Winter series action ramped up Friday night (Feb. 5) at Woodbine Racetrack with round one of The Count B and Ontario Girls Series.
Each series featured a pair of divisions for their opening leg. A group of 14 sophomore pacing colts and geldings were split into two $17,000 The Count B divisions, while 15 Ontario-sired four-year-old pacing mares competed in two $18,000 Ontario Girls splits.
The Count B Series for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings saw the first split go to a newcomer north of the border. War N Munn went gate-to-wire for a 1:54.1 victory. The son of Stonebridge Regal shipped in from the Kerin Warner stable into the care of trainer Carmen Auciello.
Driven by Jonathan Drury, War N Munn fired out to the front and got to dictate the pace. After posting panels of :27.4, :57.1 and 1:25.2, War N Munn opened up several lengths of separation and cruised home in :28.4 for a six and three-quarter length victory. St Lads Charger, who sat fourth for the majority of the mile, finished second, while New Standard came from last to finish third.
War N Munn is owned by George Munniksma. The sophomore pacer was making his 2016 debut after winning two of nine starts as a rookie for earnings of $43,011. War N Munn established a new career mark with his 1:54.1 victory. He paid $10.10 to win.
The combination of Drury and Auciello appeared to have a good shot to sweep The Count B first leg, as they teamed up with the 3-5 favourite Big Bang Boom in the second split.
Drury stepped on the accelerator at the start and blasted Big Bang Boom to the lead. The Auciello trainee went untouched through solid fractions of :26.2, :55.3 and 1:24.1 to lead by almost five lengths turning for home. Three Truths, the 7-2 second choice, came out from fifth around the final turn for driver Sylvain Filion and sat seven lengths off the lead at the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Big Bang Boom ran out of steam at the eighth-pole and was swallowed up by a hard-charging Three Truths, who stopped the clock in 1:55.1. Gotti finished two-lengths back in second, while Big Bang Boom held on to hit the board in third.
A son of Shadow Play, Three Truths is trained by Richard Moreau for owners Ratchford Stable and Brian Shebib. The Count B opening leg victory is the first win in four starts this season for the sophomore pacer. Three Truths won three of eighth starts last season and now has a career bankroll of $23,060. Friday’s clocking of 1:55.1 established a new career mark for the son of Shadow Play. Three Truths paid $9.50 to win.
The Count B and Ontario Girls Series resume next Friday (Feb. 12) with round two.
In order to be eligible to The Count B, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of three races or $40,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015.
Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine with the opening leg of the Ontario Boys Series. Post time is 7:30 p.m.
(Standardbred Canada with files from WEG)