The theme of the night was setting new lifetime marks and the trotting fillies were first to start the trend in their two $25,000 eliminations.
Fresh off a win in the Ontario Prep Series final at Flamboro Downs, Im On Cloud Nine returned to victory lane for trainer Kevin O’Reilly and driver Jack Moiseyev.
The trotting miss sat behind fractions of :27.2 and :56.3 cut by Counter Pointe (Wayne Henry) and 1:25.4 clocked by Winbak Maya (Billy Davis Jr.), who then made a break in the stretch. The 3-5 favourite, Im On Cloud Nine, was able to avoid the breaker and find clear racetrack to score by one and a half lengths in a new mark of 1:55. Smarty Pants (Sylvain Filion) and Barbie And Ken (Steve Condren) finished second and third, respectively.
The daughter of Angus Hall-Celebrity Angel, who swept the Celias Counsel Series at Woodbine, is five-for-six this season. The six-time career winner lifted her bankroll to $116,940 for Florida owner W J Donovan.
Im On Cloud Nine paid $3.30 to win.
In the second tilt, Lovely Vacation pulled off a 9-1 upset for trainer Mark Steacy and driver Randy Waples.
The 6-5 favourite, Sugar Wheeler (Paul MacDonell), took the early lead and clocked the opening panel in :28.2. Into the backstretch, Lovely Vacation was pulled from the pocket and taken to the front. The brown filly then held command through splits of :57.1 and 1:26.3, before getting under the wire in a career-best effort of 1:54.3. Sugar Wheeler was second by one and three-quarter lengths and Circles (Luc Ouellette) finished third.
The daughter of Majestic Son-Short Vacation earned her first win of the season in three outings. The five-time career winner has stashed away $63,750 in lifetime earnings for owners Shawn Steacy and David McDonald of Ontario, Alberta's Joe Loring and Dr. Malcolm Man Son Hing of British Columbia.
Lovely Vacation returned $20.40 to win.
When the sophomore pacing fillies took the stage for their $25,000 SBOA eliminations, the speed continued.
At odds of 6-1, Legal Entity utilized a second-over trip to beat her rivals for trainer Shawn Robinson and driver Anthony MacDonald.
Mia Seelster (Keith Oliver) cut the mile, putting up fractions of :27.2, :56 and 1:24. Class Of O Nine (Randy Waples) advanced first-up at the half, but couldn’t catch the tempo-setter. Legal Entity, who caught second-over cover, was angled three-wide in the stretch. She then tracked down the leader to win by one length in a new lifetime mark of 1:52. Mia Seelster finished second and Class Of O Nine took the show dough.
The homebred daughter of Mach Three-Catch A Wish, who is one-for-two in 2012, found the winner's circle for the third time in her career. She lifted her lifetime earnings to $186,590 for Ontario owner-breeder Millar Farms.
The brown lass returned $4.40 to win.
The top five finishers advance to their respective SBOA Stakes finals on Saturday, May 25, with the elimination winners earning a chance to select their post positions.
Friday's $42,000 Fillies & Mares Open Pace was won by the Casie Coleman-trained Western Silk and driver Scott Zeron, who rallied home off second over cover with a :26.3 final frame to score in 1:50.2, one-fifth of a second off her lifetime mark. The five-year-old Western Terror-Extemporaneous mare, owned by Ontario's Ross Warriner and Tom Hill of Great Britain, prevailed by one and a quarter lengths over Voelz Hanover (Mario Baillargeon) and Dreamfair Eternal (Jody Jamieson). She paid $8.30 to win as the 3-1 second choice.
The field for the $159,218 SBOA Stakes final for three-year-old trotting fillies:
1. Cool Creek Breeze
2. Im On Cloud Nine
3. Lovely Vacation
4. Witch Way
5. Dancing Coed
6. Sugar Wheeler
7. Smarty Pants
8. Counter Pointe
10. Barbie And Ken
AE: Radical Dreamer
The field for the $161,218 SBOA Stakes final for three-year-old pacing fillies:
1. Legal Entity
2. Cooking The Books
4. Fine Art Mindale
5. Katys Jet
6. Twin B Elite
7. Ys Gold Star
8. Jet Wash