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Woodbine fans hail Ontario Sires Stakes queens
November 14, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

REXDALE, ON — A pair of three-year-old fillies earned Ontario Sires Stakes crowns at Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday night as trotter Peaceful Way and pacing filly Invitro captured their $300,000 Super Finals in commanding style to cap off superlative Ontario Sires Stakes careers.

Peaceful Way was at her breathtaking best in the seventh race, allowing driver Chris Christoforou to ease her onto the rail in fifth as Trophy Hall hustled through smart early fractions of :27, :56.3 and 1:25.4. Coming around the last turn Christoforou sent the Angus Hall daughter up the outside and she circled four wide around the leaders before powering to a 1:54 Ontario Sires Stakes record.

“She came to race tonight,” said Christoforou from the winner’s circle. “She was just so dynamic and did everything I asked of her.”

Owned by trainer David Tingley of Guelph, breeder Angie Stiller of Arva and Goin My Way Stable of Holland, PA, Peaceful Way completed her two year Ontario Sires Stakes career with a flawless record of nine wins in nine starts and ownership of three provincial speed records.

Longshot Bliss edged out division points leader McCall Magic for the runner-up’s share of the $300,000 Super Final purse.

Two races after fans saluted Peaceful Way, they were back on their feet to honour another exceptional competitor as Invitro cruised to an effortless victory in the sophomore pacing filly Final. In front just past the :26.2 opening quarter, the Camluck miss rolled through fractions of :54.4 and 1:23.1 before reaching the wire in 1:52.1, three and a half lengths up on Serious Comfort and Taylor Lynne.

“We’ve said it all about her before,” said driver Paul MacDonell. “She is one of the best fillies I have ever been associated with. To dominate like she did all season; she is something special.”

Undefeated in provincial action since June 14, Invitro posted 12 wins, three seconds, one third, one fourth and one fifth, never finishing out of the money in 18 starts. Saturday’s triumph boosted her lifetime earnings to $1,281,914 for trainer Gordon Irwin of Cobourg and his partner Murray Ross of Norwood.

Favourites reigned supreme in all but one of the Super Final events on Saturday, and the sole upset came in the two-year-old trotting filly division when the ironically named Fan Favourite upset Gaelic and the bettor’s choice Elena to earn her first victory of the season.

“I know she doesn’t have a whole lot of money on her card before tonight, but it wasn’t for the lack of trying,” said driver Luc Ouellette. “Tonight, finally, she had a little racing luck.”

Ouellette drives the Angus Hall daughter for trainer Paul Buer and Joie De Vie Farm of Jobstown, NJ. Second in the elimination and Final of the Gold Series event at Mohawk Racetrack Sept. 28 and Oct. 5, the pair captured the Super Final in a personal best 1:59.2.

Classic Lavec matched his personal best with a very impressive victory in the two-year-old trotting colt event. Paul MacDonell sent the Mr Lavec son to the front from Post 4 and the pair effortlessly turned back a brief challenge mounted by runner-up Feeling Frazzled to sail under the wire two and a half lengths on top in 1:57.3. Mill Work trotted home 11 lengths behind the leaders to complete a sweep of the top three positions by sons of Mr Lavec.

Stanley Malec of Belle River bred and owns Classic Lavec and Albert White trains the young trotter.

Freshman pacing filly Lady Dillinger scored her fourth consecutive victory in the fifth race, reaching the wire six and a half lengths on top in a Sires Stakes record equalling 1:52.3.

Gaetan Hebert of Freelton bred and owns the talented daughter of D M Dilinger and handled her training through the first eight races of her career before turning her over to Warsaw resident Nat Varty in mid-October.

“He told me he wanted to win the Super Final and I said I’d do my best,” said Varty. “I didn’t have to do much, she was a very good filly. She’s dynamic, she can do anything.”

One race later Isle Of Patmos came within one-fifth of a second of the two-year-old pacing colt record when he powered to a 1:51.4 victory over a hard charging Silent Swing and Pacific Admiral. Luc Ouellette piloted the Astreos son to his third straight win for Peter Heffering of Port Perry, David Scharf of New York, NY, Jerry Silva of Bellmore, NY and Sampson Street Stables of Old Forge, PA.

Cincinnati Kid also continued his recent hot streak with a 1:55 victory over three-year-old trotting colt rivals Loose Change Louie and Coventry. Since moving into the Harald Lunde barn in mid-August the Angus Hall son has banked $418,799 for owner Fred Monteleone Stable LLC of Pompano Beach, FL.

And Geartogear brought the 2004 Ontario Sires Stakes season to a close with a 1:50.4 victory in the three-year-old pacing colt event. The Grinfromeartoear son did not make his first appearance in the provincial program until October but he made the most of his opportunities, laying claim to the hardware in all five starts.

“He is a serious horse, that was a great mile,” said Nat Varty, who trains the colt for Perfect World Enterprises of Old Westbury, NY. “He’s been driven very well in the last three weeks by Kevin Wallis.”

Galantine Hanover and Pokagon earned second and third-place honours in the last Ontario Sires Stakes event of a season that saw seven provincial speed records lowered, including the 1:50 all time record set by Armbro Balmoral in his Aug. 16 Gold Final victory at Woodbine Racetrack.

Fans can look forward to another outstanding season in 2005 when this year’s two-year-old superstars and a fresh crop of young trotters and pacers take aim at the provincial history books.