Day At The Track

Cooking The Books earns her second title

03:44 AM 10 Aug 2012 NZST
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John Kopas
John Kopas

Rain may have left the Kawartha Downs harness racing oval two seconds slower than normal on Thursday evening (August 9) , but it did nothing to dampen the rivalry between Ontario's top three-year-old pacing fillies.

As expected, elimination winner Lyons Luck got Thursday’s $130,000 Gold Final off to a quick start, powering away from Post 3 to a :28 opening quarter. Fan favourite Mindsweeper was out and challenging heading for the :54.3 half, but Lyons Luck held her at bay through the 1:24.1 three-quarters.

Through the sharp early fractions reigning Gold Final champion Cooking The Books was sitting on the rail in fourth, while Canadian Breeders Champion Class Of O Nine sat at the back of the field of nine. Heading for the three-quarters Stephen Byron sent Cooking The Books up the outside, as did Dan Clements with Class Of O Nine, and Cooking The Books had stripped the lead from Lyons Luck by the time the fillies turned for home.

Still five and one-quarter lengths back in eighth when her rival took command, Class Of O Nine shifted into overdrive and sprinted down the stretch, but Cooking The Books battled hard and held on for a neck victory in 1:54.1. Mia Seelster, who had followed Cooking The Books up the outside, picked up the third-place share of the $130,000 Gold Final purse.

After doing all the work on the front end over the sloppy surface, Lyons Luck faded back to eighth. Fan favourite Mindsweeper was just ahead of her in seventh and the other elimination winner, Katys Jet, finished fourth.

Paul Mackenzie piloted both Lyons Luck and Cooking The Books in the elimination round, but opted for Lyons Luck in the final, leaving the drive aboard the winner to Byron.

Thursday’s victory gives Cooking The Books an impressive record of three wins and one third in Gold Series action this season and boosted the filly’s sophomore earnings to $202,046. Milton resident John Kopas trains the daughter of Mach Three and Gallery Girl for Glengate Farms of Campbellville, Helen Biback of Thornhill and Old Aultsville Stable of Mississauga.

Cooking The Books will attempt to secure a third Gold Final trophy when the three-year-old pacing fillies move to Mohawk Racetrack for their third Gold Series event on August 20 and 27.

Kawartha Downs has two Grassroots events remaining on its 2012 Ontario Sires Stakes calendar, the three-year-old trotting colts this Saturday, Aug. 11 and the three-year-old pacing fillies next Thursday, Aug. 16. Post time for both events is 7 pm.

by Sandra SNYDER

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