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Sparky Mark snags 6th straight victory at Woodbine

December 17, 2011
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Sparky Mark, who has recovered from a cracked pastern bone that kept him out of racing action for six and a half months, continued down the comebrack trail as he held off his fellow Preferred pacers to record his sixth consecutive victory at Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday night. This one was clocked in 1:50.3.
 
With regular reinsman Sylvain Filion in the sulky for the $38,000 event, the late-season streaker zipped up the rail to take the lead forcing Major Hottie (Keith Oliver) into the pocket spot during a :27-second opening quarter. Sparky Mark paced to the half in :55.2 and three-quarters in 1:23.2 with the parked outsider Upfront Hoosierboy (Mario Baillargeon) advancing up into second. OK Boromir (Luc Ouellette) gapped his second-over cover and eventually found himself trailing the seven-horse field while Reibercrombie (Jody Jamieson) angled off the pylons from mid-pack to pick up the cover.
 
Upfront Hoosierboy began to apply heavy pressure to the pacesetter in the stretch with Reibercrombie coming on, but Sparky Mark prevailed by one length. Reibercrombie edged out Upfront Hoosierboy for second-place honors.
 
“He’s a small horse with a big engine, but he’s from a great family of winners and the entire family has extreme desire to win and he’s no different,” said trainer Mark Austin in a recent article profiling the Astreos-Luckbealadytonite 4-year-old.
Sparky Mark is now 12-for-16 on the year with almost $200,000 earned. Lifetime, he has posed for 19 win photos and stashed away over $300,000 for owner-breeder Leo Thibodeau of Windsor, Ont.
 
Saturday's $30,000 Preferred 2 Pace went to the pacesetting Kindly Poet, who matched his 1:50.2 lifetime mark with Rick Zeron in the bike.
 
Kindly Poet left alertly from post position two, but Lennon Blue Chip (Paul MacDonell) sprinted up to take over past the :26.2 first quarter mark. Down the backstretch, Kindly Poet moved back out for the retake and opened up a two length lead on his foes as he fronted the field through middle fractions of :55 and 1:22.2. The 8-year-old Western Ideal-Stonebridge Elite gelding carried a solid lead into the stretch, but it was dwindled down to just a neck as Peenie (Randy Waples) found room to squeeze up the rail and Secret Weapon (Scott Young) came flying home on the far outside.
 
Kindly Poet managed to hold off the late-closers in the three-horse photo to record his seventh win of the season in 29 outings and push his 2011 earnings over the $150,000 mark. Kindly Poet paid $6 to win as the 2-1 favorite. The career winner of 36 races and $881,235 is owned by trainer Murray Brethour, the Scarff Legacy Stables of Halifax, N.S., Donald Varcoe of Stayner, Ont., and Daniel Sarafian of Stouffville, Ont.  (Standardbred Canada)
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