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Waples teams North To Alaska to first win
October 19, 2002
By Sandra Snyder

GLOUCESTER, ON — With a picture perfect drive by Hall of Fame horseman Ron Waples, North To Alaska scored the fastest win of three Trillium Series divisions at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Friday evening.

Leaving from Post 2, Waples manoeuvred the Valleymeister daughter into fourth spot and watched as a trio of fillies battled for the front end through the opening quarter. With the lead changing hands faster than a Las Vegas Blackjack dealer lays cards, Waples and North To Alaska sat patiently in fourth until the three-quarter marker where they moved to the outside and took control of the race.

Holding off a late charge from Designable down the stretch, North To Alaska hit the wire three-quarters of a length on top in 2:01. Designable picked up the second-place finisher’s share of the $22,248 purse, while long shot Decadent Pagan got up for third.

Kevin Davidson trains North To Alaska for his partner Catherine Stewart of Campbellville and Friday’s victory was the trio’s first visit to the winner’s circle in seven attempts this season. The filly came close in an Oct. 11 Grassroots event when she crossed the wire first, but Sudbury Downs racing officials moved her back to fourth for causing interference.

Garland Lobell daughter Flanery Hall was the only filly bred outside Ontario to score a win in Friday’s Trillium event, delivering a 2:02.1 wire-to-wire performance in the sixth race. Mike Keeling trains the three-time winner for P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc. of Cambridge and Paul MacDonell Racing Stable of Orono.

No Chatting and Lady Stormont, owned by Stormont Meadows of Long Sault, rounded out the top three.

Mikestory returned to her Gold Final winning form with a 2:02.3 victory in the final Trillium division. The Eager Seelster daughter and owner-trainer-driver William Megens of Troy led the field from gate-to-wire, finishing two lengths ahead of Cinnabar Hanover and Armbro Amaze. It was the filly’s fifth win in 10 starts this season and boosted her earnings to $166,738.

The Gold Series two-year-old trotting fillies make their final regular season stop at Mohawk Racetrack for Gold Elimination and Final action on Oct. 31 and Nov. 7, while the top 16 Grassroots fillies head for Georgian Downs for post season action on Nov. 2 and 9. Rideau Carleton Raceway hosts the three-year-old trotting fillies in their final Gold Series event on Wednesday, Oct. 30 and Nov. 6.