Day At The Track

Sintra soars up to win Canadian Pacing Derby

03:14 PM 03 Sep 2017 NZST
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CAMPBELLVILLE, September 2 - Four-year-old gelding Sintra and harness racing driver Jody Jamieson rallied up the pylons to capture the $615,000 Canadian Pacing Derby at odds of 12-1 Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack.

The Dave Menary stable star unleashed a furious stretch rally to charge up the inside and nail Rockin Ron at the wire in 1:48.1 for driver Jamieson and trainer Gaetan Hebert.

"It's pretty awesome," said co-owner Menary following the victory. "He's a special horse that I thought was a half-mile track horse at the start of the year, but that hasn't worked out well this year.

"He likes the big track and he likes to flaunt his speed and I'm happy to be here."

Sintra and Jamieson left from post-nine and were able to drop in fourth heading into the first turn. Nirvana Seelster claimed the front and posted an opening-quarter of :26.

Elimination winner Rockin Ron and driver Louis Philippe Roy would circle around to the lead from second heading up the backside and led by the half in :54. Similar to his elimination, Roy allowed Rockin Ron to roll in the third-quarter and open up a 2½ length lead at three-quarters in 1:21.

Sintra and Jamieson stayed in on the far turn and sat fifth, buried along the pylons turning for home.

In the stretch, Rockin Ron continued to pace strongly and had a sizeable lead with less than an eighth of a mile to go. Staying along the rail proved to be the winning move by Jamieson, as room was available and Sintra took dead aim at the leader. The four-year-old used every inch of a racetrack to track down and surpass Rockin Ron by a neck.

McWicked rallied from seventh to finish third, while All Bets Off and Nirvana Seelster finished in a dead-heat for fourth. Keystone Velocity, the even-money favourite, finished sixth.

A gelded son of Mach Three, Sintra came into the 'Pacing Derby' off a second-place finish to Rockin Ron in his elimination.

"I wasn't sure what I was going to do off the gate," said Jamieson following the race. "Dave didn't want me to get away tenth and I didn't want to be blasting out to the lead.

"As it worked out, I got away fourth and (Keystone Velocity) moved quickly to get his position and I wasn't sure it was going to work out, even at the head of the stretch. (All Bets Off) was on a left line and (Rockin Ron) run out a bit, (Nirvana Seelster) was on the left line and it opened up and Sintra with any kind of a trip at all...he just explodes through."

The 'Pacing Derby' victory is the first for Jamieson, who was very honest with his emotions following the race.

"The last couple years, just the positions I've put myself in to not be overly successful, I got to tell you this one feels really good. It feels as good as any of the big wins I've ever had."

Rockin Ron, who was the 2/1 second-choice, almost pulled off another front-end mission for the team of Roy and trainer Ron Burke.

"It was what I wanted to do," said Roy following the race. "I had (Nirvana Seelster) leaving out so I couldn't keep him there, I just wanted to take him on and pace up front.

"He wasn't steering as good as he was last week. Last week he was perfectly straight, but he was a little bit on the line today. Ron will correct that and he'll come back as good as he was last week."

Sintra is owned by Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Menary Racing Inc. The four-year-old is now eight for 13 with $578,735 banked this season, while his career totals now sit at 16 wins and $882,385 earned.

A $2 win ticket on Sintra returned $27.40. The $2 Exacta (Sintra-Rockin Ron) paid $184.90, while the $1 Trifecta (Sintra-Rockin Ron-McWicked) checked in at $476.45.

Mark McKelvie

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