Thursday night's card of harness racing at Flamboro Downs featured a $10,000 Preferred 2 Trot, a $6,500 Preferred 3 Trot, as well as a moment of silence for one of the track's most popular horsemen.
The top class of the night, the $10,000 Preferred 2 Trot, went to Thundering Ovation and driver Billy Davis Jr. -- but it wasn't easy. The five-year-old Thunder Road mare was pressured through the early parts of the mile by a persistent Long Ago (Bruce Richardson), with fractions of :29.2 and :58.1 over the off track.
Long Ago failed to sustain that pressure along the backside and none of the other horses could get to within a length of Thundering Ovation, who tripped the timer in 1:59.4 for trainer Gerald Sloan and owners Joanne & Courtney Sloan of Harley, Ont.
Pocket-sitter Keystone Orion (Dave Boughton) stayed for second with CIs Buckeye (Alfie Carroll) gobbling up racetrack late to finish third.
Euro Classic found a different path than wire-to-wire to capture the $6,500 Preferred 3 Trot.
Driver Per Henriksen settled Euro Classic into fourth while favoured Santo Domingo (Luc Ouellette) set out fractions of :28.3, :59.1, and 1:30.2. At the three quarter station, Henriksen was positioned second over but moved Euro Classic three-wide around the stalled cover and followed the backside brush of Holy Molie Maggie (Davis). With the pacesetter fading, Henriksen was able to follow new leader Holy Molie Maggie into the stretch and then trot on past for the 2:01 score.
Ann Karin Larsen trains the six-year-old Chocolatier - Donven Fury gelding and co-owns as well along with Tor Jan Larsen of Norwood, Ont. and Odd Larsen of Joakobsli, Norway.
Earlier on the card, driver Tony Kerwood took a nasty-looking tumble with pacer Santanna Man in the fifth race. The pacer fell at the half-mile point of the race and Kerwood was unseated. Officials from Flamboro reported that both horse and driver walked away from the mishap.
As part of its Thursday night card Flamboro observed a moment of silence for horseman Paul Henry, whopassed away on Tuesday at the age of 48.
Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca