Thankyoukessel and driver Mike Saftic set a new track record at Grand River Raceway for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings with a 1:57.1 triumph in a $105,000 Gold division of the Ontario Sires Stakes on Friday night.
Thankyoukessel shaved one-fifth of a second off the divisional track record, which was established by OSS graduate Daylon Magician in 2011, and completed a sweep of Friday’s Gold divisions for sire Ken Warkentin.
Buddy Hally (Doug McNair) led the field through fractions of :29.2, :58.4 and 1:27.2 in the second of two OSS events while favourite Gotta Secret (Sylvain Filion) improved one position and dropped into the two-hole. Canadian Breeders Championship winner Thankyoukessel, who got away fourth from an outside post six start, began to reel in the pacesetter around the final turn and reached up to score in deep stretch by a quarter of a length. Buddy Hall, who entered this leg tied in the top spot on the OSS leaderboard with the winner, was followed under the wire by Gotta Secret.
Sent postward as the 7-2 third choice in the wagering, Thankyoukessel paid $8.50 to win.
Joseph MacIsaac trains the gelding, who was also a winner in the Gold leg on May 28 at Western Fair Raceway, for owner/breeder Carolyn Williston of Moffat, Ont. The lion’s share of the purse leaves Thankyoukessel’s career bankroll just shy of the $200,000 mark.
Last season’s Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final champion Creampuff Macdaddy scored the first Gold Series win of his sophomore campaign earlier on the card for driver Randy Waples and trainer Brad Maxwell.
Fresh off a Grassroots victory on Aug. 13 at Georgian Downs, the Ken Warkentin colt left from post five and carved out fractions of :29.4, 1:00.2, and 1:30.3 en route to the 1:59.1 one and a half length triumph. Tag Up And Go (Chris Christoforou) advanced first over from the back of the pack to place while Rock Of Cashel (Alan Richardson) followed his cover to show. Creampuff Macdaddy paid $4.40 to win as the 6-5 second choice. Slight favourite Murmur Hanover (Rick Zeron) finished fourth off a pocket trip.
Creampuff Macdaddy now has over $360,000 banked in career purse earnings for owners Howard Taylor, Theodore Gewertz, Edwin Gold, and Judith Taylor.
The final Gold Series leg of the regular season for the sophomore trotting colts will take place on Sept. 20 at Mohawk Racetrack.
To view Friday’s harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results – Grand River Raceway