Willowdale Series splits contested
January 17, 2010
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Ideal Race was a repeat winner while Handsome Harry captured the other division in Saturday's second leg of the Willowdale Pacing Series for 4 year olds during an unseasonably warm night at Woodbine Racetrack.
The first $35,000(C) division was an action-packed affair from start to finish with Shady Cam parking well past the opening quarter of :25.4 before clearing the field and leading through pressured splits of :54.1 and 1:22.4.
Race favorite Schoolkids was forced to come first-over with Gotcha Covered following on his back and Handsome Harry third-over but with plenty of speed to chase. As the field turned for home, the front end understandably began to tire and Gotcha Covered looped up three wide to wrestle the lead with the closers in hot pursuit.
Once clear, Handsome Harry kicked in with a strong stretch rally for driver Rick Zeron to easily overhaul the pacesetters while stopping the clock in 1:51.1. Pangiorno overcame traffic trouble in the stretch to land the place spot with Gotcha Covered settling for third. The winner returned $5.70 as the second choice.
t was the first win in three tries this season for the son of Dream Away-Princess Jocelyn who won 15 of 21 starts last season at 3. Joey Shea recently took over the training of the pacer, who surpassed the $337,000 mark in earnings, for owners Ralph Del Priore and Harry Doyle.
In the second split, Ideal Race was able to assume command easily from post seven and, once on top, he cruised to a gate-to-wire victory for driver Luc Ouellette in 1:51. The gelded son of Western Terror-Eidette Hanover finished 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Panmunjom with race favorite Keep It Real, who won on the front in round one of the series, closing from off the pace to finish third.
Ideal Race notched his second consecutive win in the series and will have a chance to sweep next week in the $75,000(C) final for trainer Tracy Brainard and the Bulletproof Enterprises. Saturday's victory improved his career earnings to just over $287,000. (WEG)