Contesta Hanover pulled off a 29-1 upset in the $75,000 Northlands Filly Pace, defeating Crackers Hot Shot in a two-horse breakaway down the stretch on a snowy Friday night at Northlands Park.
Gerry Hudon worked out the winning trip for trainer Keith Clark, whose last Northlands Filly Pace winner, Dewinton Destroyer, was also an upset winner at odds of 11-1 in 2011. The De Winton, Alta. conditioner shares ownership of Contesta Hanover with partner Robert Jones of Slave Lake, Alta.
When the gate closed, Emotions Run Wild (Kelly Hoerdt) worked her way to the lead over inside starter Keep The Dream, Clark's favoured filly, with outsider G Ts Selene (Travis Cullen) left parked out through a :27.2 opening quarter.
Keep The Dream made a quarter pole move edging off the rail ahead of G Ts Selene and pursued the early leader past the :56.4 half-mile mark.
As the 1-9 favourite began to edge by into the top spot, second choice Crackers Hot Shot (Bill Tainsh Jr.) rallied three-wide from mid-pack and quickly rolled by with Contesta Hanover following that move nearing the three-quarters in 1:26.
Crackers Hot Shot and Contesta Hanover took off from the rest of the field into the final turn and locked in a stretch duel with the latter persevering in deep stretch for the 1:56.3 victory over the frozen track.
"I had a good trip," commented Hudon in the winner's circle. "I saw it mapping out early; they were going lots of speed [up front] and I knew if I could keep it tight I would get it all in the end."
Despite winning her elimination two weeks ago, Contesta Hanover was overlooked by the betting public and paid $61.40 to win by one length over Crackers Hot Shot. The longest shot on the board at odds of 61-1, Cenalta Fireworks (Scott Knight) came from last to show, finishing nearly nine lengths behind, over Keep The Dream.
The Yankee Cruiser filly, who went winless in three starts as a freshman, now boasts a career record reading 7-7-6 in 38 starts with earnings soaring to $47,151.
In overnight racing action, 2012 Northlands Filly Pace competitor Credit Card Junkie ($5.40) and Clark overcame a post eight start one race earlier to the win the weekly $9,000 Fillies & Mares Open Pace. The 8-5 favourite tucked into third early on and then swept to command down the backstretch en route to her 10th win of the year from 21 starts, clocked in 1:58.3. Phoenician Girl (Travis Cullen) came on for second, finishing two lengths behind the winner, while pacesetter Gts Jerilyn (Brandon Campbell) finished third. Clark bred and owns the four-year-old Camystic filly with Doris McDougall of Cochrane, Alta. and Calgary's Verne Rea.
The $75,000 Western Canada Pacing Derby for three-year-old colts and geldings will headline Saturday's harness racing card at Northlands Park, which gets underway at 6 p.m.
To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Northlands Park.
Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca.