Confederation Cup News Centre
Published: August 16, 2009 12:55 pm ET
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If I Can Dream closed out Flamboro Downs' revered Confederation Cup program on Sunday afternoon with a top-notch performance in the $560,000 main event.
If I Can Dream Wins Confederation Cup XXXIII
If I Can Dream pulled off a dreamy victory in the 33rd edition of the $560,000 Confederation Cup for three-year-old pacers at Flamboro Downs on Sunday afternoon.
With luck on his side, If I Can Dream drew the rail heading into the final after finishing second to Bay Of Sharks in the first of two elimination heats held earlier in the day. While elim winner, River Shark (Luc Ouellette), fired off the gate from Post 5 in the rich final, Jim Morrill, Jr. sent If I Can Dream to the lead from third before the :26.4 first quarter. From there, the Western Hanover-Arterra colt carved out middle splits of :56 and 1:24 and turned back a challenge from Lyons Horace (Randy Waples) en route to victory 1:52.1 by two and a quarter lengths.
River Shark finished second and Bay Of Sharks (Mario Baillargeon) rolled three-wide at three-quarters to come on for third.
“You’ve got to have a lot of luck and we were lucky and drew the rail in the final so today was our day,” said Morrill, Jr. following the race.
Trained by Tracy Brainard for the Bulletproof Enterprises of Boca Raton, Florida, If I Can Dream won for the sixth time in 11 outings this year. The bay boosted his bankroll to $986,888 with his eighth lifetime score.
“It's unbelievable," said Josh Marks, Brainard's assistant trainer. "Never in a million years did I expect to win this race.
“I know we’ve got the Jug and the Cane Pace [coming up]," he added. "Everything depends on how he comes out of today with double heats. I’ve never had a horse do that before so we’ll see what happens after today.
“We tried to avoid the Chester horses today by coming here, but we’ll face them in the Jug and it won’t be quite as easy.”
Wellthereyougo Grabs The Gold
Battle of Waterloo champion Wellthereyougo extended his win streak to four with a career-best 1:54.4 victory in the $130,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings featured on the Sunday matinee Confederation Cup program.
With Randy Waples at the lines, favourite Wellthereyougo worked his way to the lead from Post 3 and settled on top after the :27.4 opening quarter. The favoured Camluck-Cheeky Hanover colt carved out the remaining panels of :57.4 and 1:26.1 as Code Word (Jody Jamieson) applied pressure on the outside, but then made a break at the top of the stretch. Heading for home, Wellthereyougo drifted off the rail and the pocket-sitting Toughest Of All (Paul MacDonell) attempted to squeeze by, but Wellthereyougo proved to be the best this afternoon winning by three-quarters of a length. Future Million (Simon Allard) rounded out the top three.
Dr. Ian Moore trains and owns the winner of five races in seven starts and $280,450 with R G McGroup Ltd. of Bathurst, N.B. and Serge Savard of Saint-Bruno, Que.
Field Set For Confederation Cup
River Shark made his connections proud as he earned back his supplemental fee for the Confederation Cup with his victory in the second $50,000 elimination heat on Sunday afternoon at Flamboro Downs.
River Shark left sharply from Post 4 with Luc Ouellette in the bike, and settled on top at the :25.4 first-quarter pole with Passmaster Hanover (Jody Jamieson) tucking into the two-hole. After reaching the half in :55.3, River Shark faced a challenge from the pocket-sitter and those two battled past three-quarters in 1:22.2. In the stretch, River Shark forged ahead and tripped the timer in 1:52.3.
Passmaster Hanover finished a length back in second and Stonebridge Master (Doug McNair) was third. Lyons Horace (Randy Waples) and Chief Of The Beach (Sylvain Filion) finished fourth and fifth.
“He handled the turns good. He’s a good front-runner,” said Ouellette, who also noted that, “The horse who finished second worked just as hard as my horse.”
Tracy Brainard trains the Four Starzzz Shark-Riverview Diamond gelding for owners El Lobo LLC of Merrick, New York, Aaron Waxman of Brantford, Ont., and Vip Internet Stable LLC of Piscataway, New Jersey. The win was River Shark's sixth of the year in 18 starts and eighth lifetime lifting his earnings to $176,629.
“I’m happy to win. It was a tough elim, but that will tighten him up for the final anyway,” commented Waxman.
“He was an over-achiever early in the year and he took a couple steps back the last couple of months, but he’s rounding back into form and I think he’ll be an over-achiever the rest of the year.
"I’d love to win the Confederation Cup,” added Waxman. "It would be as good as winning the Jug or the Stanley Cup or the Hambo."
The top four finishers from each elim, plus one fifth-place finisher drawn by lot, will return later in the day to contest the $560,000 final. During the post draw, Fast Pay was the fifth-place finisher selected to compete in the final.
Here is a look at the field for the $560,000 Confederation Cup in post position order:
1. If I Can Dream
2. Stonebridge Master
3. Bay Of Sharks
4. Fast Pay
5. River Shark
6. Nob Hill High - driver change to Mark MacDonald
7. Passmaster Hanover
8. Shipps Xpectancy
9. Lyons Horace
AE1. Chief Of The Beach
Bay Of Shark Takes First Confederation Cup Elim
In the first of two $50,000 Confederation Cup elimination heats on Sunday afternoon at Flamboro Downs, Bay Of Sharks made the lead at the half and held off If I Can Dream for the victory.
Primary Purpose (Mark MacDonald) sprinted to the lead from Post 7, but Vertigo Hanover (Jody Jamieson) was on the move early and took command at the :26.1 first quarter. From there, Primary Purpose moved out for the re-take with Bay Of Sharks and driver Mario Baillargeon hot on his heels. The half was up in :55 with Bay Of Sharks in control and favourite If I Can Dream spotted first-over. After passing three-quarters in 1:23.4, Bay Of Sharks held tough for the win by a half-length over If I Can Dream.
