Blizzard leg to Circle The Page, Franschoek
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Circle The Page and Franschoek drew first blood in Thursday evening's opening round of the Blizzard Series at Woodbine Racetrack. A group of 18 three and four-year-old pacing ladies were split into two $17,000 divisions.
Meadows invader Circle The Page came up the inside to win the first split in 1:54.2. Sent up to Victor Puddy by co-owner John Sullivan, Circle The Page stepped out to the early lead before surrendering it to Katies Gal in the second-quarter. The new leader showed the way by three-quarters in 1:26. In the stretch, Katies Gal drifted off the pylons which allowed driver Jonathan Drury to shoot through with Circle The Page for the victory.
Katies Gal held on for second, while Big Chute was third and Glancewithme was fourth.
A four-year-old daughter of Real Artist, Circle The Page is now two for two in 2018 and has won three of her last four starts. Thursday's score was her sixth career score and she has now banked over $55,000 for owners Sullivan and Michael Marocco. Circle The Page paid $6.30 to win.
The second division went to Franschoek and driver Mike Saftic. The duo were parked by the quarter, but once securing the lead, never looked back en route to a 1:55.2 score. The Eric Adams trainee posted fractions of :27, :56.2 and 1:26 before pacing home in :29.2 and holding off Village Jamie by half a length.
Youvegotawaywithme finished third, while Classy Chris was fourth.
A four-year-old daughter of Bettors Delight, Franschoek now has three career victories for owner Millar Farms. Thursday's score is her first in two starts this January after winning just once in 24 starts last season. Franschoek has now earned over $70,000. She paid $13.80 to win.
Non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2017 were eligible for nomination to the Blizzard.
The second round of the series will take place next Thursday (January 25) with the final scheduled for Friday, February 2.
Live racing continues Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack with four opening-round divisions of the Snowshoe Series highlighting a 10-race card. Post time is 7:10 p.m. (WEG)