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Willowdale Series Sweep For Ideal Race


Published: January 23, 2010 10:43 pm ET

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Ideal Race completed the sweep of this year’s Willowdale Pacing Series for four-year-olds at Woodbine Racetrack, but it took a stretch-drive inquiry to help the Tracy Brainard trainee to earn the victory in Saturday’s $77,100 final.

After posting a 1:52.4 score in come-from-behind fashion in the opening leg and a 1:51.2 tally in front-stepping triumph in last week’s second leg, Ideal Race opted to employ the “catch me if you can” once again. Luc Ouellette blasted the four-year-old son of Western Terror – Eidette Hanover to the early lead from Post 9 and had nine rivals lined up behind him at a 25-second clip. Ideal Race felt first-over pressure from Pangiorno and driver Mike Saftic when the mid-way point clocking of :54.4 flashed up, and they held those positions all the way to the three-quarter pole in 1:23 before Pangiorno began to back away.

A pocket-sitting Keep It Real and Paul MacDonell popped off the pylons to launch a late attack as the field straightened out for home, and that created an opening at the rail for Panmunjom and Randy Waples. Ideal Race managed to stave off Keep It Real, but Panmunjom used :26.2 speed to propel himself to the half-length score over Ideal Race in 1:50.1. Keep It Real was a bang-up third.

Moments later the inquiry sign was posted by the Ontario Racing Commission Judges, and after careful examination it was determined Waples and Panmunjom went inside a pylon when passing Ideal Race and Ouellette. By virtue of gaining an unfair advantage, Panmunjom was placed second and Ideal Race was declared the winner. Sent off as the 2-1 favourite, Ideal Race returned $6.40 to win.

It was the third win in as many starts in the 2010 campaign for Ideal Race, who is owned by Bulletproof Enterprises Inc. of Boca Raton, Florida. The gelding put together a six-for-24 record in last year’s sophomore season and banked just over $250,000 along the way. The nine-time winner has banked $326,512 to date.

Elsewhere on the card, the Gregg McNair-trained Stonebridge On Ice put forth a banner performance winning his $28,000 second race conditioning assignment in a career-best 1:49.4.

With Mike Saftic in the bike, the six-year-old son of Camluck-Glacier Express converted from the pocket in the stretch and out-sprinted pacesetter Schoolkids (Mark MacDonald), the odds-on favourite, with a :27-second final frame. Schoolkids finished three-quarters of a length behind with Activator (Luc Ouellette) back in third.

The time of the mile marked a new Canadian season’s record for aged pacers and only the third sub-1:50 mile ever paced on in Canada during the month of Janury. Only Little Amos (2008) and Ramegade Bruiser (2009) turned the trick prior to Stonebridge On Ice.

McNair and Saftic share ownership of the bay with Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke, Ont. It was his second win in four starts this year giving him $26,260 in earnings. His 12th win lifetime boosted his bankroll to $196,550.

To view Saturday's results, click here.

(With files from WEG)

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