Trotters took centre stage on Tuesday night (January 10) at Balmoral Park as 15 diagonally gaited specialists contested a pair of $5,500 divisions in leg one of the Champion On Ice Series.
In the opening split James Mowatt’s Busto made it look easy as he trotted to a 2 ¼ length victory in 2:00.4 over a track rated as “good”.
Confidently handled by driver Mike Oosting this 4-Year-Old gelding did not look like a horse that went 0 for 23 in his sophomore season. The Andrew Robinson trainee made the front shortly after an opening quarter of 29 seconds and he never looked back while rattling off splits of 59.1s & 1:30.2.
Tenaciously holding off his rivals through the stretch the son of Armbro Marino was on cruise control as he reported home with the victory. Viking Sirroco (Jeff Edwards) turned in a much improved performance to finish second while Winabout (Dale Hiteman) was third. Skinan, the 4-5 favourite of the betting public, followed the winner’s every move but faded in the lane and wound up fourth.
The nightcap proved to be nothing more than a stroll in the park for the Andy Miller Stables Van Joe as he reported home with a resounding 14-length victory in 1:59.4.
Benefiting from a perfect trip this 5-Year-Old son of Van Gogh was hustled away from the gate by catch driver Mike Oosting and neatly tucked in second as Sea Frenzie (Brent Holland) showed the way through splits of 30.3s, 1:00.1, and 1:31.
Pulling the pocket as the field straightened for home the Julie Miller trainee blew right by the pace setter and proceeded to open up a huge advantage over his rivals, flying home in 28.3s to notch his third straight victory. Double Strength (Dale Hiteman) recovered from a miscue in the first turn to get the runner-up honors while Sams Our Man (Charles Taylor) was a non-threatening third.
Courtesy Of Tom Kelley, Publicity Director, Balmoral Park