Veteran trainer Per Henriksen sent out a pair of divisional winners in Monday’s opening round of the General Brock Series for four-year-old trotters at Woodbine Racetrack.
Charlie Is A Joker kicked things off by taking his $20,000 tilt for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Henriksen in 1:55. Sent off as the 1-2 favourite, the son of Angus Hall-Keystone Caprice enjoyed a two-hole trip behind Windsong Hercules before tipping off the pylons and sprinting to the top. He used a :28-second closing quarter to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Windsong Hercules, with Incredable Frank grabbing the show dough.
The victory was third of the season in six starts for the homebred, who is owned by Tom and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catherines, ON. The 14-time winner bumped his lifetime cash stash to $114,147.
Guiltywithanexcuse got the job done for trainer Henriksen and driver Chris Christoforou in the second division, winning in a dazzling time of 1:54 – a new lifetime best for the son of Classic Photo-Gold Medalist.
Edit shot to the early lead and sped the field to the quarter in :26.3 before being overtaken by race favourite Undercover Strike. Edit was up for the retake attempt at the half, and just as he cleared in :55.4 Undercover Strike made a miscue. Guiltywithanexcuse, who tipped to the outside in the backstretch, was able to land in the two-hole around the final turn before popping back out and drawing clear to win by a three-length margin over Meadowview Art, with Indian Lake a length behind the runner-up.
Sent off at odds of 6-1, the gelding notched his fifth win of the campaign in eight tries for partners Steve Organ of Aurora and Asa Farm of Norwood, ON. The seven-time winner boosted his earnings to $83,410.
Hearthetrainacomin went to the front and didn’t look back in the third split en route to a triumph in a career-best clocking of 1:56.4 for the tandem of driver Scott Zeron and trainer Dr. John Chandler. The son of Mr Lavec-Worthy Garland whacked out panels of :26.4, :571 and 1:27.1 before coming under solid pressure from a first-over Revenue Agent. Hearthetrainacomin’s :29.3 closing quarter was good enough to earn him the win by a neck over Revenue Agent, with Justalittlefaster a distant third.
Owned by Chandler’s 1130457 Ontario Inc, Hearthetrainacomin won for the second time in five seasonal assignments. The 10-time winner now boasts a bankroll that stands at $90,532.