TORONTO, April 2 – The Youthful, Preferred Pace and a milestone highlighted the final Saturday night card of the 2015-16 Woodbine Fall/Winter meet.
The action-packed 10-race card was contested under chilly temperatures and a light snowfall.
Easy Lover Hanover extended his win-streak to six in a row with a 1:53.1 score in the $17,000 second leg of the Youthful for three-year-old pacers.
Driven by Jody Jamieson, Easy Lover Hanover sprinted out from post-seven and cleared to the front just after a :27 opening-quarter.
After posting middle-fractions of :56 and 1:24.1, Easy Lover Hanover extended his lead to more than three-lengths with an eighth of a mile to go. The Catamount Kid, who was a 2/1 co-favourite, turned in a solid stretch-rally to close in on the leader, but the Wallace trainee didn’t fold and won by head.
Sporty Mercedes finished third, while Flaherty, the other 2/1 choice, rallied from seventh at the half to finish fourth.
A son of Somebeachsomewhere, Easy Lover Hanover is now a perfect six for six since joining the Wallace barn earlier this year. Saturday’s victory was the colt’s seventh career victory.
Owned by Brad Grant, Easy Lover Hanover has now earned $55,000 this season. He paid $7.20 to win.
Earlier on the card, Boomboom Ballykeel scored a 5/1 mild-upset in the $34,000 Preferred Pace.
Nirvana Seelster, who was aiming for a second consecutive Preferred victory and third in a row overall, cut the mile and posted panels of :26.4, :55 and 1:23.2 to lead the field into the stretch.
Boomboom Ballykeel and driver Sylvain Filion sat second-over around the final turn, while the favourite Nickle Bag followed in behind. In the stretch, Boomboom Ballykeel battled by Nirvana Seelster in the final-eighth to win by three-quarter of a length in 1:51.2. Nickle Bag finished third.
A five-year-old son of Mach Three, Boomboom Ballykeel now has four wins this season for trainer Richard Moreau and owners Ballykeel Racing Inc. Saturday’s victory was the first career WEG Preferred victory for the Moreau trainee, who won the 2013 Metro Pace.
Boomboom Ballykeel paid $13.50 to win.
Also on Saturday’s card, driver Jonathan Drury surpassed $10 million in career earnings.
The young reinsman reached the career milestone by guiding six-year-old pacing mare D Gs Pesquero to victory in the evening’s opening race for trainer Carmen Auciello.
Drury, who won 142 races last year, has driven 34 winners this season for earnings nearing $600,000. Last season was a career best for Drury, as he drove the winners of over $2.1 million.
The next milestone on the horizon for Drury is the 1,000 win mark. He currently sits at 928 career wins.
The 2015-16 Woodbine Winter/Fall meet wraps up Monday night with a 10-race card. Post time is 7:30 p.m.