O'Sullivan's 1-2 Metro Punch
Trainer Tony O’Sullivan will send out Beyond Delight, who won his Metro Pace elimination at 20-1, and Calvin K, who finished second to Windsong Napoleon in his elimination, in the $661,000 Metro Pace final on Saturday, September 3 at Mohawk Racetrack.
Beyond Delight, a Bettors Delight colt out of the Rocknroll Hanover mare Outtathisworld, and driver Sylvain Filion soared to a three-length victory after sitting off of a fast pace and edging from the pylons to the centre of the track to sprint by elimination-favourite Blood Line in 1:51.
“He seems a little tired from the elimination as expected from his effort,” O’Sullivan said. “But he jogged [Tuesday] morning and everything seems fine.”
Prior to the Metro eliminations, Beyond Delight raced in a $106,250 Nassagaweya division, where he coasted behind dueling leaders and finished fifth because he had no room to pass.
“After that race the lights seemed to have gone on in his head,” O’Sullivan said. “He has changed a lot in the last month, but I think he did [in the Metro elimination] what he was going to do the week before judging on how much pace [he had] locked inside in the Nassagaweya.”
Beyond Delight’s win in the Metro elimination was his first win of the season out of eight starts. He also finished second in a $24,640 Tompkins-Geers division at Tioga Downs and third in both the preliminaries and the final of the Dream Maker series at Mohawk, amassing $40,068 in earnings.
“He has done better than I thought he was going to,” O’Sullivan said. “I didn’t think he had this type of speed, but he’s shown flashes of speed with some 26-second quarters and in his first start he paced the back-half in about :55. He has been a pleasant surprise. The way he got to the wire the other day and watching Sylvain’s body language, I definitely think he has more in him.”
“He definitely races better with something to aim at,” O’Sullivan also said. “He gets a little lost on the front like most young horses, but he’s better if you can keep the bit in his mouth and have him looking at something.”
Racing for owners Jeffrey Snyder, Michael Snyder, and Four Friends Racing Stable, Beyond Delight will start from the rail and will have Filion in the sulky.
“What Sylvain will do from the rail I have no idea,” O’Sullivan said. “But he’s definitely better stalking.”
O’Sullivan’s other starter, Calvin K, struggled to slide by pacesetter Windsong Napoleon in the stretch of their Metro Pace elimination, finishing second by a neck to the 50-1 shot in 1:51.3.
“Jody never said there wasn’t any room but he has never paced that fast or gone up the inside before,” O’Sullivan said. “I thought it was a good effort. He went a second faster than he ever had before and raced against American-bred horses, which always seem to be a little tougher.”
Calvin K, a colt by Classic Card Shark out of the Matts Scooter mare Road To Pandalay, exited the elimination well. O’Sullivan said he seems healthy and jogged well Tuesday morning.
Winning three out of eight starts this year, Calvin K has earned $124,220 for owner Hutt Racing Stable. His wins include an elimination for the Battle of Waterloo and a $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Gold division. Coming into the Metro Pace eliminations, Calvin K broke in the $159,500 Battle of Waterloo final, was interfered in a OSS Gold division, and set fast fractions in a $104,750 Nassagaweya division.
“The Battle of Waterloo, I thought, was because of greenness,” O’Sullivan said. “They were going hard into the first turn and that was his first time he left on a half. The horses were also in tight quarters and the drivers were yelling and going for the same spot, so I think he over-paced himself.
“He has had a little bit of bad luck,” O’Sullivan also said. “He could definitely (could) have more money on his card, but he is compiling a pretty good record.”
Calvin K will start from post position five with Jody Jamieson driving.
“He’s going to have to step up a little bit, but I like where we’ve drawn,” O’Sullivan said. “He is much better off a helmet and has a very quick burst of speed. So if he can follow some speed and get a trip where he doesn’t have to move to early, I think he could pass some horses and stick it out to the end.”
The Metro Pace final is carded as the seventh race on a 13-race program. Here is the full field for the $661,000 Metro Pace.
1. Beyond Delight – Sylvain Filion – Tony O’Sullivan
2. Darlings Dragon – Donald Dupont – Marie Dupont
3. Windsong Napoleon – Phil Hudon – Carl Jamieson
4. Ocean Colony – Yannick Gingras – Jimmy Takter
5. Calvin K – Jody Jamieson – Tony O’Sullivan
6. Bobcat Bound – James MacDonald – Carl Jamieson
7. Classic Pro – Randy Waples – Dr. Ian Moore
8. Ideal Wheel – David Miller – Casie Coleman
9. Blood Line – Doug McNair – Jimmy Takter
10. Bettors Dream – Tim Tetrick – Scott McEneny
AE: Pointomygranson – Sylvain Filion – Chris Ryder
Doors open Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and the 13-race program gets started at 7:30 p.m.
Fans will be able to meet several former Canadian Pacing Derby and Metro Pace winning drivers during an autograph session getting underway 6:20 p.m. Fans will also be able to sign up for a sulky ride (limited spots), enjoy live music and receive their ‘First Bet on Us’.
(with files from WEG)