Windsun Gotham and Better B Rolling drew first blood in Saturday evening's opening leg of the Valedictory Series at Woodbine Racetrack. A group of 16 three-year-old pacing colts and geldings were split into two $17,000 divisions for the first leg of the three-week Valedictory Series.
Making just his second start since the end of July, Windsun Gotham rallied off cover in the stretch to win the first division in 1:51.2. The Tony O'Sullivan trainee was steered to victory by Sylvain Filion.
Windsun Gotham got away fifth and would eventually get into the outer-flow at the half to sit second-over.
Following the cover of eventual third-place finisher and race-favorite JK Pridenjoy, Windsun Gotham shot home in :27.3 to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Brave World.
A gelded son of American Ideal, Windsun Gotham is now five for 17 this season and has earned over $58,000 for owners Thomas Pollack and O'Sullivan Racing Inc. The clocking of 1:51.2 was a lifetime best for the O'Sullivan student.
Windsun Gotham paid $16.40 to win.
The second division saw Better B Rolling extend his current win streak to three with a 4 1/2-length score in 1:52.1.
Driven by Louis Philippe Roy for trainer Ciaran Morrison, Better B Rolling went coast to coast, pacing home in :27.4, to pick up his eighth win of the season. The gelded son of Roll With Joe is owned and bred by W Donovan and has earned $56,650 in his first season of racing. He's A Popper finished second, while Artofficial Flavor was third.
Better B Rolling paid $5.80.
Sophomore pacing colts and geldings, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of Oct. 31, 2017, were eligible for nomination to the Valedictory. The second leg of the series takes place next Saturday, Dec. 16. The series finale is scheduled for Boxing Day, Dec. 26.
Also on Saturday, 10-year-old Casimir Jitterbug went out a winner in his final start.
The Andrew Harris trainee captured a $22,000 overnight in 1:50.4 to cap off a career that saw him win 60 times, earn over $1 million © and take a mark of 1:49.3 at Mohawk.
Originally trained by Mario Rivest, Casimir Jitterbug raced in his early career in Sudbury before moving onto the Woodbine circuit and racing for trainers Gregg McNair and O'Sullivan. The son of Sir Luck moved south of the border for O'Sullivan in the spring of 2014 and would eventually join the Harris barn in the summer of 2016.
Harris brought Casimir Jitterbug back to Woodbine for the final two starts of his career and the classy veteran will now rejoin original trainer Rivest for his retirement. (WEG)