Harness racing returned to Woodbine Racetrack on a frigid Monday night in Rexdale, Ont. with four-year-old trotting mare Canbec Kadence winning the track's first race of the new year.
Judges rated the track five seconds off in the blustery conditions for Woodbine's season opener with temperatures dropping 15 degrees below zero, but feeling much colder with the windchill.
A full field of 10 trotters four years old and younger that were non-winners of two races or $20,000 lifetime comprised the $17,000 first race.
Driver James MacDonald pulled Canbec Kadence from the pocket and sent her to the lead at the half-mile mark en route to a 2:03 triumph. Bop Too The Top (Sylvain Filion) finished one length back in second over George S P (Daniel Potvin) while early leader Ocean Mist Beauty (Chris Christoforou) trailed four lengths behind in fourth.
Canbec Kadence paid $9.90 to win as 4-1 fourth choice. Favourite Muscle On Broadway (Paul MacDonell) made a break in stride taking himself out of contention when trying to challenge the winner just past the midway mark.
Woodbine's first winner in 2014 is trained by Gerard Demers for owners Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff, Que. and Les Ecuries GLD Inc. of Cambridge, Ont.
The homebred Kadabra-Cr Firefly mare earned just her second career win.
Demers doubled up during the 12-race card with another trotting mare, Whimzical Britt, scoring a 2:01.2 triumph two races later with Billy Davis Jr. aboard.
MacDonald and Davis Jr. also ended the night with two wins each while O'Brien Award nominee Doug McNair and Keith Oliver scored three times to share the early lead in the Woodbine driver standings.
Live harness racing returns to Woodbine on Friday, Jan. 10 at 7:25 p.m.
To view Monday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Monday Results - Woodbine Racetrack.
Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca