Trotter Los Ballykeelamigo and pacing mare Manhattan Night shared the spotlight on Friday night (Nov. 26), winning a pair of co-featured Preferred 3 events at The Raceway at Western Fair District.
Back in action for the first time since early September, Los Ballykeelamigo prevailed in a three-way photo finish to take the $10,000 Preferred 3 Trot for trainer Josh McKibbin.
Driven by Jason Ryan, the Ballykeel Racing homebred took the lead off the gate ahead of 4-5 favourite Charmbo Prince (Paul MacKenzie) before 2-1 second choice Lefkada (Scott Wray) tipped from third after a :30.2 quarter and rolled up alongside the leader on the way to the half in :59.4. They raced head-to-head into the backstretch with Sizzlen Hot Herbie (Natasha Day) moving second-over before rallying three-wide into contention. Despite being headed twice along the way, Los Ballykeelamigo fought back to win in 2:01 over the 'good' track, with Sizzlen Hot Herbie settling for second and Lefkada right there in third. Charmbo Prince was unable to find racing room between the top trio down the stretch and finished fourth in the compact field, which was scratched down to just five starters.
Los Ballykeelamigo returned $10.60 to win as the 4-1 third choice. The victory was the 13th lifetime and seventh from 12 seasonal starts for the four-year-old Amigo Hall-Ballykeel Majestic gelding, who has earned half of his $80,627 bankroll in 2021.
In the co-featured finale, Manhattan Night led all the way to win the $11,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 3 Pace contested over 1-1/16 miles.
A winner the last time she went the added distance in mid-October, the popular Anita Ouellette trainee left from post three to secure the top spot ahead of insider Randomirogeo (Jason Ryan) in the first turn. Manhattan Night carved out fractions of :28, :56.2 and 1:27 to three-quarters, and while her rivals stacked three-deep turning for home, the 3-5 favourite remained clear on top through the stretch to score in 2:04.4. Randomirogeo shook lose from the pocket to place while Laila Blue (Tyler Borth) closed for third.
A back-to-back runner-up in the one-mile Preferred 3 class earlier this month, Manhattan Night returned $3.40 to win. Owned by Luc Ouellette Inc., the homebred mare by Dali out of Manhattan Killean notched the sixth win of her five-year-old campaign from 26 starts and lifted her annual income to $55,690. A 20-time career winner, she has now banked $190,959 to date.
To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Western Fair Raceway.