Day At The Track

Waples reflects on his magical night

07:38 AM 11 Sep 2015 NZST
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Randy Waples Randy Waples
Randy Waples poses with the Metro Pace and Canadian Pacing Derby trophies.
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Randy Waples
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CAMPBELLVILLE, September 10 - It was a night that most harness racing drivers could only dream of and a night that will live forever in the history book.

Randy Waples is still buzzing from his impressive performance last Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack and can you blame him?

The veteran reinsman swept the Canadian Pacing Derby, Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady Stakes to become the first driver to capture all three-events in the same year. He also added two other victories on the card to drive the winners of over $900,000 on the evening.

Waples performance not only had those at Mohawk talking, but also the whole country. The name "Randy Waples" was trending across Canada on Twitter, which is believed to be the first time a driver has ever trended on the Social Media platform.

Heading into Saturday's mega-card Waples was loaded with talent. He was set with the undefeated Control The Moment in the Metro, the red-hot L A Delight in the Shes A Great Lady and he picked up the huge catch drive on State Treasurer in the Canadian Pacing Derby.

The only thing left was for everyone to perform.

"I knew I had a lot of power and they all had good post positions, but they got to show up and that's what was making me nervous," said Waples, outside the paddock Tuesday night at Mohawk. "I just thought that sooner or later one of them wouldn't show up.

"I didn't know much about State Treasurer because it had been so long since I drove him, but the other two they had been showing up every week and I was just praying to god they showed up again and they did."

Waples went into the big three stakes with two victories earlier on the card, including a dead-heat win in the evening's opening contest. Waples said the strong start to the night built confidence going forward.

"If you start to stink it out right away then you're thinking to yourself 'Uh oh it's going to be one of those nights', but everything just raced really well and the ones that I was counting on they raced even better."

Control The Moment, L A Delight and State Treasurer were all clear favourites in their respective events. Driving the favourite in any major race is stressful, but to drive three is another story. Waples directed the credit to the conditioners Brad Maxwell, Dr. Ian Moore and Bob McIntosh for giving him well prepared horses that made his job easier.

"Everything lined up perfectly, just the way the three trainers in the three stake races just had their horses so good," Waples said. "I know I keep going back to that, but it's the truth.

"They just had them unbelievably good and it was just a matter of trying to keep them in a right position, but you had so much power you could keep them in that right position and control things. It was just amazing."

State Treasurer's win gave Waples his second Canadian Pacing Derby title, but his Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady scores were his first victories in those high profile races.

A three-time Driver of the Year in Canada, Waples is having another great season and currently sits third in wins on the WEG circuit, but finding success on one of the sport's biggest stages is what it's all about.

"It really picks you up and that's what you're here for," said Waples. "It's nice to win overnights and it's nice to win Gold finals and everything like that because it's good money, but those races they are tough to win."

Capturing the Metro Pace puts the winner on a who's who list of past champions and that meant a lot to Waples.

"A guy like (Steve) Condren, a great driver, still looking for his first one. I'm certainly not in his caliber, but I was looking for my first one," he said. "You look down that page and I'll tell you there is not a whole lot of guys that have won that race.

"The Shes A Great Lady was another one that I had never won, so it's nice to win the ones that you've never won before."

The racing season is filled with ups and downs and currently Waples is riding the momentum wave and enjoying it.

"When I left Woodbine I was pretty beat up there. There was a lot of average bunch of horses, but this meet has just been fantastic," he said

When told he was trending on Twitter Saturday night, Waples laughed and said he had to ask his daughter to find out what that meant.

Saturday night was a night that Waples will never forget and realistically will be tough to match, but he won't have to wait long to reunite with his powerful two-year-olds.

Control The Moment and L A Delight will both compete in the Champlain Stakes this Saturday at Mohawk. Both rookies will be looking to extend their win streaks.

Loaded with star power, Waples is the hottest driver in racing right now and he's enjoying every minute of it.

"There just a really nice bunch of horses, so to get up behind them it's a thrill."

Mark McKelvie
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