The weather was 10 degrees cooler and she started one spot closer to the rail, but other than that 3-year-old trotting filly Sugar Wheeler's second tour of Grand River Raceway looked much the same as the first.
Starting from post three in Wednesday's $130,00 Gold final, driver Paul MacDonell fully intended to use Sugar Wheeler's gate speed to gain early position on his rivals, but the Guelph resident found the task much easier after fan favorite Miss Paris and fleet footed Daylon Miracle went offstride at the start from posts one and four.
Sugar Wheeler rolled by the quarter in :28, lollygagged to a :59.3 half and then started to gear up again when Miss Paris appeared on her flank heading for the 1:28.3 three-quarters. Although Miss Paris fought gamely down the stretch, Sugar Wheeler refused to yield and hit the wire one-half length on top in 1:58.
Miss Paris finished in the runner-up position, just the second time she has been bested in Gold Final action, with pocket sitter Smarty Pants two more lengths back in third. Lexus Helios and Justasmalltowngirl completed the money earners in fourth and fifth.
MacDonell crafted Sugar Wheeler's second straight victory for trainer Mike Keeling of Cambridge and owners P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc. of Cambridge, Alan Hainsworth of Mt. Morris, N.Y., William B. Weaver III of Freehold, N.J., and Kelley Racing Stable LLC of Gansevoort, N.Y.
The win pushed the Angus Hall daughter's sophomore record to seven wins, eight seconds and three thirds in 23 starts and boosted her earnings to $326,101. A two-time Gold Elimination winner, Sugar Wheeler finished second in all three Gold finals captured by Miss Paris and wrapped up the regular season in second spot in the point standings.
The top 10 point earners from the 3-year-old trotting filly division will now begin preparations for the Nov. 10 Super Final at Woodbine Racetrack, worth a cool $300,000. (OSS)