Nob Hill High (Luc Ouellette) finished third over Shipps Xpectancy (Jack Moiseyev) and Fast Pay (Paul MacDonell).
“My horse got a little rough with Mark coming underneath me a little bit because of that jamming up in that turn, but I got him back in gear. It takes a good horse to do that,” said Baillargeon following the race.
“He’s kind of a lazy colt. I wasn’t asking him for that much, but we’ll see how it goes in the final.”
Trained by Ben Wallace for Michael and Sam Sergi of Canton, New York and MB Racing Inc. of Milton, Ont., Bay Of Sharks won for the third time in 10 starts this year. The three-year-old Cams Card Shark-Whitley Bay has won six times in his career and sports a bankroll of $140,050.
The top four finishers from each elim, plus one fifth-place finisher drawn by lot, will return later in the day to contest the $560,000 final.
Action-Packed Preferreds Featured At Flamboro
The Confederation Cup undercard featured a trio of $25,000 Preferred events, which produced a couple of surprises as well as a new track record.
With favourite Space Walk (Mark MacDonald) breaking stride at the start of the Preferred Pace for horses and geldings, Lyons Geoff and Jody Jamieson gunned for the lead from Post 2. Once in command, the 4-1 third choice carved out fractions of :26.3, :55 and 1:23.3 en route to victory in 1:52.4.
Just Plug It In (Doug McNair) finished two and a quarter lengths behind off a pocket trip and Donegal Gerald (Tony Kerwood) finished back in third.
Trained by Bruce Goit, Lyons Geoff scored his second win in 13 starts this year for Geoffrey Lyons Mound of Burford, Ont. The four-year-old Astreos-Kabala Hanover is now a 10-time winner with $214,727 in the bank.
Countess Stormont survived a first-over trip to post a 10-1 upset in the Preferred Trot for fillies and mares for driver Jonathan Drury and trainer Norm Jones.
Gostreet made her move at the :28.2 opening quarter and rolled past the half in :56.3 and three-quarters in 1:26.2 before Countess Stormont pulled up alongside for the challenge. The four-year-old Kadabra-Lady Orbitex wore down the pacesetter in the stretch to claim her second straight victory in 1:57.
Favourite Desperatehousewife (Todd Ratchford) finished second by a length and Jtlady Strong (Jody Jamieson) was third.
Owned and bred by Stormont Meadows of Long Sault, Ont., Countess Stormont notched her fifth win in 22 outings this year and 10th lifetime lifting her earnings to $223,914.
In the Preferred Pace for fillies and mares, Keystone Mystique lowered the track record for aged pacing mares to 1:52.2 with a wire-to-wire romp.
In his first start at Flamboro Downs, Jim Morrill, Jr. took the 7-5 favourite, Keystone Mystique, to the front of the field from Post 7 and the four-year-old daughter of Camluck-Miss Rose powered past panels of :26.2, :55.2 and 1:24.1 en route to her fourth consecutive victory by seven and a half lengths. The time of the mile shaved one-fifth of a second off the former track record held by Illusionist and To Helen Back.
Desir (Simon Allard) and Trace Of Luck (Mike Horner) finished second and third.
Paul Taylor trains Keystone Mystique, a winner of seven races in 17 seasonal starts, for Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Wallenstein, Ont. The winner of 20 races lifetime now boasts a bankroll totaling $177,846.
Pointe To Pointe Is On Point In Gold Final
Pointe To Pointe led from start to finish in a track record setting performance on Sunday afternoon at Flamboro Downs in the $130,000 Ontario Sires Stake Gold Final for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings.
Trainer Wayne Henry hustled the Mutineer-Garland Bonita gelding off the gate from Post 7 and rolled through fractions of :28.4, :53 and 1:28.3 before drawing away by nearly three lengths for the 14-1 upset in a dazzling 1:58.3. The time of the mile erased the 1:59.3 former track record for two-year-old trotters that Pointe To Point equaled in his elimination last week, which was also shared by Lukas Rossi and Australian Stock.
Scotty Doesnt Know (Ron Waples) was the runner up and Text Me (Randy Waples) rounded out the top three.
Pointe To Pointe scored his third win in five outings this year and lifted his bankroll to $141,575 for the Henry Stable of Arthur and Jeffrey Thomson of Chesley, Ont.
Mystique Cruiser In Signature Series Finale
Fresh off a win in the second leg of the Signature Pacing Series, Mystique Cruiser returned to Flamboro Downs’s half-miler on Sunday afternoon to capture the $55,600 series final.
With Jody Jamieson in the bike, the 4-5 favourite delivered on his pari-mutuel promise with a three and three-quarter length score in 1:52.3 for trainer Dan Ater. Mystique Cruiser left from Post 2 and put up the :27 first quarter before yielding to Wildmotion (Mark MacDonald) en route to the :55.2 half. Greystone Cash (Anthony Haughan) landed the lead by the 1:23.4 three-quarters mark after following Wildmotion’s cover, but Jamieson angled Mystique Cruiser off the pylons around the final turn and the three-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser-Miss Deeds cruised to the wire for the fifth time in 14 starts this year.
Greystone Cash stayed for second and Pieraz (Roger Mayotte) closed from the back of the pack to finish third.
For Mystique Cruiser, the win was his sixth lifetime and bumped his earnings to $89,294. The bay gelding is owned by Green Racing Inc. of Milford, Delaware and Larry Baron of Horsham, Pennsylvania.