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Joseph Michael Captures Ladner Memorial

Saturday, June 18, 2011  By: Standardbred Canada

Joseph Michael Captures Ladner Memorial

Joseph Michael was the star of the Cecil Ladner Memorial Pacing Series winning the $7,100 final in wire-to-wire fashion Saturday night at Charlottetown Driving Park. The action-packed program also featured sophomore eliminations for the Maritime Breeders Stakes.

Fresh off a victory in his elimination, Joseph Michael and driver Todd Trites took command of the eight-horse field from Post 2 and carved out fractions of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:26.2 en route to victory in 1:55.3, despite losing a show early in the race. Oakrock Almighty (Gilles Barrieau) followed along in the pocket and finished three-quarters of a length behind in second and Putnams Force (Ryan Ellis) came on for third.

"He fired a shoe at the quarter pole," noted Trites in a trackside interview following the race. "I knew Gilles was serious off the rail with his horse and there was a lot of early speed. I felt pretty good when I saw the draw earlier in the week. He raced well tonight and he only had three shoes."

Joseph Michael paid $4.20 to win as the odds-on favourite. The four-year-old son of Jennas Beach Boy-Jaydexter has won five of his 14 seasonal starts while banking $48,244. The victory was his 17th lifetime and pushed his bankroll to $64,916 for trainer Eric Wilson and owners Capital A Investments Ltd. of Lower Cambridge and Valerie Phelan of Geary, N.B.

Last year’s Ladner champion Outlawpositivcharg also wired the field, turning back a challenge from Life Saviour (Marc Campbell) along the way, to win the $3,400 consolation in 1:56.1 for trainer-driver Terry Gallant and owner J. Fred Lamont of Calgary, Alta. Riccaras Sun (Gary Chappell) finished one length behind off a pocket trip and Pans O Silver (Brodie MacPhee) was third. The seven-year-old son of Blissfull Hall-Electromagnetic, who finished a disappointing seventh in his elimination, is now four-for-six on the year.

Eliminations for the Maritime Breeders Stakes for sophomore pacers were also contested on Saturday with three $3,000 events for the colts and two for the fillies.

Tiger Williams went wire-to-wire to win the first elimination for colts and geldings in a career-best 1:57.3. The Force Of Life-Susan Shea colt held off pocket-sitter The Eagle (Gilles Barrieau) to win by half a length for trainer-driver Earl Smith and Islanders Peter Smith, Donald Smith, Gerald Morrissey and Larry Chappell. Pictonians Matador (Gary Chappell) was third. The win was his first in five tries so far this year.

Balbriggan Fox, driven by Walter Cheverie, rallied wide off cover to capture the second colt elimination by a quarter length in 1:59.3. The son of Toofunnyforwords-Sign Runner edged out pacesetter J G S Sandy (Todd Trites) while Island Commander (Kenny Arsenault) finished third. Blaine McKenna trains and owns the winner of two races in five seasonal starts with Harold Culleton of Ellerslie, P.E.I.

Putnams Art converted from the pocket to spring a 24-1 surprise in the final elimination for colts. The son of gelded son of Southwind Balsam-Raisin Ruckus was three lengths the best, stopping the clock in 1:56.2. The popular pacesetter, Pictonians Souwest (Gary Chappell), finished second and second choice Putnams Power (Danny Romo) was third. Bernard trains and drives for owner Wesley Patriquin of Debert, N.S. Unraced at two, Putnams Art began his career in Ontario and has recorded four wins in 14 starts.

The ladies stepped on the track to compete in a pair of eliminations and coincidentally, it was a woman sitting behind both winners as trainer-driver Clare MacDonald swept both $3,000 events with Forthena and Honey Do Jigtime.

Forthena closed from fifth to capture the first filly elimination. The Force Of Life-Windsun Athena miss stopped the clock in a life’s-best 1:58, prevailing by three-quarters of a length over pacesetter and fan favourite Moon Landing (Gilles Barrieau). Pocket-sitter Force Of Fire (Todd Trites) rounded out the top three. Owned and bred by Riley Farms Ltd. and Earith Riley of Kensington, P.E.I., the reigning Maritime Breeders champion earned her first win in four seasonal starts.

Honey Do Jigtime front-stepped her way to a career-best 1:59 victory in the other elimination, beating out Bemused (Marc Campbell) by two and a half lengths. It was six lengths back to third place finisher Acton Normal (Shane Bernard). The Coastocoast Yankee-Gold Luck daughter notched her third (consecutive) win from four starts this year for owners Morah Kerr of Greenfield and Phonsie Maceachern of Port Hood, N.S.

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