News ArchivesArchives for June '02
Living Image makes believers out of Woodbine fans
REXDALE, ON — Living Image earned his first Gold Series crown at Woodbine Racetrack on Monday night, demolishing his three-year-old trotting colt rivals with an impressive 1:55 mile.
Starting from Post 1 in the $130,000 Gold Final, Living Image benefited from a perfect trip engineered by veteran reinsman Steve Condren. The Milton resident settled the colt on the rail behind early leader Balagar, who fired out of Post 4 to lead the field through a snappy :27.3 opening quarter, and then waited patiently as favourite Duke Of York got a rough and tumble trip up the outside.
As the colts turned for home Living Image was just over a length behind the battling leaders when Duke Of York made an uncharacteristic break, which resulted in the fan favourite being placed back from sixth to ninth. With Duke Of York out of the way, Living Image made short work of Balagar and sprinted home to the 1:55 score with four lengths to spare.
The 1:55 mile tied the Ontario Sires Stakes record for three-year-old trotting colts on a seven-eighths mile track, originally set by Armbro Officer in 1996.
“We’re very, very happy with the way he raced. When he came off the last turn he accelerated like a good horse,” said co-owner Myron Bell after the race. “When the other horse broke, that changed the whole complexion of the race.”
New Jersey resident Bell shares ownership of Living Image with Brittany Farms and Leah Cheverie of Kentucky and David Scharf and Jerry and Rosalie Silva of New York. The Living Image Stable added $65,000 to their bank balance with the colt’s victory, for a total of $102,250 earned in three starts last season and seven starts this year. Ron Gurfein trains the talented son of Balanced Image and Do Si Do Hanover, who is now within sight of repaying his $120,000 purchase price.
Elimination winner and pacesetter Balagar hung on for second for owners Dream With Me Stable of Caledon East and Gaetan Bono of Laval, QC, while Priceless Gem prevented a Balanced Image son sweep by charging from seventh to third through the stretch.
The other elimination winner, Abbey Road C, made an early break in stride and was never a factor in the race.
Living Image will attempt to make it two in a row when the sophomore trotting colts dazzle Windsor Raceway fans on June 30 and July 7. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Woodbine Racetrack next Monday, June 17 when the three-year-old pacing fillies bring their high speed show to the big city in Gold Series Elimination action.