Cajon Lightning opened the Ontario Boys Series with a late-closing victory over his popular stablemate in the $18,000 first leg on Saturday night (Feb. 6) at Woodbine Racetrack.
The series is for Ontario-sired four-year-old male pacers that are non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of Oct. 31, 2015.
Teaming up with Trevor Henry for the first time, the Richard Moreau-trained Cajon Lightning followed along in third-place at the pylons before springing into action at the top of the stretch and getting by 1-2 favourite Rafa (Sylvain Filion) for the victory in 1:52.2.
When the starting gate released the field, post four starter Mach Code (Mike Saftic) worked past insider Rafa heading to the first turn and reached the quarter pole in :27.1. However, Rafa retook the lead down the backstretch in a two-horse breakaway to the :56.1 half-mile mark. While Cajon Lightning began to close the gap in third, Half A Billion (Jody Jamieson) started first over from fifth on the way to three-quarters in 1:24.3. However, Half A Billion only managed to reach the leader’s wheel, but Cajon Lightning was full of late pace and blew by in deep stretch to produce an $11 win payout. He won by a length and a half over Rafa, with Half A Billion finishing third.
While the win was Cajon Lightning’s first of the year (in three starts), he has enjoyed some success in the recent fall/winter series at Woodbine, sweeping the Ontario Autumn Series and winning the opening leg of the Valedictory followed by runner-up finishes in the second round and final. The Mach Three gelding’s U.S. ownership group consists of Wm K. Wood, William Dittmar Jr., Stephen Iaquinta, and Minisink Farms LLC.
Cajon Lightning was one of four winners on the 10-race card for Moreau, who is one of Canada’s Trainer of the Year finalists at next weekend’s O’Brien Awards. Moreau is the two-time defending champion and is up against Jimmy Takter for the 2015 title.