Arch Madness turned in the fastest trotting mile of the meet with a 1:52.4 performance in the $187,000 Credit Winner open test, sponsored by Blue Chip Farms, while Autumn Escapade delivered a 1:55.1 triumph in Vernon’s $25,000 leg of the Miss Versatility series for open distaff high-steppers.
A qualifying round winner in Canada’s prestigious Maple Leaf Trot on July 18, Arch Madness ($4.10) lived up to his favourite’s role in Friday’s eighth event, advancing from fifth in the early going to take control of the race approaching the three-quarter mile mark and then holding off his seven skilled rivals in a :28-second final split to win by 1-1/2 lengths over Four Starz Speed. Lanson finished third.
Trainer Trond Smedshammer did the teaming for owners Mark Goldberg and the Willow Pond LLC stable as the five-year-old son of Balanced Image-Armbro Archer earned his fourth race of the season and increased his career winnings to more than $2.2 million. His time was just three-fifths of a second off the track’s all-time standard for aged trotting geldings, set by Vivid Photo in 2007.
Autumn Escapade, also a Canadian winner in mid-July, went right to the front in Friday’s first race and played catch-me-if-you-can. None of her three talented foes were equal to the task, although the favourite Lavec Dream did get to within a neck of the brown mare at the finish. David Miller did the steering for trainer Jonas Czernyson as the daughter of Victory Sam-Winning Colors K secured her second win of 2009, 17th overall and increased her bankroll to $252,182 for owners David and Misty Miller.
Divisions of Friday’s $37,900 late-closing contest for New York-bred three-year-old trotting fillies were won by Waltzing Bertie (George Brennan driving the bay daughter of Dilbert Hanover-Waltzing Savannah for co-owner and trainer Harold Smith and Karen Smith) in 1:58.1; Praise (Mike Lachance teaming the bay daughter of Plesac-Kiss Dot Com for trainer Bob Bloodgood and owner Richard Balog) in 1:59.3; and Princess Robyn (Kyle Di Benedetto steering the bay daughter of Conway Hall-Peace N Harmony for trainer/part-owner David Dziengiel and his partners Joe Ricco, Jr., Robyn and Anthony Lake) in 1:59.3.
Tim Tetrick, who won three races during the evening, captured Friday’s $10,000 Open Handicap Trot with Sharpshootennorris in 1:55.2 for owner/trainer Tracy Brainard and her partner, Gerard Stuchbury. His other first-place finishes came behind the Brainard trainees Neptune T and P Js Niagara. Brainard’s triple increased her training tallies at the meet to 51, three behind the pacesetting Jessica Okusko.
The final leg of the Miss Versatility series will be contested on Little Brown Jug Day (September 24) at Delaware, Ohio..