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Favourites deliver in pacing filly season opener
May 23, 2008
By Sandra Snyder

LONDON, ON — Trainer Casie Coleman and driver Mark MacDonald swept into Western Fair Raceway on Friday night with the favourites for both Gold Series Eliminations, and the pair proved the pundits right with two sparkling victories.

Chancey Lady opened the program with a stylish come from behind effort that saw her hit the wire one and a half lengths on top in 1:55.1. Starting from Post 4, MacDonald eased the Camluck lass off the starting gate and sat comfortably in fourth as Windsong Eva rang up a :28.2 opening quarter and a :58 half.

Freshman Grassroots champion Onyx Killean made the first move in the mile and took command before the 1:27 three-quarters, but Chancey Lady was tucked in behind her and sprinted down the stretch to the victory. Onyx Killean picked up the second-place share of the $40,000 Gold Elimination purse, narrowly holding off local filly Call Me Yours, who is bred, owned and trained by Stephen Gillard of Tavistock. Windsong Eva picked up fourth in the race, and the final berth in next week’s $140,000 Gold Final.

Niele Jiwan of Burnaby, BC owns Chancey Lady, who posted a record of seven wins and one second in 10 starts last season for earnings of $350,340. Among her victories were two Gold Eliminations, one Gold Final, the $300,000 Super Final and her elimination of the Breeders Crown.

A Fiesty Affair’s only provincial wins as a two-year-old were in the Grassroots program, but the filly proved she belongs among Ontario’s best as she stepped off a gate-to-wire triumph in 1:54.4.

Firing off the starting gate from Post 3, A Fiesty Affair hit the quarter in :27.1, seven and half lengths ahead of her peers. She continued to sprint around the London oval and passed in front of the grandstand 10 lengths on top in :55.3.

MacDonald was able to apply the brakes heading for the 1:25.2 three-quarters, reducing A Fiesty Affair’s lead to one and three-quarter lengths, and down the stretch Shipps Bikini was able to cut the margin to three-quarters of a length. Belka Hanover was one length back in third, with fourth-place finisher St Lads Seraph six lengths to the rear.

Third in the Grassroots championship, A Fiesty Affair captured seven of her 14 freshman starts and finished third twice. The daughter of Camluck and So Fiesty banked $111,905 for owner-breeder Robert Hamather of Exeter.

Both A Fiesty Affair and Chancey Lady prepped for their sophomore Ontario Sires Stakes debuts with an overnight test. On April 24 at Woodbine Racetrack, A Fiesty Affair delivered a runner-up performance in a 1:51 mile, and on May 9 at Mohawk Racetrack, Chancey Lady sprinted home in :26.4 to finish fourth with a 1:53 clocking.

The pair will return to Western Fair Raceway next Friday, May 30 to compete in the first Gold Final of their season, part of the London oval’s Molson Pace festivities. Joining them will be the second, third and fourth finishers from each elimination.

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