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Il Mago magical in Gold Final win

August 12, 2011
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Ontario’s top two-year-old trotting colts put on an impressive show for Rideau Carleton Raceway fans on Friday evening, waging a three way battle all the way to the wire in the second $130,000 Gold Final of their season.
 
As the starting gate rolled away from the field of nine, Dalglish stepped out smartly to post a :28.3 opening quarter. Reigning Gold Final champion Good Sound Advice was tucked in behind in second, with fan favourite The Game Plan sitting third and Il Mago grabbing fourth spot on the rail.
 
Driver Jack Moiseyev sent The Game Plan after the lead before the :59.2 half and Trevor Ritchie soon followed with Il Mago. When The Game Plan swept by the three-quarters in 1:29.2, Il Mago was sitting on his flank in second, Dalglish was watching the action from the pocket, and the fan’s second choice, Heres The Magic, was rolling along the outside behind Il Mago.
 
As The Game Plan swept off the turn, only six lengths separated the top six horses, and all six kicked into high gear for the stretch drive. Il Mago delivered an impressive burst of speed from his outside position and battled The Game Plan to the wire, getting a neck in front to claim the 1:59.1 victory. Dalglish also laid down an impressive kick from the pocket, finishing half a length behind the dueling leaders in third.
 
Heres The Magic and Good Sound Advice rounded out the cheque earners, crossing the wire just three lengths behind the victor.
 
The Gold Final victory marked Il Mago’s first appearance in a winner’s circle and vindicated the faith Ritchie and trainer Rod Boyd had shown in the Kadabra son heading into last week’s Gold Elimination, where the novice trotter made a break and finished a disappointing fifth, well back of winner Cradabra.
 
Bred by Chris Alexander of Aurora and owned by Alexander and Freehold, NJ based trainer Mark Harder, Il Mago prepped for his Gold Series debut with a fourth-place result in a two-year-old event at The Meadowlands on July 14 and a fifth-place finish at Mohawk Racetrack on July 28, following his arrival in Boyd’s barn.
 
The colt will have an opportunity to defend his Gold Final title on Aug. 19 at Mohawk Racetrack when the freshman trotting colts face off in their third Gold Series event of the season.
 
Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Rideau Carleton Raceway this Sunday as the Ottawa oval plays host to a $130,000 Gold Final for the two-year-old pacing fillies, Grassroots action for the two-year-old trotting colts and the Frank Ryan Memorial for aged trotters. The outstanding program gets under way at 6:30 pm. (OSS)
 
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