Georgian Hosts Xtreme Fan Night
Published: September 2, 2012 1:40 am ET
Georgian Downs hosted the annual Xtreme Horsepower event, this year dubbed Xtreme Fan Night, on Saturday evening featuring harness racing at varied distances and all sorts of off-track entertainment.
Tom Hill's Lucky Man ($7.80) kicked off the Xtreme racing with a gate-to-wire victory in the $30,000 Xtreme Challenge 1-1/4 mile pace, timed in 2:23.4. Robert Shepherd drove the Rod Boyd trainee to the four and a half length win, his 25th lifetime, over favourite Evening Job and Pinnacle Peak. With the lion's share of the purse, Lucky Man is just under $2,000 shy of the million-dollar earnings mark.
The Prowler rallied three-wide off cover to upset the $20,000 Xtreme Battle 5/8-mile trot in 1:11 by two and a quarter lengths over Xpress Panic and Think Gold. J.R. Plante drove the nine-year-old gelding to his 20th lifetime win for trainer John Powell, who also co-owns with John Dargie and Kenneth Payne. He paid $28.70 to win.
Favourite Winter Blues ($4.60) didn't mind the change of direction in the $30,000 Xtreme Rewind 7/8-mile pace contested clockwise around the track. Driven by Billy Davis Jr., he swept to command after the opening quarter and never looked back en route to a three-quarter length tally in 1:39.3 over early leader Deuces And Jacks. Ideal Deo was third. Ian Reid trains and co-owns the seven-year-old gelding with David Hoy and Ian R. Ried.
Cavin Hanover sprinted a 12-second 1/8th of a mile in the $50,000 Xtreme Dash For The Cash winner-takes-all pace. With Anthony MacDonald in the bike, the seven-year-old speedster, a post five starter, prevailed by a neck over favourite M K G and Jackson Killean in a three-horse photo. He paid $12.80 for the mild upset. The Andrew McCabe trainee is owned by Glenview Livestock Ltd. and Leonard Christopher.
Billy Davis Jr. earned another Xtreme victory as he sent Allamerican Swift three-wide through a :26.4 opening quarter before opening up three lengths to win the $20,000 Xtreme Battle 5/8-mile pace in 1:09.4 over Auctioneer and Gentleman Friend. The seven-year-old mare is trained by Carmen Auciello for owner Robert Burgess.
The trotting version of the $30,000 Xtreme Rewind went to the front-striding favourite, Rose Run Hooligan ($2.50). Driven by Simon Allard, the nine-year-old cleared to the lead past the opening quarter en route to a five and a half length victory in 1:40 over Fancy Shot and Incredable Frank. Rene Allard trains and co-owns the 45-time winner, who is just under $9,000 away from the million-dollar milestone. Anne O'Keefe and Ferme Bureau Et Fils Senc also share ownership.
The $30,000 Xtreme Challenge for trotters went to Max Money and Jonathan Drury in 2:27.3. The four-year-old gelding got away fifth from post eight, but worked his way to the lead past the half. He opened up six and a half lengths on his foes, but that margin shrunk to just half a length in the final quarter as early leader Ballykeel Mike came back on. Favourite Classic Alana was third. The Corey Johnson trainee is owned by Colin Johnson, Fred Brayford, Gilles Caouette, and Michael Sergi. Max Money paid $12.90 to win.
All of the winners except for Rose Run Hooligan were first-time Xtreme starters. 'Hooligan' is a former competitor who won the 2011 Xtreme Shotgun Start event, contested over 1-1/4 miles from a walking start.
Xtreme Fan Night also featured off-track events including the Trot 4 Kids activity centre, dancers, acrobats, entertainment, Joes vs. Pros handicapping, circus performers, Deal Or No Deal and Money Machine Madness contests. Between races multiple Xtreme exhibition races were also held.
Marielle Enberg earned back-to-back victories in the Xtreme Trot Under Saddle. After winning the inaugural edition last year with Jimmy Shin, she rode 11-year-old gelding Mickey Moss to a 2:01.2 open length victory in this year's event over LA Star Dream, ridden by Anita Valstad, and Youlneverwalkalone with Linnae Lindstrom. Ronda Markle trains and co-owns the son of Westgate Crown with Shaun Moscrop of Cobourg, Ont.
Enberg also won the Xtreme Miniature Horse Race in wire-to-wire fashion with five-year-old mini Lisa, who is owned and trained by Riina Rekila. Top Gun finished second and Dora was third.
For the third year in a row, Sulky Sam out-sprinted his plush equine friends to capture the Xtreme Mascot Race.
For results from Saturday's harness racing card, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Georgian Downs.