Bettor Sun 1:54.3 Gold winner at Flamboro
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Ontario’s top two-year-old pacing colts wrapped up their Gold Series regular season on Sunday, Oct. 4 over a rain-soaked Flamboro Downs oval.
The first $104,800 Gold Series division saw Twin B Fighter get his first win of the season for driver Ed Hensley and trainer Ashleigh Hensley of Dundas, ON. Starting from post 4 in the six-horse field, Twin B Fighter got away third and watched No Better Joy roll through fractions of :29, :59 and 1:27.1 over a surface rated two seconds slower than normal. Heading by the three-quarters Ed Hensley tipped Twin B Fighter to the outside and the colt matched strides with No Better Joy around the last turn before pulling away to a two and one-quarter length victory in 1:56.3.
Candy Trader and Socrates Blue Chip were elevated to second and third when Flash Cube, who crossed the wire second, was moved back to fourth for a pylon violation. No Better Joy finished fifth and race favorite Bulldog Hanover was a distant sixth after making an early break in stride.
“We didn’t race him in the Battle Of Waterloo just because we didn’t know if he’d get around the half the best, but he was good tonight,” said Ashleigh Hensley. “It was really exciting, because he’s an underdog and we knew he had the ability, he just had to get everything all together.”
Hensley trains Twin B Fighter for Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, PA, Phillip Collura of Mountain Top, PA, J And T Silva – Purnel & Libby of Delray Beach, FL and W. J. Donovan of Monument Beach, MA. The Bettors Delight son, whose breeder Twinbrook Farms donated four per cent of his $140,000 yearling purchase price to the Harness The Hope fundraiser, learned his early lessons from trainer Ron Burke before shipping into the Hensley barn for his Ontario Sires Stakes campaign.
“We were really lucky to get these two-year-olds for the summer,” said Hensley. “He’s perfect, he does nothing wrong, you wouldn’t even know he’s a stud. You couldn’t really ask for a better colt.”
The win gives Twin B Fighter 93 points and sole ownership of fifth spot in the division standings.
The second $105,600 Gold Series division saw fan favorite Bettor Sun leave smartly from Post 5 and sit briefly behind Magnum Moon before taking control heading by the :27.3 quarter. Bettor Sun carried on to a :58.2 half, fended off a challenge from division point leader Desperate Man heading for the 1:26.3 three-quarters and then pulled away to a two length victory in 1:54.3. Desperate Man finished second and Ucanttouchthis was four more lengths back in third.
“I thought it was the toughest division. There were three or four in our division that I thought looked pretty strong, but there’s a couple of them that aren’t as handy as him, gait wise, in the turns and stuff so that helped him,” said driver Doug McNair. “He raced great. He’s been racing good, he was fifth in the Metro (Sept. 26).”
Sunday’s win was Bettor Sun’s first in Gold Series action. The Sunshine Beach colt swept his elimination and the final of the Battle Of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway in early August, but he had settled for a pair of seconds and one fourth in his three Gold Series starts. The win boosted Bettor Sun’s point total to 108 and moved him into second spot in the division standings. The top 10 point earners will square off for $250,000 in the Oct. 17 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
“It’s a decent group. There are a few of them, especially on a bigger track, that have got a shot to win the Super Final, but I’ve definitely got one of the best ones,” said Guelph, ON resident McNair. “I don’t think I’d trade him for any of the other ones really. He’s as good as the rest of them, I think.”
The driver’s father, Gregg McNair of Guelph, ON, owns and trains Bettor Sun in partnership with breeder Willow Oak Ranch of Rogersville, TN.