In one of the most exciting editions of The Raceway at Western Fair District's signature race, the $150,000 Molson Pace, last year's winner State Treasurer defended his title despite a terrible start and an inquiry on a beautiful evening in front of a great crowd Friday night at the London half-mile track. Fan favorite Foiled Again, harness racing's richest performer with more than $6.2 million earned, was making his sixth appearance in the Molson Pace and the 10 year old showed his younger rivals he still knows how to step off the gate.
Yannick Gingras had Foiled Again flying from post seven to grab control from early leader Dancin Yankee by the :26.1 first quarter while State Treasurer, with Chris Christoforou at the controls, made a slight bobble leaving and got away at the back of the talented field.
Bandolito with Mark MacDonald at the lines came first-up to challenge Foiled Again who paced by the half in :54.4. Bandolito tired before the 1:23 three-quarters but there was lots of action behind him. Christoforou had State Treasurer three wide down the backside and picked up the cover of Apprentice Hanover and Jody Jamieson heading into the stretch. It was a great race to the finish with State Treasurer getting up on the outside to win by a neck in 1:51.4. Apprentice Hanover was a close second followed by the always game Foiled Again just a half length back in third. Dancin Yankee and Bettor's Edge picked up the final two checks.
The winning connections, trainer Dr. Ian Moore and owners Sally MacDonald of PEI and Paul MacDonald of Saskatchewan, had to wait out an inquiry regarding the start before the race was declared official.
"I sweated a little bit last year too, but this is a little different this year,” noted Moore. "He's a real good little horse, he tries his heart out and he showed that tonight for sure.”
When asked if he was worried about the start, Christoforou responded: "There was a tremendous amount of worry, but I was sitting behind the right horse in the race and he proved that tonight.
"I was hoping to get back down on Jody's back after I went three wide and that worked out so I wasn't three wide all around the turn. He just swooped his way by and got his little head up in front and I'm real proud of him.”
Bred by Brittany Farms of Kentucky, State Treasurer was a mere $6,500 yearling purchase. The now 5-year-old son of Real Desire was posting his fourth win in five attempts this year (the other start being a second place finish). The winner's share of the purse put his 2014 earnings at $134,5000 while lifetime he sits with $614,991. (Western Fair)