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Smoking Gun, Define The World In Simcoe Stakes

Published: August 30, 2008 7:25 pm ET

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Smoking Gun charged up in the final strides to snatch victory from Don Giovanni in the first of two $132,237 divisions of the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old colt trotters tonight at Mohawk Racetrack.

With the favourite, B Strike Three, scratched, it was a short field of six who met at the gate, and Viking Defender (Trond Smedshammer) put himself out of the action early by rolling off-stride at the start.

Don Giovanni and Jack Moiseyev set the fractions for much of the mile, with Guida Muscle and John Campbell in the pocket spot, while Luc Ouellette positioned Smoking Gun to stalk on the outside from fourth. Campbell attempted to pop the pocket with Guida Muscle as they entered the stretch, but failed to clear, while Smoking Gun ate away the inches and caught Don Giovanni in the final strides, to win in 1:56.3.

Guida Muscle was third, and Eternal Elation (Keith Oliver) stepped up for fourth.

Ouellette commented, "He has matured a little bit and he's a little more aggressive now. At the gate I think he would have liked to take me out of there and possibly get involved, but everything turned out well.

"We got lucky that there weren't too many horses in the race and I didn't have to come first up with him. I don't think that's his kind of trip. We were able to sit until halfway around the last turn, and just pull out then and even then, John (Campbell, with Guida Muscle) was in and out a couple times, so he had a bit of a target there."

Smoking Gun, a son of Yankee Glide, is trained by Harald Lunde for owner Nils Munkhaugen of Nelhus, Norway. This was his fifth win in 11 starts this year.

In the second Simcoe Stakes division tonight, Define The World fulfilled his promise as the heavy favourite with a gate-to-wire trip for Paul MacDonell, sprinting to victory in 1:54.4.

Tapas Bar, with Keith Oliver in the bike, broke stride in the opening seconds and seemed determined to prove his proficiency at the gallop tonight, leaving it essentially a six-horse field.

MacDonell sent Define The World smartly to the front from post six, and the gelded son of Duke Of York set fractions of :28.0, :56.4, and 1:25.1 while waiting for a challenge. At the half, Atomic Hall and Brian Sears made a bid, but couldn't clear, leaving Define The World to kick away by three lengths in the stretch and cross the wire uncontested. A late rush from Nureyev (Tim Tetrick) secured second, and McCarron (Trevor Ritchie) grabbed third.

"It's not his best race (on the front end)," noted MacDonell. "He likes to come off cover and he's really got a lot of trot off cover, but when you're bet 2-5 it's pretty hard not race him that way. As it turned out he was pretty good and pretty professional about it, and was able to win easy.

"He's a strong colt. He trots so easily, his gait isn't an effort for him, and he doesn't seem to get tired late in the mile. He had a lot of trot tonight."

Define The World is trained by Peterborough's John Bax for owner/breeder Al Libfeld of Pickering, Ont. and can now boast nine wins in 16 starts.

To view Saturday's results, click here.


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