The Ontario Boys first leg Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack showcased a spectacle that would keep even the most seasoned racing fan on the edge of their seat with Nirvana Seelster besting them all in 1:53.
Leaving from post six, Phil Hudon sent the Camluck gelding off at 6/1, paying $14.40 for the win.
Bugger Bruiser (Anthony MacDonald) was best off the gate from post nine, quickly grabbing a spot at the rail. Hudon was unwilling to settle for the pocket trip, clearing past at the head of the turn and settling in on the lead to a quarter in :26.1. Heavy 3/5 favourite Twomickeytrip was sitting eighth when Doug McNair made a daring three wide move early on, creating cover for P L Heavenly (Mario Baillargeon) and Kindofabigdeal (Sylain Filion) to the half in :56.1. The field was stacked across the track at the three-quarter marker in 1:24.4, racing as a pack to the wire in pursuit of the untouchable Nirvana Seelster.
Regal Babe (Mike Saftic) managed to push through the field to capture second with Ramblingamblinman (Rick Zeron) rallying hard from last to capture third. Baillargeon pushed out four wide heading into the final turn looking to gain ground on the leader, but didn’t quite have enough left in the tank, settling for fourth.
Nirvana Seelster is owned by Bruce Davy of Brockville, Ontario and trained by Bill Budd. Ontario Boys four-year-old stakes action continues February 14 with the second leg and the final the following week.
Saturday night’s card also featured the Preferred Pace with an impressive 1:49.4 victory from Nickle Bag and Sylvain Filion. Avatartist (Mike Saftic) left swiftly off the gate, parking Camaes Fellow (Jonathan Drury) heading into the first turn with Frankies Dragon (Doug McNair) settling in the pocket third. Drury continued to pursue the lead but Saftic continued to drive on, leaving him the choice of dropping in the two hole as they raced to the quarter in 25 seconds flat. The field started to tighten up as they moved towards a half in :53.3, launching Nickle Bag’s plan of attack.
Parked through a 1:22 third quarter, Filion pushed on after a tough first over trip before claiming the lead from Avatartist. Musselsfrmbrussels (Simon Allard) showed a dazzling kick in the last few strides, closing in hard to grab second in a mile of 1:49.4. Nickle Bag is owned by Linda Loyens of Denfield, Ontario and Harry Loyens of Ilderton, Ontario out of trainer Shawn Robinson’s stable.