Gotta Have Nukes nosed out favourite Playbook to post a 27-1 upset in this week's $10,500 Open Pace at Fraser Downs on Sunday afternoon for trainer/driver Rick White.
Playbook and trainer/driver Keith Clark set up shop on the front end and led the field of nine Open pacers through fractions of :27.3, :57.4 and 1:25.1 with second choice Prairie Illusion and Scott Knight advancing from third and going head-to-head with the leader around the final turn. Playbook held that foe at bay, but went down to defeat to the late-surging Gotta Have Nukes. White had the longshot positioned fourth throughout the mile before moving him into the pocket spot. Gotta Have Nukes then sprinted a final quarter in :28.1 along the pylons to score the victory and a new lifetime mark of 1:53.4.
The winner returned $56 to his backers. Playbook settled for second with Prairie Illusion following less than one length behind.
The five-year-old Kents On Nuke gelding is owned and bred by White and June Kauffman. A multiple stakes winner at two and three, Gotta Have Nukes earned just one win in 20 starts last year during his four-year-old campaign against Open company. Sunday's win was his 13th lifetime and bumped his bankroll to $172,048.
Gotta Have Nukes' former stakes competitor Steve O was also in the spotlight on Sunday, winning the following $10,000 Abbetross A Claiming Series Final for $5,500 claiming pacers.
Trained and driven by Jim Marino, Steve O sat third for most of the mile before kicking home in :28.3 to prevail by half a length in 1:56.1 over pocket-sitter Mr Prospector and Brad Watt. Marlin Hanover and Glenn White rounded out the top three finishers over three lengths behind.
Steve O was a winner in the Jan. 5 opening leg of the series and a runner-up in round two over a sloppy track on Jan. 12. His eighth career win pushed his earnings over the $100,000 mark.
Sent postward at odds of 7-1, Steve O paid 16.50 to win.
The five-year-old Village Jiffy gelding is owned by J.F. Gagne, Carl Warnaar and Peter Van Seggelen.
To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Fraser Downs.
Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca