Samira Hanover found the line when it counted the most as she notched her first win of the season in the $43,200 final of the Lifetime Dream final on Monday evening at Woodbine.
The trotting miss, driven by Paul MacDonell, stopped the clock in a stakes record time of 1:53.3 at odds of 28-1.
MacDonell left alertly in the early stages as he settled Samira Hanover in third, behind the two favourites Rose Run Oriana (Randy Waples) and Rockin With Dewey (Mario Baillargeon) at the opening quarter in a quick :26.4. As the field of 10 headed towards the half, Standing My Ground (Sylvain Filion) made a brush to the lead at the half in :56.2.
That left Frisky Magic first over around the final turn, which allowed Samira Hanover to angle to the outside to catch cover. Heavily-favored Rose Run Oriana popped out of the two-hole before three-quarters in 1:25 and quickly took over command.
Down the stretch, Rose Run Oriana was in an all-out drive from Waples, but MacDonell showed his charge open road and Samira Hanover wore down the tempo-setter in deep stretch to win by half a length. Rockin With Dewey split horses late in the mile to finish third.
Trained by Mike Keeling for P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc, Steve Organ, William Weaver and A K Malik Stable, Samira Hanover increased her career bankroll to $104,280.
The 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra celebrated her sixth career victory. She paid $59.40 to win.
The Lifetime Dream Series is for 4- and 5-year-old trotting mares, who are non-winners of $200,000 lifetime as of Dec. 31, 2013.
Also on Monday's program, the opening round of the Tie Silk Series kicked off with a pair of $15,000 divisions.
Driver Mike Saftic guided both Musical Spell and Entranced to victory in their respective connections.
Sent off as the co-favorite at odds of 2-1, Musical Spell Mike Saftic went gate-to-wire in 1:57.2 to capture the first division.
The son of Kadabra laid down panels of :27.2, :58.4 and 1:29.1, before fending off a late challenge from the other co-favorite Windsun Revenge (Chris Christoforou) to stop the clock in 1:57.2. Gangio (Keith Oliver) finished third.
Trained by Mike Guitard for owner Haryott Stables Inc, Musical Spell remains a perfect two-for-two to start his 2014 campaign. The bay gelding increased his bankroll to $15,500.
He paid $6.80 to win.
One race later, Saftic used the same tactics as Entranced stopped the clock in a speedy 1:54.4, a North American season's record.
The Garth Gorden trainee cruised through panels of :27.1, :56 and 1:25.1, before scoring a comfortable one-and-a-half length win. So Not Cool (Mario Baillargeon) came on for second, over even-money favorite Verdi (Paul MacDonell).
Gorden also co-owns the son of Kadabra with Gary Green and Bernard Tobin. After banking $21,000 as a rookie last season, Entranced celebrated his second career victory and new lifetime best.
He paid $11.90 to win.
The Tie Silk Series is for 3--year-olds trotters, who are non-winners of $30,000 in 2013. (WEG)