Friday marked the midway point in three nights of outstanding Gold Final action at Woodbine Racetrack, and after capturing both Gold Finals on Thursday, young harness racing reinsman Scott Zeron added another win and a second to his resume this evening.
Aboard elimination winner and fan favourite Apogee Hanover in the two-year-old pacing filly Gold Final, Zeron rolled the filly away from Post 6 and had her on top by the :13.3 opening eighth. With her gearshift stuck firmly in overdrive, Apogee Hanover paced all alone on the front end through the :27.3 quarter, the :55.3 half and the 1:23.1 three-quarters and sailed home a two and three-quarter length winner in 1:54.3.
Battling into second over a track rated two seconds slower than normal was reigning Gold Final champion Legal Entity. Mindsweeper, owned by Millar Farms of Newmarket, was four more lengths back in third, just ahead of Cooking The Books, who is owned by Glengate Farms of Campbellville, Helen Biback of Thornhill and Old Aultsville Stable of Mississauga. Grassroots Champion Eat Me Up rounded out the cheque earners in the last Gold Final on the freshman pacing filly calendar.
Since capturing a Gold Final at Mohawk Racetrack on July 18, Apogee Hanover has had very little luck in stakes finals, finishing fifth over an off track at Rideau Carleton Raceway in the next Gold Final, suffering interference in the Shes A Great Lady Final at Mohawk and making an early break in the Sept. 25 Gold Final captured by Legal Entity. Fortunately for trainer Ervin Miller and owner Roger Hammer of Bedford, PA, the tide seems to have turned for the youngster, who boosted her lifetime earnings to $197,200 with Friday’s win.
The daughter ofand Aurora Seelster was a $27,000 purchase at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale and heads into the Gold Series post season in a tie for top spot with the division’s other two-time Gold Final winner Class Of O Nine.
Oakville resident Zeron’s Gold Final win streak came to an expected halt in the second $130,000 contest when favourite The Game Plan picked up his fourth straight victory.
Moffat resident Jack Moiseyev engineered the win, which saw the two-year-old trotting gelding ease away from Post 6 into fourth as Il Mago led the colts into the first turn. Il Mago maintained his lead through the :14 eighth and the :28.2 quarter, but when Moiseyev tipped The Game Plan out heading for the :58.4 half the reigning Gold Final champ effortlessly grabbed control from the leader.
On top by two lengths at the 1:28.2 three-quarters, The Game Plan rocketed down the stretch to an eight and one-half length victory in 1:57.3. Zeron and Heres The Magic got up for second, followed by Victim Of Changes, Il Mago and Reckon Im Ready, for a sweep of the top five spots by sons of.
The impressive victory boosted The Game Plan’s stats to eight wins, one second and one third in 11 starts for trainer John Kopas of Milton and his partners LLK Stable of Mississauga, Gary Grieve of Union and Anthony Wagner of Mississauga. With Two Gold Final titles and the William Wellwood Memorial Final to his credit the son ofand Image Control sports an impressive earnings total of $485,300.
The gelding leads his peers into the Nov. 12 Super Final at Woodbine with a total of 287 points, 88 ahead of Heres The Magic.
Woodbine Racetrack’s outstanding line up of Gold Final events concludes on Saturday evening with the exciting three-year-old pacing colts and trotting colts, with both divisions competing for $170,000. Post time for the Toronto oval’s first race is 7:30 pm.