Avatartist Wins Valedictory Leg

Avatartist and driver/co-owner Mike Saftic were wire-to-wire winners in the second round of the Valedictory Series featured on Friday night's harness racing card at Woodbine Racetrack.

With four scratches due to the weather-related sloppy track conditions, a field of eight was sent postward for the $15,000 second leg in race seven. The series is for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings that are non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of midnight October 31, 2013.

Saftic fired Avatartist off the gate into a :26.3 opening quarter, forcing the leaving 70-1 longshot, Trys Little Prince (Anthony MacDonald), to settle for a pocket trip. The 2-1 second choice proceeded to the lead the field through middle splits of :56.4 and 1:26 before holding off another challenge from Trys Little Prince in the stretch for the half-length victory in 1:54.2. Slight favourite Americhi (Mike Vanderkemp) finished third.

Avatartist, who finished third in a dead-heat during last week's opening leg of the series, paid $7.50 to win. The Rocknroll Hanover gelding is trained by Garth Gordon and owned by Saftic, William Hill, Peter Harrison and James Walker. He earned his seventh win in 19 starts this year.

The $33,900 final of the Valedictory Series will be held on Woodbine's Boxing Day card on Thursday, Dec. 26, which has a 1 p.m. first race post-time.

To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Woodbine Racetrack.