Field Set For Upper Canada Cup
Published: May 16, 2009 10:56 pm ET
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Primary Purpose, Oscar Oscar and Ok Boromir captured their eliminations featured on Saturday night at Georgian Downs for the newest and richest stakes race for Ontario-sired colts and geldings, the Upper Canada Cup.
Primary Purpose turned back all challengers to upset in the first $25,000 elimination for trainer Casie Coleman and owners Rod Therres of Surrey and Charles Macfarlane of Victoria, B.C.
Coming off a fifth place finish in The Diplomat Pacing Series final at Mohawk, Primary Purpose was the 8-1 fourth choice in tonight’s elimination.
“If anybody watched him race last week they knew I kind of got in traffic trouble with him and had no where to go finishing, but he’s a really nice colt,” said driver Mark MacDonald in a post-race interview with Chris Roberts.
The Cammibest colt left from the inside post and set the tempo with fractions of :27.3, :57 and 1:25.2 as the favoured Trail Boss (Doug McNair) applied pressure through the middle panels from first-over. Around the final turn, Fast Pay (Paul MacDonell) angled three-wide and made a slight misstep, allowing Primary Purpose to press on for the win in a career-best 1:54 flat.
Waffles And Cream (Luc Ouellette) rallied from the backfield to finish half a length behind in second while Trail Boss finished third beating out Fast Pay and the pocket-sitter, My Gift To You (Jody Jamieson), by a quarter-length.
“I was more worried about the one that was pushing me off the bike in behind me (My Gift To You), but Jody’s horse was kind of locked in there and yeah, they were all coming. There’s a big head wind where you’re leaving so that first quarter is a little deceiving - it's faster that you think,” said MacDonald.
“He dug in deep late and Rod’s here, the owner from B.C., and he drove and trained him down and he did a fantastic job with him. He’s just a super horse to drive.”
Primary Purpose notched his second win of the season pushing his earnings to $35,550. Only a $1,000 B.C. Sale purchase, the bay now sports a record reading 9-3-0 in 14 starts with nearly $100,000 banked.
“No one told him what they paid for him because he can step up and go with the good horses,” said MacDonald. “I drove him out in B.C. and I loved him out there. He flew out on a Wednesday and raced on a Saturday and his first time he was second so that’s pretty impressive to do and he’s just gotten better every week, no shock.”
MacDonald doubled up in the second elimination winning with the 1-5 favourite Oscar Oscar for conditioner Tracy Brainard and the Bulletproof Enterprises of Boca Raton, Florida.
Pictonian Pride (Jody Jamieson) was quick off the gate from Post 3, but Oscar Oscar drove on to claim the top spot past the first quarter in :27.2. The Western Terror colt carved out the remaining panels of :55.3 and 1:24.3 before cruising home without urging to win in 1:53.3 by over fourth lengths.
Pictonian Pride stayed for second and longshot Surrealist (Paul Mackenzie) came on for show.
“He was strong right through the wire and its tough when you have to take your breather into a 30 mile an hour head wind, but that’s just the way the race worked out,” said MacDonald following the victory. “Sometimes when there’s a heavy favourite everybody wants to sit in the two hole so you expect that, but I knew as long as he behaved and didn’t get bunched up he’d be fine.”
The win was the bay’s sixth in seven starts lifting his bankroll to $75,100. Oscar Oscar suffered his only loss last week in the Ontario Sired Spring Series Final at Mohawk after making an uncharacteristic break.
“Well [last week] I sat him in the two hole and then in the last turn the track was a little deep and he really got bunched up and was grabbing on and I think he just got doubled up and rolled off. Hes really green, he’s just learning how to race. He’s got so much talent and he’s just really, really green so we’re just trying to bring him along that way,” said MacDonald in regards to last week’s start.
“He’s had a great season,” said Brainard. “He’s a really nice colt. We were a little nervous after his break at Mohawk, but we had faith in him tonight.”
“We just got him recently in the last month. They brought him back in Jersey, but since he has been here he’s been a great colt. He came back and has been ready to race every start and tried hard so he’s been one heck of a colt so far this year.”
The final elimination went to Ok Boromir and driver Luc Ouellette, the 3-1 second choice, in a time of 1:53.4.
Strand Hanover (Steve Byron) and the favoured World Away (Carl Jamieson) battled for the early lead to the first quarter in :27.2. With an inside advantage, Strand Hanover settled on the front but Ok Boromir forged to the lead from fourth soon after. The son of No Pan Intended led the way past the half in :55 and three-quarters in 1:23.4 as Stonebridge Terror (Paul MacDonell) moved up on the attack. Ok Boromir managed to hold off his challenger in the stretch and he prevailed by a neck. The fan favourite, Millionaire Cam (Jody Jamieson), rounded out the top three.
“He was [tough]. It wasn’t easy getting there [to the front] but once he got there, there was somebody at his bridle the whole time,” said Ouellette in the winner’s circle.
“We were on cue at that point [the top of the stretch], but he had worked pretty hard the whole mile. The wind was strong down the backside and sort of pushing us on, but at that point he was a little tired.”
Ok Boromir scored his first win of 2009 giving him $18,250 in earnings. His third lifetime victory bumped his earnings to $121,050. Frank Baker, Jr. trains and co-owns the bay with Wray and Janet Wilson of Thorndale, Ont.
The top three finishers from each elimination will return to the Innisfil oval next Saturday, May 23 for the final.
Here is the field for the $500,000 final:
2. Ok Boromir
3. Oscar Oscar
4. Waffles And Cream
5. Pictonian Pride
6. Millionaire Cam
7. Trail Boss
8. Stonebridge Terror
9. Primary Purpose
AE1. Fast Pay
AE2. L H Remachable
A pair of $15,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred events were also featured on Saturday at Georgian.
Countess Stormont, a four-year-old Kadabra mare, is trained by Norman Jones for Stormont Meadows of Long Sault, Ont. The win was her first of the season and sixth of her career pushing her earnings to nearly $160,000.
Desperatehousewife is a seven-year-old Jonathan Lobell lass who earned her second win of the year and 36th in her career. The winner of $255,584 is trained and owned in part by Jean MacDonell along with Wayne Corini of Rockville, Maryland and Scott Jaconetty of San Jose, California.
Shes A Fan and Jody Jamieson won the trotting split in 1:54.3 for trainer Carl Jamieson, who also owns the Artiscape filly with Thomas Kyron of Toronto, Hope Johnson of London, Ont., and George Harrison of Preston, England.
Now two-for-two in her sophomore campaign, last year’s Bud Light and Champlain Stakes winner notched her seventh lifetime victory giving her a total of $161,853 in purse earnings.
To view Saturday’s results, click here.