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Sunny Dee Dominates OSS Gold

Published: September 23, 2019 12:06 am ET

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Ontario’s top three-year-old pacing fillies waged an epic battle at Flamboro Downs on Sunday night (Sept. 22) as they wrapped up their Gold Series regular season in a single $158,000 division.

Top point earners Sunny Dee, Boadicea and Powerful Chris lined to posts 2, 4 and 10 respectively in the 10-filly field. When the gate swung away all three battled through a sharp :26.3 opening quarter. Thats Incredible took a brief turn on the lead, followed by Summer Charm, but it was Sunny Dee who clocked the first fraction. Powerful Chris followed Sunny Dee away from the gate, keeping Boadicea three wide through the first turn before yielding to the fan favourite.

Boadicea matched strides with Sunny Dee going by the :54 half, but driver Trevor Henry regained a length advantage in the turn. Heading by the 1:22.2 three-quarters Boadicea again pressed the leader, but on the final turn Henry hit the accelerator and Sunny Dee turned for home with a clear advantage which she extended to two lengths by the 1:51.1 finish. Boadicea was an impressive second for driver Jonathan Drury and trainer Bill Budd and Summer Charm finished third for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Dave Menary.

“I didn’t really think Billy’s (Budd) horse might get around the turns as good as she does on the big track. Half-mile racing’s a little different than mile racing,” said Henry of his race strategy. “Sunny Dee’s so good gaited I knew she wouldn’t have a problem.

“I tried to get away on JD (Drury) in the last turn because I knew his was struggling on the turns, so I got a few lengths on him,” the Arthur, ON resident continued. “His horse raced well too, she was out the whole way and still was second, she’s a hell of a filly too.”

The 1:51.1 clocking was an Ontario Sires Stakes and Flamboro Downs track record. The previous track record of 1:52 was set by Michelles Power in 2007, while the former Ontario Sires Stakes record of 1:52.2 was established by Chancey Lady at The Raceway at the Western Fair District in 2008.

Bob McIntosh trains Sunny Dee and the Windsor resident and his partners Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH also bred the filly, who is a half-sister to $1.7 million winners Somewhere in L A and L A Delight.

Henry has driven Sunny Dee in all but one of her 18 lifetime starts and the pair was also victorious in the June 1 Gold Series season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Sunshine Beach filly was second twice and third once in her other three Gold Series starts, giving her a total of 162 points and ownership of third spot in the division standings behind Boadicea and Powerful Chris. The top 10 point earners will now begin preparations for the $225,000 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 12.

“It’s a good field of fillies. It’s a pretty tight bunch, they’ve raced tough all summer,” said Henry of the top point earners, adding that the championship will likely come down to racing luck. “It’ll definitely be the best trip, I think.”

The Ontario Sires Stakes program makes one more stop at Flamboro Downs before the regular season comes to a close. The Dundas half-mile will host the two-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday, Oct. 2 for their last Gold Series event.

Pretty Handsome went wire to wire earlier in the card to take the $11,500 Preferred 2 Pace in 1:53. The four-year-old Mach Three gelding pushed for the front from the pylons and faced no pressure through a clip of :28 and :57.2. Toot Toot N lunged first over from third up the backstretch with even-money favourite Sportsline in tow approaching three-quarters in 1:25.1. The two-wide flow faltered circling the final turn, leaving Pretty Handsome in front with Pro Beach narrowing to within three-quarter lengths for second and Always N The Money another two lengths back in third.

Owned by Glenview Livestock Ltd., Pretty Handsome won his 10th race from 24 starts this season and his 23rd from 44 overall, earning $228,300. Colin Kelly steered the $5.00 winner for trainer Andrew McCabe.

Hes Got Swagger stormed to an eight-and-a-half length victory in the $8,500 Preferred 3 Pace. The Rachel Andrew-trained four-year-old Vintage Master gelding sprinted to the front and gradually widened his lead through splits of :27.3, :56.4 and 1:24.1. Pocket-sitter Lets Wait And See gave chase from second while favourite American Wiggle closed for third. Andrew co-owns the winner of six races from 22 starts this season and 21 from 51 overall with driver Travis Cullen. She paid $6.20 to win and has earned $96,227.

(with files from the Ontario Sires Stakes)

To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Flamboro Downs.

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