After wiring Preferred 3 company last week, The Joy Luck Club ($8.80) had to work a bit harder in Wednesday night’s (Nov. 6) featured $10,500 Preferred 2 Handicap Pace for fillies and mares at Flamboro Downs, but the end result was the same — a front-end victory.
The five-year-old Camluck mare out-sprinted War Filly (Colin Kelly) into the first turn to seize control in a :28 first quarter before Michael Horner rationed out her speed in the second split. The Joy Luck Club pulled the half back to :57, but was forced to pick up the pace on the second circuit when faced with a first-over challenge from Filly Forty Seven (Ed Hensley).
The Joy Luck Club accelerated enough to force Filly Forty Seven into the pocket with three-eighths to go, but 1-2 favourite Buttermilk Hanover (Robert Shepherd) took up the chase in earnest nearing three-quarters in 1:25.1. The pair duelled through the final turn, and The Joy Luck Club clung to a three-quarter-length lead all the way to the winning post, driven out to prevail in 1:54.1. Buttermilk Hanover was a persistent second, while Filly Forty Seven checked in third.
Trainer Mark Horner co-owns 26-time winner The Joy Luck Club with R A W Equine Inc.
While forced to settle for second honours in the night’s big race, Shepherd carved out a pillar-to-post victory with Tables Big Secret ($4.10) in the sub-featured $8,500 Preferred 3 distaff pace. The four-year-old Big Jim mare found the front with ease before turning aside an extended first-over challenge from Southwind Ion (Brett MacDonald) en route to a 1:55 victory, 2-1/2 lengths better than runner-up Arya Stark (Preston Shaw).
Lyle MacArthur trains 13-time winner Tables Big Secret for Linda Wellwood and Tammy Aspden.
To view Wednesday’s harness racing results, click the following link: Wednesday Results – Flamboro Downs.