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Odysseus Blue Chip, Mystician Willowdale winners

January 07, 2012
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There were 14 four-year-old pacers--two fields of seven--competing in the first leg of the Willowdale Pacing Series Saturday night at Woodbine.
 
In the first $30,000 division, the Baillargeon brothers, Ben and Mario, pulled off the 6-1 minor upset with Odysseus Blue Chip in 1:52.3.
 
Odysseus Blue  Chip, a son of Cams Card Shark, was in no hurry in the early going as Reckless Ric (Randy Waples), Audreys Dream (Jody Jamieson) and Lonesome Attack (Brett Miller) were quickest to fire. Reckless Ric kept Lonesome Attack and Audreys Dream parked on the outside past the quarter in
:26.4.
 
Audreys Dream cleared to the lead with Lonesome Attack in the pocket on the way to the midway station, but Waples quickly re-moved Reckless Ric to the lead before the half in :55.
 
As the 4-year-olds marched around the final turn, Lonesome Attack moved first-over with Odysseus Bluechip catching his cover and was only two and three-quarter lengths off the tempo setter past three-quarters in 1:23.3. Down the stretch, Lonesome Attack overtook command, but couldn’t fend off a late challenge from Odysseus Bluechip who scored a 1 3/4-length victory.
 
“I was loaded at the three-quarter pole,” Mario Baillargeon said following the win. “He loves being on a helmet and tracking horses and with a lot of action up front in the race, it couldn’t have worked out
better for him. It was a good mile out there tonight. The track is deep and it’s windy. It’s a 1:50 mile for sure on a good night.”
 
Richard Berthiaume owns the seven-time winner who lifted his bankroll to $186,021. He paid $14.80 to win.
 
In the second and final division, Mystician and Jody Jamieson went gate-to-wire in 1:54, paying $7.50 to win as the second choice. The son of Camluck took control of the lead at ease, reaching the first quarter marker in :28.2. Im Feelin Good (Keith Oliver) was in the pocket with Mach Of Ballykeel (Sylvain Filion) third.
 
With no challengers heading towards the half, Jamieson was able to give Mystician a :30-second breather as they reached the mid-way point in :58.2.
 
Heading around the final turn, Camaes Fellow (Doug McNair) began the first-over attack with post time favourite, Westwardho Hanover (Brett Miller), tracking him. Mystician reached out to a two and a quarter
length lead as he went past three-quarters in 1:25.4. Down the stretch, Westwardho Hanover was given clear racetrack and Im Feelin Good was gaining ground on Mystician, but it was too late as the nine-time winner scored the victory by a neck. Im Feelin Good edged out Westwardho Hanover for second.
 
“I thought he raced great,” Jamieson said following the win. “There’s no question he can go with these horses. His best trip is definetly off a helmet, but the way it worked out with the slow half really helped. He competes week in and week out.”
 
Jeff Gillis, WEG’s leading trainer in 2011, trains and co-owns Mystician with Ken Henwood, Mac Nichol and Gerald Stay. The bay lifted his career earnings to $1,528,942. (WEG)
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