Autumn Series action continued Thursday night at Woodbine Racetrack with opening round divisions for the 2-year-old boys. A total of four $16,000 divisions took place Thursday evening. A group of 16 rookie pacing colts and geldings were split into two divisions, while 12 two-year-old trotters contested a pair of their own.
The 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings kicked off the action with 1-5 favorite Big Bang Boom scoring a 1:52.4 victory.
The Carmen Auciello trainee sprinted to the front for driver Jonathan Drury and posted an opening panel of :27. Big Bang Boom got a second-quarter breather of :29.3 and that would seal the deal for the son of Big Jim. The heavy favourite cruised by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4, before pacing home comfortably in :28 for the victory. Continual Hanover finished just three-quarters of a length back in second, while B Fast Eddie was third.
Big Bang Boom is now three for three to start his career and has banked $22,000 for owner Michael Virdiramo. The public's choice paid $2.70 to win.
In the second split, Print Media came first-up to score his second career victory.
Driven by Sylvain Filion, Print Media was taken back to sixth in the opening stages, while Gotti cut an opening-quarter of :26.4. Secrecy made a backstretch brush from fifth to first and carried the lead into the final turn. Print Media came to the outside at the midway point and grinded his way first up to challenge Secrecy at the third station. In the stretch, Print Media was able to edge by a stubborn Secrecy for a three-quarter-length victory in 1:53.4. Gotti finished third.
A son of Vintage Master, Print Media is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Saverino Spagnolo. The 2-year-old gelding now has two wins in 12 career starts for earnings of over $38,000.
The clocking of 1:53.4 lowered his career mark by three-fifths of a second. Print Media paid $8.90 to win.
On the trotting side, Blake MacIntosh trainee Matza Man took the first division in a career-best 1:57.2.
Driven by Jack Moiseyev, Matza Man, the 1-5 favorite, grabbed an early spot in second, but was quickly moved to the lead in the second-quarter. After posting panels of :59 and 1:28.4, the public's choice trotted home in :28.3 and held off a late surge from Gonna Fly for a length victory. Derivative, who was first over around the final turn, finished third.
A son of Kadabra, Matza Man has now recorded victories in three of seven starts. He is owned by Glat Kosher Racing and has banked $30,500.
Matza Man paid $2.60 to win.
In the second division, Ulysses Bi took advantage of hot fractions by the leader to come from fifth for the victory.
Pukka, the 6-5 favorite, and driver Randy Waples sprinted to the lead and posted an opening-quarter of :27.2. The favorite continued to roll along down the backstretch and carried a seven length lead by the half in :56.1. After trotting by the third station in 1:26.1, Pukka was all done in the stretch and the rest of the field quickly closed in on the favorite. Ulysses Bi, who was fifth and 14 lengths from the front turning for home, had the most trot in the lane and swept by his rivals for driver Rick Zeron to get up for the 1 1/2-length victory in 1:58.1.
Red Monster finished second, while Pukka fought to the wire to hold on for third.
A son of Manofmanymissions, Pukka is trained by Jeff Durham for owners Van Camp Trotting Corp. and Jack Durham. Thursday's victory was a maiden breaking score for the rookie trotter, who now has $8,700 earned in three starts.
Ulysses Bi paid $9.70 to win.
In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario-sired 2 year olds had to be non-winners of $30,000 as of Sept. 30, 2015. (WEG)