Ont. Owners Sweep Whata Baron Opener

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Published: April 6, 2014 12:27 am EDT

The Whata Baron Series for pacing horses and geldings opened with a pair of $22,500 divisions of the first leg on Saturday night at Meadowlands Racetrack.

The track was fast and temperature seasonal when the first split went away as race six with Wake Up Peter redeeming himself and his backers after a pair of losses as the 3-5 favourite. Starting from the rail for driver Scott Zeron, Wake Up Peter protected his position through the first turn then responded to Zeron’s guidance to take the lead past the half in :55.3. Facing no challenges around the final bend, Wake Up Peter sprinted clear in early stretch and held safe for the 1:51 victory.

The winner is trained by the Remmen stable for owner Bradley Grant of Milton, Ont.

In division two (race seven), favoured Captive Audience was an impressive 1:49 winner, leading all the way for Andy Miller. Sent through a quick :26.3 opening split, Miller did not welcome the early move from highly-regarded Pompano invader Prairie Jaguar passing the three-eighths -- a move that was quickly aborted by his pilot Jim Morrill Jr. Captive Audience continued through honest fractions of :55 and 1:22.2 before a sparkling :26.3 into the wind closed it out. Scott Rocks sat the pocket throughout and held second with Summer Smackdown third.

Corey Johnson trains the winner for Ontario owners Debbie Element of Waterdown and Mac Nichol of Burlington.

Driver Scott Zeron is loving life at The Meadowlands. For the third consecutive week, Zeron led the Phenoms with three wins and 80 points, bringing his total for the Drivers Challenge to 243. Mike Wilder tallied 49 points in his first try in the challenge and Joe Bongiorno had 48, bringing his overall total to 138. Steve Smith (73), Jim Marohn Jr. (72) and Vicent Ginsburg (70) are battling it out for the fourth and fifth place spots which qualify for the final.

The Legends fought all the way to the wire with Corey Callahan coming out on top this week with 92 points, followed by Morrill Jr. (88), Campbell (87), Andy Miller (79) and Dave Miller (61). Overall, Morrill Jr. leads the Legends with 246 points going into the fourth week.

Racing resumes on Friday with first post time at 7:15 p.m.

(With files from Meadowlands Racetrack)

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