Much Adoo overcame post 10 to capture the $44,600 Ontario Girls Series Final Saturday night (Feb. 20) at Woodbine Racetrack.
A field of 10 Ontario-sired four-year-old pacing mares competed in the finale of the three-week series.
Much Adoo was made the even-money favourite despite starting from post 10. Debuting for trainer Nick Gallucci, Much Adoo captured a first leg division before skipping round two.
Driven by Doug McNair, Much Adoo sprinted off the wings of the gate from the extreme outside and got the lead ahead of leg two winner Ainsleynoelle. The aggressive tactics forced the favourite to pace a :26.1 opening quarter.
After reaching the half in :55.1, Much Adoo was confronted around the final turn by a first-over Mach Magic. The public’s choice carried a narrow lead at the three-quarter pole in 1:24.2.
In the stretch, McNair called upon his charge for all she had and the four-year-old pacing mare responded. Much Adoo held off her challengers to win by a length in 1:53.2. Show Some Leg, who was fourth turning for home, got up for second, while Ainsleynoelle’s pocket journey ended in a third-place finish. Double Olives, who won the Blizzard Series final in January, rallied from 10th at the top of the stretch to finish fourth.
A daughter of Classic Card Shark, Much Adoo extended her current win streak to three on Saturday. She is owned by Aaron Waxman and Alan Alber. With Saturday’s win, Much Adoo now has eight career victories and $119,746 in earnings. This season, she has won three of five starts and banked over $45,000.
Much Adoo paid $4.10 to win.
The Ontario Boys second leg was also contested Saturday night. The second round was delayed a week after last Saturday’s card was cancelled due to extreme cold temperatures.
Leg one winner Cajon Lightning was sent off as the even-money favourite, while stablemate Rafa was a close second choice. The Richard Moreau trainees controlled the front-end throughout the mile.
Rafa posted an opening quarter of :27.3, but Cajon Lightning, who was parked to the quarter, swept by to grab command entering the backstretch. Sylvain Filion was not content to sit the pocket and retook the lead with Rafa at the half in :55.2.
Around the final turn, Sports Lightning came first-up to within a length of the leader, while Half A Billion, who originally got away last, sat second-over, and Cajon Lightning backed away in the two-hole. Rafa kept the tempo honest by posting a three-quarter time of 1:23.2.
In the stretch, Rafa dug in trying to maintain the lead, but he could not fight off Half A Billion, who surged by late for driver Jody Jamieson at odds of 21-1. The upset winner stopped the clock in a career-best 1:52.3 for a half-length victory. Rafa finished second, while Cajon Lightning came back on in the stretch to grab third.
A son of Sportswriter, Half A Billion is trained by Corey Giles for owners Michel and Francois Letarte, Jean Allaire and Germain Chabot. The four-year-old came into the second leg off a third-place finish in round one. Half A Billion now has two wins in six starts this season and seven career victories overall. The Giles trainee pushed his career bankroll over $81,000 with Saturday’s victory.
Half A Billion paid $45.10 to win.
In order to be eligible to the Ontario Boys and Girls series, the Ontario-sired four-year-olds had to be non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015.
Live racing resumes Monday night at Woodbine with the $50,000 General Brock Series final highlighting the card. Post time is 7:30 p.m.