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Bigtime Ball Sets KD Track Record

Published: September 18, 2007 3:20 pm ET

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Bigtime Ball and Paul MacDonell set a new track record for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Kawartha Downs on Tuesday when they won the third of three Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Eliminations.

Having to start from the trailing Post 9, Bigtime Ball (Presidential Ball - Keystone Trinidad) was away in seventh at the :27.2 opening panel but would have no problems getting into the race as the lead changed hands numerous times. Windsun Ben (Reg Gassien) was the first to the quarter before yielding to Sergei Seelster (Brad Forward). Challenged by Deuces And Jacks (Mike Saftic), Sergei Seelster led the field to the :55.2 half. Those two battled down the backside and as they did that, MacDonell had Bigtime Ball sitting second-over just waiting for the word go.

Deuces And Jacks held a nose lead over Bigtime Ball in 1:22.2 but wouldn't be able to fend him off. Bigtime Ball cruised to the wire by a length and three-quarters, stopping the clock in 1:50.4 to set a new track record for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

The previous record for a sophomore pacing gelding was 1:52.1 set by Cowboy Again in 2005. Camystic held the overall track record for three-year-olds when he won in 1:51.3 in 2002.

Sergei Seelster re-emerged to finish second while Deuces And Jacks hung on for third after going a big mile.

Taking home the lion's share of the $43,893 purse, Bigtime Ball ($3.70) boosted his bankroll to $304,016. Trained by Gord Irwin, the gelding has a 9-3-1 record through 16 starts for owner Irwin Stables Inc..

The front end fell apart in the first $43,143 Elimination and Semalu Express (Rustler Hanover - Verge Dor Semalu) picked up all the pieces. Heavy favourite Domitian Hanover (Mark MacDonald) was in control at the :27 quarter, with Semalu Express lurking back in sixth for Gilles Dion. Domitian Hanover would see pressure from Sky Tantrum (Mike Saftic) in the second half through :56.1 and 1:23.2.

At the three-quarters, Semalu Express was third-over in fifth and with the battling leaders tiring down the stretch, he pounced and paced away to a two-length score in 1:51.4. In The Irons (Phil Hudon) suffered interference down the lane but still managed second. P H Jackpot (Anthony MacDonald) rounded out the top three.

Pierre Touchette does the training on Semalu Express ($15.40) for owners Semalu Inc. and Zoom And Fish Stable Inc.. The colt has won eight of 14 this year - including six in a row - with earnings of $93,237. The 11th career victory leaves Semalu Express just short of $200,000 lifetime.

The $43,143 second Elimination went to Stars On The Water (Astreos - Wheres The Beach) and Mario Baillargeon. They sat in third through the first half-mile of :26.3 and :55 set by Cmr Matt Three (Mark MacDonald) before pulling to the outside. With a strong brush, Stars On The Water overtook the lead at the 1:22.4 three-quarters and now had to brace for a slew of challengers in the final quarter.

With horses closing on his inside and outside, Baillargeon was able to get enough out of Stars On The Water to hang on for a neck victory in a career best 1:52. The Grin Man (Mike Saftic) closed to get the place spot while Hypnotist (Roger Mayotte) got the show.

Stars On The Beach ($18.80) is trained by Ben Wallace, who co-owns the pacer with James Miller. It was his second win in five starts this year. Lifetime, he is a four-time winner with earnings of $63,142. Stars On The Beach is a half-brother to Somebeachsomewhere.

Next week's $130,000 Gold Final:

1. Sergei Seelster
2. Hypnotist
3. Deuces And Jacks
4. P H Jackpot
5. Bigtime Ball
6. The Grin Man
7. Semalu Express
8. Stars On The Water
9. In The Irons
AE1. Shipps Camotion
AE2. Sky Tantrum
AE3. Basso Hanover


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