Day At The Track

Series finals at Woodbine

08:07 PM 23 Jan 2016 NZDT
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Shades Of Bay Double Olives
Shades Of Bay now has seven career victories and earnings exceeding $92,000
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Double Olives turned in another game effort to win the Blizzard final
New Image Media Photo
Shades Of Bay

TORONTO, January 22 - The finals of the Blizzard and Snowshoe Series highlighted harness racing action Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack.

The $45,200 Blizzard final for three and four-year-old pacing fillies and mares featured a field of nine, while a full-field of ten three and four-year-old pacers competed in the $47,200 Snowshoe final.

Rafa and Shades Of Bay entered the Snowshoe final both seeking a series sweep and the anticipated matchup lived up to the hype.

Driven by Sylvain Filion, Rafa, 3/2, fired out from post three to grab the lead, while Shades Of Bay, 4/5, and driver Phil Hudon left from post nine and found a spot in fourth. After posting an opening-quarter of :26.2, Rafa was quickly confronted by Shades Of Bay, who made a quick brush to the lead.

The two favourites sat one-two through middle-fractions of :55.4 and 1:24.3.

In the stretch, Filion tipped Rafa off the back of Hudon to set up a stretch duel. Rafa was able to get within less than a length of the lead, but Shades Of Bay would not be denied a series sweep and held off his rival to win by a length and a quarter in 1:52.2.

Shippen Out finished third, while Tylers Beach Boy was fourth.

A son of Art Major, Shades Of Bay is trained by Sean Mehlenbacher for owner Timothy Kim. The Snowshoe Series sweep improves the four-year-old to three for three in 2016 and six for seven since joining the Mehlenbacher barn.

Friday's Snowshoe victory was the second series victory for Shades Of Bay in less than a month. The Mehlenbacher trainee also won the Valedictory Series final on Boxing Day.

Shades Of Bay now has seven career victories and earnings exceeding $92,000.

The runner-up finish by Rafa is the Richard Moreau trainee's first defeat after starting his career four for four.

A $2 win ticket on Shades Of Bay returned $3.80.

Shades Of Bay

A week after capturing a second leg divison as the favourite, Double Olives turned in another game effort to win the Blizzard final at 10/1.

Driven by Mike Saftic, Double Olives was taken back in the early stages and got away eighth. Twin B Sweetheart, who was parked around the first turn, finally cleared to take command ahead of Cracklin Rosie, the 8/5 favourite, and Amazing Control entering the backstretch.

After posting a half of :55.2, Twin B Sweetheart relinquished the lead to Dontbruisecarrie and began to jam things up along the inside. Saftic was able to situate Double Olives third-over around the final turn, as Naughty Lady B closed in on the leader first up.

In the stretch, Naughty Lady B took over the top spot, but Double Olives came off cover and charged by her rival to score a length victory in 1:53. Naughty Lady B held on for second, while Bad As Leader and Cracklin Rosie rounded out the Superfecta.

A four-year-old daughter of Blissfull Hall, Double Olives is trained by Dave Matson for owners John Taylor and Jeffrey Ruch. The brown pacing mare entered Friday's final with a victory and runner-up finish in the preliminary legs.

Double Olives now has two wins from three starts this season and seven overall in her racing career. The Blizzard Series victory pushes her career bankroll to $72,810.

A $2 win ticket on Double Olives returned $23.80.

Double Olives

The Blizzard and Snowshoe Series carried the same conditions, as the pacers had to be non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015.

Winter Series action continues on Monday night (January 25) with the $44,200 Lifetime Dream final.

Live racing continues Saturday at Woodbine. Post time is 7:30 p.m.

Mark McKelvie

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