The top two choices of the betting public went at it tooth-and-nail in Sunday’s $5,000 Saskatchewan Stake at West Meadows Raceway, and when the dust settled it was Sophio Hanover emerging as the victor
Sophio Hanover, who was sent off as the 3-5 choice in the six-horse affair, took the field to the quarter pole in :29.1 for driver Kirk Rogers before being overtaken shortly past that first marker by Naknak Whodare. Sgt Pepper, who made a miscue getting away from the gate, recovered nicely and brushed to the top before leading the field past the mid-way point in :58.2.
Rogers promptly had Sophio Hanover back to the outside and challenging before sliding back into the pocket in the third quarter. Sgt Pepper continued to lead the way to the three-quarter pole in 1:29 while feeling outside pressure from Tajerine Dream. That scuffle softened up the leaders, and it played right into the hand of Rogers and Sophio Hanover. That tandem only needed a :32.1 closing panel to re-rally to the lead en route to the 2:01.2 decision. Tajerine Dream was three-quarters of a length in arrears, with Marlowe a distant third.
Shawn Worthen trains the four-year-old son of The Panderosa-Salsa Beat for the partnership of Debra McInnes and Samantha Tamblyn of Yorkton, SK. The triumph was the seventh of the season in 21 tries for the gelding, who went 1-for-16 last year. He’s stashed away in excess of $18,000 this season and more than $21,000 to date.
Trainer Richard Remillard enjoyed a three-win performance during Sunday’s eight-race card. He swept the first two races with Miss Tinkerbelle (2:02.4) and Barona Fivehundred (2:00.3) before sending out the top two finishers – Invincible Yankee (2:03) and Winwood Thunder – in Race 8.
To view results for Sunday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Sunday Results – West Meadows Raceway.