All Wrapped Up and driver Louis-Philippe Roy charged away from post five and as they rolled through fractions of :28.4, :58.1 and 1:26.1 two lengths in front of their peers there was little doubt about the eventual outcome of the race. The only question was how fast the fan favorites would go and whether the Rideau Carleton track record was in jeopardy.
Down the stretch Roy kept his foot on the accelerator and when All Wrapped Up powered across the finish line almost four lengths ahead of Jumpshot and Gold Edition, the timer delivered the news — 1:54.1, a new track record.
“I always thought he was one of the best of his division, if he behaves,” said Roy, who drives All Wrapped Up for trainer Robert Fellows. “Tonight Robert made a few changes on his equipment, adding trotting hobbles, and he was all business. He was still very strong at the wire.”
All Wrapped Up’s impressive mile took three-fifths of a second off the former 1:54.4 track record set by Try Try Again in August 2017 and matched by Dream Nation in the second Gold division on Sunday.
Fellows shares ownership of the Archangel gelding with Arpad Szabo, Blair Corbeil and Mike McAllister. Sunday’s victory was All Wrapped Up’s first in Gold Series action. In his three previous Gold Series appearances, one as a 2-year-old and two this season, the gelding had made breaks and finished well back of the leaders. When the fractious youngster made his fourth miscue of eight starts in a July 12 overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park Fellows decided it was time to try the trotting hobbles and the decision paid immediate dividends, giving All Wrapped Up his sixth career win and pushing his earnings to $63,672.
All Wrapped Up’s record setting mile came on the heels of Dream Nation’s track record equaling performance in the second $55,030 Gold division. Unlike his record-setting peer, Dream Nation stalked fan favorite Southwind Avenger through fractions of :28.4, :57.4 and 1:26.4 before sprinting down the stretch to a head victory in 1:54.4. Southwind Avenger settled for second and Esa was three lengths back in third.
Sylvain Filion drove Archangel son Dream Nation to his first Gold Series win of the season for trainer Jacques Dupont and owners Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc., Ecurie CSL, Gestion C. Levesque 2005 Inc., and Marc Camirand.
The other Gold Series division went to Only For Justice and driver Chris Christoforou, who cruised through fractions of :29.2, :58.3 and 1:28.1 on their way to a 1-3/4 length win in 1:56. Manatlas finished second and JMR Pinarello was well back in third.
It was the second Gold Series win, and third of the season for Only For Justice, who also captured his division of the Gold Series opener at Flamboro Downs before running into his own early season hiccups.
“He won at Flamboro, easy, so we thought he could be all right in the (June 15) Goodtimes and the next (June 24) Gold, but he made a mistake in the Gold and he was sick in the Goodtimes final,” said Dany Fontaine, who trains Only For Justice for Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc.
“But after that he had a rest for two weeks and we go to Three Rivers (July 12), and at Three Rivers the competition is not very strong, you know, so he had a good training,” said Fontaine of the Justice Hall son’s win in the July 12 leg of the Breeders Cup Series. “And tonight, you know a short field like that and this horse he likes to leave the gate, he was good. He’s a nice horse.”
Sunday’s win moves Only For Justice into second spot in the 3-year-old trotting colt Gold Series standings with 100 points, 25 behind leader Southwind Avenger.
The 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings will make their next Ontario Sires Stakes starts at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Aug. 12 for the Gold colts and Aug. 19 for the Grassroots contenders.
Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday (Aug. 25) with Gold and Grassroots action for the 3-year-old pacing fillies.