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Wescott powers to first Gold Final victory
October 3, 2002
By Sandra Snyder

WINDSOR, ON — Ontario’s finest two-year-old trotting fillies delivered an exciting finish to their second last Gold Final on Wednesday evening, leaving Windsor Raceway fans biting their nails until the final strides.

As the wings from the starting gate folded Aimees Image made it clear that this week she had come to play ball, firing out to the lead from Post 4. The Balanced Image lass and driver Stephen Byron led the field through a :29 opening quarter while Wescott and Jar Jar Binx settled in behind her and favourite For The Luva Moni landed in fifth spot on the rail. At the 1:00.2 half Aimees Image was still in control, with Wescott sitting in the catbird seat behind her and driver Carman Hie sending For The Luva Moni up the outside.

Deciding not to let For The Luva Moni take control, Byron stepped up the pace through the 1:30.1 third quarter and Hie was left hanging on the outside through the final turn. By the time the fillies turned for home For The Luva Moni and Aimees Image were neck and neck and Kevin Wallis was getting ready to pop pocket sitter Wescott into second gear. The fillies duelled down the lane, but in the end it was Wescott who prevailed, stopping the clock in 2:00.4 to earn her first Gold Final trophy.

For The Luva Moni prevailed over Aimees Image at the wire, with only one and a half lengths separating the top three finishers while Jar Jar Binx was more than eight lengths back in fourth.

David Jannone of Southern Pines, NC trains Wescott for Wescott LLC of Neenah, WI, who have banked $126,362 on her behalf this season. Wednesday’s victory was the Wesgate Crown daughter’s second, following her elimination triumph last week, and boosted her into third spot in the division standings with 166 points. Through the first four Gold Series events she has posted two wins, two seconds and two fourth-place finishes, only failing to make the Final at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Aug. 21.

For The Luva Money’s elimination win and a runner-up showing in her first Gold Series moved the Balanced Image daughter into seventh spot in the point standings and gives owner-trainer Dr. John Hayes of Beamsville and his partners Ned Gvoich of Beamsville and Kim Kaplan of Worcester, MA the option of pursuing the Grassroots post season or the Nov. 16 Super Final.

Aimees Image added another $15,600 to her already sizeable earnings of $319,213 with her third-place finish. Peterborough’s John Bax trains the fractiousBalanced Image filly for breeders Glengate Farms of Campbellville and Kesons Stables Inc. of Cambridge.

The talented freshman trotting fillies make their final Gold Series stop at Mohawk Racetrack Oct. 31 and Nov. 7, while Windsor Raceway hosts another exceptional evening of Ontario Sires Stakes action this Sunday (Oct. 6), featuring Gold Finals for the three-year-old pacing colts and three-year-old trotting fillies.