Final Cheeserecipe survived an overland trip and toughed out a narrow victory in the $7,200 fifth leg of the Prospect Series for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 12) at Leamington Raceway.
Parked every step of the way, even-money favourite Final Cheeserecipe ($4.20) defeated pacesetter Shadowmoon Riding by a nose in 2:00.3 for driver Tyler Borth and trainer Blake MacIntosh.
With the inside post advantage, 9-5 second choice Shadowmoon Rising (Don Rankin Jr.) established the lead while TJ Spitfire (Scott Wray) fired out from post six to secure a pocket trip leaving Final Cheeserecipe parked out from post three.
After panels of :29, :59 and 1:29.4, Final Cheeserecipe amped up the pressure heading into the final turn. He went head-to-head with Shadowmoon Rising down the stretch and prevailed over that foe in a photo finish. Silver Sandy (Greg Drew) rallied to take third ahead of TJ Spitfire, finishing 2-3/4 lengths behind the winner.
The homebred Betterthancheddar-Ingrid Hanover gelding has now won back-to-back divisions of the Prospect Series for owners Kim and Dan Sergeant of Straffordville, Ont. A seven-time starter, he took his 1:54.1 mark in the Sept. 4 leg at Kawartha Downs.
The top nine point-earners from the five Prospect legs will earn a berth in the series finals, which are scheduled for Friday, Sept. 24 at Grand River Raceway.
Other highlights on Sunday’s 10-race card included a pair of London, Ont. trainers celebrating their first career wins.
Chris Cain broke his maiden when four-year-old mare Rose Run Vigilant ($3.60) held off rivals on both sides, Einhorn and Fast As Phelps, by a neck for a 2:01.2 score in the sixth race, a $7,000 claiming/conditioned pace. Scott Wray worked out the winning trip aboard the daughter of Dragon Again as Cain recorded his first win after four seconds and four thirds through his first 26 starts.
In the following race for $7,000 distaff claimers, Azalea Seelster ($4.70) romped to a 4-1/4-length victory in 1:58 flat with Garrett Rooney aboard to mark Steve Morse‘s milestone win. Morse co-owns the seven-year-old Big Jim mare with Patricia Burns, Mary Moody and Wendy Gualtieri. He made his training debut with Azalea Seelster when she finished third in her last start.
To view Sunday’s harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results – Leamington Raceway