Illwinifican hauled down returning champion Buddy Weiser in the stretch to earn his second straight victory in the $11,000 Open Pace at Fraser Downs on Sunday afternoon (March 26).
Looking to extend his three-race win streak returning from a short break, 4-5 favourite Buddy Weiser (Serge Masse) forged to the front from post four and carved out panels of :27.1, :57.1 and 1:26.1. Meanwhile, James Burke had last week’s Open winner, Illwinifican, tracking in the pocket and ready to pounce in the stretch. He was launched outside turning for home and sprinted his final quarter in :27.4 over the sloppy track to defeat Buddy Weiser by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.1. Prodigal (John Abbott), the 37-1 longshot, followed three and a half lengths behind.
Fresh off a 1:53.1 lifetime-best victory in last Sunday’s Open, Illwinifican was the 3-2 second choice with Buddy Weiser back in action. He paid $5.10 to win.
The five-year-old gelded son of Allamerican Native now boasts four wins and three second-place finishes from nine outings this year. He’s banked $30,720 in those starts for trainer Dennis Johnston and local co-owner Ray Thomson.