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Chalk walks in Count B

February 03, 2007

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The opening leg of The Count B Pacing Series for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings kicked off at Woodbine Racetrack earlier tonight, and favorites Heaven Touched (1:57.3) and Ciroc (1:57.3) reigned supreme in their respective $17,000 divisions.

Heaven Touched (Artsplace – Fondle) lived up to his 2-5 billing in the opening split, but it wasn\'t exactly smooth sailing for the Duane Marfisi-trainee.

Driver Luc Ouellette tracked pacesetter Leutenant General (Mark MacDonald) through an opening quarter in :29 before blasting to the top and putting up the next two fractions of :57.4 and 1:27.1.

Heaven Touched got steppy and out of gear for a few strides coming out of the final turn, but Ouellette managed to keep the gelding to his task en route tovictory over runner-up Pan Cushion (Mario Baillargeon) and third-place finisher Keystone Waylon (Randy Waples).

It was the second lifetime win for the John Turigliatto-owned homebred, who upped his career bankroll to $23,049 in the process.

Ciroc (Real Desire – She\'s A Great Lady) turned in an impressive stretch rally to take home top prize in the other division for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Blair Burgess.

Jamieson kept the regally-bred colt far off the speed in the early going while No Taboo and Windham Hanover took turns on the point through panels of :30.4, :59.2 and 1:27.

Ciroc, who was nearly double-digit lengths away from the leader at the three-quarter pole, kicked it into another gear and when he hit the straightaway. He stepped a final quarter in :28.4 to haul down Windham Hanover (Luc Ouellette). No Taboo (Roger Mayotte) rounded out the top three.

It was a maiden-breaking win for Ciroc, who bumped his lifetime earnings to $30,896 for Real Racing of Versailles, KY.

The second leg of The Count B Pacing Series is scheduled for Feb. 9, and the top ten point earners from the preliminary legs will be given the chance to line up on the gate for the $48,200 final on Feb. 16.
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