Charlie Is A Joker doubled up in the series thanks to a 1:55.2 score in the opening division for the tandem of driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Per Henriksen. Fresh off a 1:55 triumph in last week’s opening leg of the series, Charlie Is A Joker enjoyed a pocket trip behind Edit through early panels of :27.3 and :56.3. Filion launched his charge to the outside around the final turn and took over command at the three-quarter pole in 1:26.2. After opening up a big lead in the lane, Charlie Is A Joker held on to win by 1-1/2 lengths over a hard-closing Windsong Hercules in 1:55.2. Revenue Agent came on late to grab third prize.
“He was strong again tonight,” Filion said following the win. “Last week, he was on the right line a little bit, but tonight he drove perfect. I like our chance looking ahead to the final.”
Tom and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catherines, ON bred and own the four-year-old son of Angus Hall-Keystone Caprice. The photogenic performer improved his 2012 record to 4-1-1 in seven tries with the victory, while improving his overall record to 15-2-2 from 20 trips behind the starting gate. The $15,000 payday boosted the trotter’s lifetime earnings to $129,147.
Undercover Strike marched to the top and kept on trucking for driver Jack Moiseyev, who guided the Bill Companion-trained gelding to a career-best clocking of 1:53.4 in the second division. The four-year-old son of Striking Sahbra-Under The Pines laid down fractions of :27.1, :57.2 and 1:25.3 before using a :28.1 closing panel to win by 2-1/2 lengths over race favourite Guiltywithanexcuse. Third prize went to Meadowview Arty.
“That was a terrific mile tonight,” Companion said. “I’ve always said this horse has had a lot of talent and tonight it showed. We made a shoeing change coming into tonight and that seemed to help, as well. Hopefully we have a fun summer with him, fingers crossed.”
It was the third victory of the season in six attempts for the OSS graduate, who is owned by Common Sense Stable, Blair Corbeil and Swissasia. The four-time winner upped his lifetime earnings to $89,950 with the win.