Macho Martini, Threefiftytwo take Gold legs for Blais
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Just hours after winning a Gold Series division with two-year-old trotting colt Macho Martini, driver Bob McClure and trainer Luc Blais were back in the Ontario Sires Stakes winner’s circle on Thursday evening with the colt’s 3-year-old stablemate Threefiftytwo.
Lining up at Post 5 in the first of two $104,800 Gold Series divisions at Woodbine Mohawk Park, McClure fired Threefiftytwo away from the starting gate but opted to tuck in behind Hayek and Sylvain Filion, who had the same idea from Post 4. Hayek led the field of six through fractions of :27.2, :57.3 and 1:26.2 with Threefiftytwo sitting patiently in the pocket. In the stretch McClure showed the fan favourite an open lane and Threefiftytwo sprinted home to a three and one-half length win in 1:54.
“Threefiftytwo has been a bit of a problem horse all year for Luc. He never seemed to be able to put it together when it counted, so it’s nice that tonight he finally showed his ability in a Gold event,” said Rockwood, ON resident McClure. “He’s sharp right now and hopefully he’ll be really good next week.”
The win was Threefiftytwo’s first in four Gold Series starts this season. The Royalty For Life son had recorded one third and two fifths heading into Thursday’s regular season finale. The win boosts his point total to 72 and sees him head into the Oct. 17 Super Final ranked fifth in the division standings.
Campbellville, ON resident Blais trains Threefiftytwo, whose only other win this season came in mid-July, for Determination of Montreal, QC.
In the second division heavy favourite Pemberton romped along on the front end to a four length victory in 1:53.2. Driver Trevor Henry sent the Wheeling N Dealin son to the front from Post 4 and Pemberton put up fractions of :28.4, :58 and 1:26 on his way to the effortless win. Babidibou tracked Pemberton throughout the mile to finish second and Port Perry closed hard for third.
“He’s been sharp all week, ever since the last race (Sept. 28) for some reason. He’s been great all week, he was great warming up. I didn’t want to say anything to Trevor because I didn’t want to jinx him, I just sent him out the same as I always do, but I was thinking in the back of my mind that he was maybe going to go a good race,” said trainer Paul Walker. “I kind of felt the track was a bit dead tonight, but it suited him anyway, and it was nice to know that if he has to he can race in front and do the same.”
The win was Pemberton’s third in Gold Series action and his seventh of the season. With 162 points the gelding will lead the three-year-old trotters into the $250,000 Super Final, which will feature the top 10 point earners.
“If I can just keep him like that for another week we’ll in good shape,” said Owen Sound, ON resident Walker. “He’s been a great little horse this year and he doesn’t seem to be letting up yet anyways, so if we can get one more race out of him that will be great.”
Walker trains Pemberton for his wife Brenda Walker of Owen Sound and daughter Christine Walker of Tara, ON. Mother and daughter also bred the trotter, who boosted his earnings to $238,684 and his record to seven wins and one third in nine starts with Thursday’s victory.