Christoforou takes 3 Ontario Super Finals
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"I was thinking today I missed two months, pretty well the whole Sires Stakes season, the meat of it anyway, and ended up with seven drives in the Super Finals, so there's no complaints from me, that's for sure,” reflected Christoforou. "And I had a bit of luck so far, so hopefully it continues.”
Christoforou's first victory came with two-year-old pacing colt Betting Line, who was sent off the favourite from Post 5 and controlled the pace from start to finish, reeling off fractions of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:25 on the way to a 1:52 victory. Division point leader Nvestment Bluechip overcame Post 10 to finish second by two and one-half lengths, while Voracity was six lengths back in third.
"He's a top notch colt, that's for sure,” said Christoforou. "He's not just a Sires Stakes colt; he's a top flight colt that can go with anybody on the right day.”
In addition to his Super Final victory, Betting Line captured two Gold divisions, his Metro Pace Elimination and a division of the Champlain Stakes for a freshman bank roll of $481,258. Trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge conditions the Bettors Delight son for her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Christine Calhoun of Chatham and Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON.
For his second Super Final win Christoforou teamed up with Coleman trainee Reverend Hanover. Also sent off as the heavy favourites, the duo rolled through fractions of :26, :54.2 and 1:22.2 on their way to a 1:50.1 defense of the Super Final title they earned last season. Moonwriter and Physicallyinclined were two and one-quarter lengths back in second and third.
"Tonight, that's the best he's been yet,” said Coleman of three-year-old pacing colt Reverend Hanover. "Chris (Christoforou) just told me that.”
Coleman conditions Reverend Hanover for West Wins Stable, Steve Calhoun of Chatham and Anthony Beaton of Waterdown, ON. The winner of $496,976 is the son of Coleman and Calhoun's former racehorse Sportswriter and is expected to be among the Ontario Sires Stakes stars taking on North America's best in next weekend's Breeders Crown Eliminations at Woodbine.
"I'm pretty sure as long as everything comes out of the race good we're going give him a shot at the Crown,” said Coleman. "I didn't talk with Steve (Calhoun) and Ross (Warriner) yet, but I'm thinking that's going to be our game plan, as long as Reverend agrees.”
To cap off his evening, Christoforou guided three-year-old trotting colt Dont Rush to a defense of his 2014 Super Final title. Like Betting Line and Reverend Hanover, Dont Rush was sent off the favourite and took early command of the race, laying down fractions of :27.3, :57.2 and 1:26.1 before hitting the wire one and one-quarter lengths on top in 1:55.1.Rubber Duck and Platoon Seelster completed the top three.
Christoforou engineered the win for trainer Dustin Jones of Waterdown and Greg Judson of Athens, ON, who share ownership of the Infinitif colt.
"He's got a special spot in my heart this little horse, he tries so hard,” admitted Christoforou. "He's not the biggest horse and he gives me everything every time, so it was nice for him, and for Dustin, who's been a supporter of mine for the last couple of years, and we've done really well together.
"Like I said, missing most of the Sires Stakes season, it was a tough blow, but it ended up good,” added the reinsman. "To win three Super Finals and miss most of the year is more than anybody could ever hope for.”
Driver Randy Waples of Milton, trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, ON also made multiple trips to the Super Final winner's circle.
Waples captured the first two Super Final titles, guiding two-year-old pacing filly L A Delight to victory for McIntosh and his partners C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington. The Bettors Delight daughter hit the wire in an Ontario Sires Stakes record equalling 1:51.2, besting Twin B Thong and Thisorthat Hanover by four lengths.
The driver was back in the winner's circle one race later with two-year-old trotting filly Caprice Hill, who romped to a two length win in 1:56.4 over Emoticon Hanover and Silky Flashy Nfast. Manalapan, NJ resident Tony Alagna conditions the daughter of Kadabra for Tom Hill of Hamilton, ON.
Hall of Fame horseman McIntosh scored his second Super Final victory with two-year-old trotting colt Tony Soprano, who delivered an impressive 1:55.1 effort in rein to John Campbell. The son of Kadabra cruised home two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Will Take Charge and Deweylovernleaver. McIntosh shares ownership of Tony Soprano with Mardon Stables of Loretto, Paradox Farm Inc. of Caledon East and Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON.
Trainer Gregg McNair got his Super Final victories with three-year-old trotting filly Second Sister and three-year-old pacing filly Solar Sister.
Second Sister and driver Rick Zeron of Oakville, ON scored a 1:55.3 upset in the trotting filly title bout, reeling in Elegant Serenity at the wire. Amoureuse Hanover was three and one-half lengths back in third. McNair conditions Second Sister for Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, MI, who had never won a Gold Series trophy before the Deweycheatumnhowe daughter captured her division at Mohawk on Sept. 29. The filly's victory capped off a best-ever year in the Ontario Sires Stakes program for Hawks, whose Muscles For Life captured the two-year-old trotting colt Grassroots title at Mohawk on Sept. 26.
In rein to Doug McNair of Guelph, Solar Sister also used a late burst of speed to capture the pacing filly title, edging out her stablemate Glamour Seelster and pacesetter Tessa Seelster for the 1:51.1 victory. McNair conditions Solar Sister for owner-breeders David Willmot of King City and Clay Harland Horner of Toronto, ON. The victory boosted the Mach Three daughter's earnings to $732,340.
Saturday's $2 million Super Final battles wrapped up the 2015 Ontario Sires Stakes season, which saw two provincial speed records lowered, two repeat Super Final champions crowned, and Grassroots and Gold Series battles waged at 12 different racetracks across the province.--Ontario Sires Stakes