Alberta star and O'Brien Award finalist Divine Art continued harness racing's longest active win streak by taking the $7,500 Fillies & Mares Open Pace at Cal-Expo on Sunday night (Jan. 22).
In rein to trainer-driver Gerry Longo, Divine Art tried new tactics after leading to a :28.3 first quarter. She yielded command to Marys Pretty Girl before a 1:00.2 half and sat a pocket ride while Rockin With Lou pressed forward. By three-quarters in 1:29.1, Rockin With Lou forged to the lead and clung to command as her stablemate livened off the pocket ride. Divine Art slid to the top to take a three-quarter length win in 1:57.1 over Rockin With Lou, with Marys Pretty Girl another three lengths behind in third and Blue Star Mystic another five behind in fourth.
Divine Art won her 15th race in a row and her 19th from 25 starts to pad her bankroll, now worth $320,683. She races under ownership of Gerry Longo and paid $3 to win.
The Western Canada pair of Brandon Campbell and Travis Ellis dominated the stakes action at Cal-Expo. The pair first nabbed a blowout win in the $15,800 Jack Williams Final with HF Flower in 1:57.2. The four-year-old Ameripan Gigolo mare set a pace of :29, :59.3 and 1:28.3 while under mid-race pressure from Snoah, whom promptly folded to the final turn as HF Flower hit another gear. She strode for home to romp by 6-1/4 lengths with Princessofthedawn inheriting second via disqualification and Salary moving to third.
Trevor Williams and Timothy Gordon own HF Flower, a winner of eight races from 38 starts. She has now banked $46,349 and paid $8.40 to win.
Following the forceful front-stepping performance, Campbell and Ellis scored in the $30,000 Alan Horowitz Memorial from off the speed with Flying Officer. Catching second-over cover after a :27.3 first quarter, Flying Officer sat perched while Ideal One A applied a minor challenge to pacesetter Rockinscience through middle fractions of :58.1 and 1:27.4. Rockinscience remained headstrong off the bottom corner, but Flying Officer swooped off a helmet and collared the leader by a half length at the finish of a 1:56.3 mile. Villa For Rent rode a pocket trip to take third and Rockn Jimmy Brown rallied for fourth.
Tim Gordon owns Flying Officer, a seven-year-old stallion by Riverboat King. He won his 14th race from 107 starts and added to an account now worth $105,356. He paid $5 to win.