Prestidigitator ties Mohawk record in OSS Gold
August 26, 2012
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The fourth Ontario Sire Stakes Gold final for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Saturday turned into a match race between rivals Prestidigitator and Knows Nothing with the former hanging on to score in a Mohawk track record-equalling performance.
With the inside post advantage, current divisional leader Cold Certified (John Campbell) took control of the field with Amigo Ranger (Wayne MacLean) dropping into the pocket and post eight starter Mikey Hanover (Paul MacDonell) parked out to the first turn before finding a spot at the pylons in third.
Cold Certified put up a :27.1 opening panel, but his lead was short-lived as driver Sylvain Filion sent Prestidigitator first-up to take over the top spot. The duo cleared to command at the half in :55.2 and rolled to three-quarters in 1:24.4 while the popular elimination winner, Knows Nothing (Jody Jamieson), started a first-over rally from fifth.
Knows Nothing hooked up with Prestidigitator around the final turn and the duo took off down the stretch in a heated battle. Prestidigitator managed to hold onto his short lead at the wire for the career-best 1:52.2 triumph. Knows Nothing missed by a head while Mikey Hanover finished nearly eight lengths back in third.
With the speedy score, Prestidigitator joins the elite company of Majestic Son, Lucky Chucky and Beer Summit as co-track record holders for male sophomore trotters.
"He was a little anxious and I was just trying to get him settled down (off the gate)," explained Filion in the winner's circle. "Past the quarter he felt like he wanted to go so much so I just pulled and went to the front. I thought if I could control the pace I had a better shot, which we did. We got a little breather in the third quarter that helped very much. Every time you see that horse (Knows Nothing) come up alongside you always wonder if you can fight him off, but my horse was good today."
Sent postward as the 9-2 second choice, Prestidigitator returned $11 to his backers for a $2 win ticket.
The Kadabra-Shesa Priority colt, who surpassed the half-million earnings mark, is trained by Dustin Jones for Ecurie Synergie of Montreal, Que. Last year's OSS freshman champion earned his second Gold trophy of the 2012 season. (WEG)