was her first in three OSS starts and second of the season in seven outings. Miss Majestic’s earnings pushed her bankroll to $56,150 for her ownership group, consisting of Diane Bertrand of Edmonton, Alta. and Ontario’s Steacy Hing Bertrand of Lansdowne, Landmark Iv Racing Stable of Kingston and Bannon Stables of Napanee.

For Filion, the win was his first of five on the 15-race card.

Miss Paris, a daughter of Kadabra-Pizza Dolce driven by Scott Zeron, joined Circles in the Rideau record books as she romped to an open length victory in 1:57.3 while making her OSS debut in the final elimination.

Leaving from the inside post position, the 2-5 favourite settled into fourth place off the gate while Twin B Sensation (Stephen Byron) jumped out to an early three length lead during a :29.2 opening quarter. Following a second panel breather to the half in :59.2, Zeron angled his filly off the pylons and Miss Paris began to pick off her rivals one by one before collaring the early pacesetter as they neared three-quarters in 1:28.2. The Richard 'Nifty' Norman trainee poured it on down the stretch, widening her margin to five and a half lengths. Twin B Sensation finished second with The Magic Of Paris nine and a half lengths back in third.

Miss Paris paid $2.80 to win for the third time in eight starts. Having never missed a paycheque in her prior stakes starts, including the Merrie Annabelle, the Champlain Stakes and the Peaceful Way Stakes, the brown filly has now banked over $136,000 for owners Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, Ont., Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, Florida and David McDuffee of Delray Beach, Florida.

Later on the card, the Pierre Leclerc-trained Pieraz and driver Denis St. Pierre made a three-wide move at the third quarter mark and rallied home to win the weekly $13,000 Preferred Handicap Pace in 1:53.1 by a quarter length over the popular pacesetter, Smokeys Luck (Sylvain Filion). Leclerc shares ownership of the five-year-old Bolero Master gelding with Gina Bragagnolo of Louiseville, Que. He paid $13.50 to win for the mild 5-1 upset.

Here is a look at the field for next week's $130,000 Gold final in post position order:

1. Cool Creek Breeze
2. Elin
3. Frisky Strike
4. Twin B Sensation
5. Miss Paris
6. Circles
7. The Magic Of Paris
8. Miss Majestic
9. Counter Pointe
AE1. Filly In Pink
AE2. Smarty Pants
AE3. Racing Dreams

For results from Thursday's harness racing card, click on the following link: Thursday Results - Rideau Carleton Raceway.

Have something to say about this? Log in or create an account to post a comment.