Stormaway Upsets In Molson Pace
Published: May 29, 2009 11:42 pm ET
Last Comment: June 4, 2009 9:17 am ET | 5 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments
Although the Molson Pace program at Western Fair Raceway got off to a delayed start thanks to a severe thunderstorm in the London area, the wait was well worth it to see eight top pacers go head-to-head in hopes of capturing the lion’s share of the $283,000 purse.
The London half-miler has been kind to Stormaway in the past and tonight was no different for the six-year-old son of Northern Luck – Nice Scooters, who managed to take the richest jackpot offered in the track’s history.
Eagle Luck (Doug McNair), Lyons Geoff (Trevor Henry) and Clowns Smile (Mark MacDonald) all shot off the gate and battled for the early lead. After Lyons Geoff rolled off stride, Clowns Smile established command at the :26.4 quarter pole and would lead the field through the remaining panels.
Stormaway, who got away fourth for Post 2, made the winning decision to move first up under the command of trainer/driver Dan Megens during the second interval. After a :56 half, Lucky Man (Brad Forward) rolled three-wide from second-over and those two locked in a duel with the pacesetter past the third quarter pole in 1:24.4.
Turning for home, Stormaway dug in and pulled off a 19-1 upset to win by a quarter-length in 1:54.1 over a track rated good with Lucky Man coming on for second. Eagle Luck finished third, but was placed back to fourth after the judges ruled he left the racecourse in the stretch and gained an unfair advantage. As a result, Clowns Smile was bumped up from fourth to third.
“I’m so used to other people winning these big races, but I guess it works out my way sometimes,” a thrilled Megens said in a post-race interview.
“In the first turn, Trevor Henry left hard and then his horse broke stride and Jody [Jamieson and race favourite Foiled Again] was behind him and I had to give him a little bit of a hole to get him out of the way. As soon as that happened we got inside of him and then it wasn’t long after that I had Ramegade Bruiser coming up behind me and flushed me and I caught Jody in luckily, but that’s where I wanted to be. I wanted to be first up and rate my own mile and take a run at them coming home.”
Megens also owns Stormaway with breeders Janice Van Nest of Hamilton and Peter Caetano of Ancaster, Ont. The winner of 19 races boosted his bankroll to $610,823.
The on-track handle for the night was $124,921, which marked Western Fair's highest single card on-track handle in ten years. The total handle for the night was $287,593, which was an increase of 7 per cent from 2008.
Click here for a recap of the Molson Pace undercard featuring a $130,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final for three-year-old filly pacers.
Click here for Friday's results.