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Run Director battles to third Gold Series victory
Run Director wrapped up the three-year-old trotting colt regular season with his third Gold Series victory on Thursday evening, circling the Woodbine Mohawk Park oval in 1:54.1.
Starting from Post 8 driver Sylvain Filion eased the heavy favourite away from the starting gate and trotted along in the outer lane waiting for a wind break. Just past the :27.4 quarter rung up by Joeys Bats, driver Phil Hudon obliged by tipping second choice Stormont Ventnor out of the four-hole. Heading by the :56.3 half Winning American edged out in front of Stormont Ventnor, who skipped off stride as the colts advanced toward the 1:25.3 three-quarters. After powering out three-wide around a stalled Winning American, Run Director swung off the final turn in lock-step with pocket-sitter Jula Downtown. The colts waged a fierce battle all the way down the stretch with Run Director prevailing by a head in 1:54.1. Perfetto finished four and one-half lengths back in third.
“I thought tonight he had to work, especially after the two run in the last turn, I thought it would have been a little easier. He won the race, but he had to work hard tonight,” said trainer Ben Baillargeon. “I have to say that I was a little surprised. I thought it would have been easier, but they made us earn our money tonight. He raced tough.”
Guelph resident Baillargeon conditions Run Director for owner-breeders Tom and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catharines, Ontario. Thursday’s win boosted the colt’s sophomore record to five wins, four seconds and one third in 14 starts for earnings of $282,455. In five regular season appearances, the son of Kadabra and Keep The Spirit won three Gold events and finished second in the other two, giving him a division leading 200 points.
In addition to his Ontario Sires Stakes appearances, Run Director also tackled the best sophomore trotting colts in North America on four occasions this season. Following his August 26 Gold Series win at Rideau Carleton Raceway Baillargeon sent the trotter out against open company in the Simcoe Stakes and Run Director finished a hard-closing second. While it had not originally been part of the trainer’s plan, Run Director’s Simcoe result earned the colt a shot in the Sept. 15 Canadian Trotting Classic where he finished sixth.
“He raced so good in the Simcoe we gave him a shot in the Canadian Trotting Classic,” explained Baillargeon. “He raced good, but bad posts, he always gets bad posts.”
In his four open stake appearances Run Director has drawn Posts 6, 7, 8 and 9, a trend Baillargeon hopes will not extend to the Oct. 13 Super Final. The top 10 point earners from the five regular season Gold events will return to Woodbine Mohawk Park for the $225,000 Super Final.
With just over two weeks until the lucrative season finale, Baillargeon says Run Director will likely make one more start before he wraps up his Ontario Sires Stakes career.
“I’ll probably have to do something with him. He likes to race,” said the trainer. “I cannot leave him off two and a half weeks, I’ll have to get him in a race somewhere.”
Woodbine Mohawk Park continues to showcase the Ontario Sires Stakes program this week, hosting the fourth Gold Series event for the two-year-old pacing colts and fillies on Friday, Sept. 28 and the $400,000 Grassroots Championships on Saturday, Sept. 29. Post time for both programs is 7:10 pm.
For complete results please visit Woodbine Mohawk Park Results — Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018