The Ontario Prep Series continued on Wednesday at Flamboro Downs with three-year-old filly trotters facing off in three $10,000 eliminations.
The front end was the place to be this afternoon as Fiorentina, Cynthia Loo and Stirling Abacus all took the catch-me-if-you-can approach to win their respective eliminations -- the last two with Trevor Henry driving.
Favourite Fiorentina ($5.60) and trainer-driver Eddie Green maintained a two-plus length lead on their foes through fractions of :29.2, :59.2, and 1:29.1 in the first elimination, which saw almost half of the nine-horse field make breaks. However, pocket-sitter Frilly Thong and Per Henriksen closed up that gap to just half a length at the wire. Fiorentina stopped the clock in a career-best 2:00.2 while recording her fifth win in 12 outings. Movement and Stephen Byron finished almost four lengths behind in third after advancing first up. The Angus Hall-Red Hot And Blue filly is owned by Kristine Hill of Ohsweken, Ont.
Cynthia Loo ($4.40), the popular Dan Creighton trainee driven by Henry, rolled past fractions of :29, :59.2, and 1:29.2 in the second split and held off the first over attackers, Real Housewife and Paul MacKenzie, to win by less than a length 1:59.3. Pocket-sitter Winbak Tess and Bruce Richardson finished 10 lengths in arrears. The Majestic Son-No Chatting miss broke her maiden in her eighth career start for owner Dale Hunter of London, Ont.
Henry then rolled his 5-1 shot Stirling Abacus ($12.20) to the front in the final event and carved out panels of :29, :59.3, and 1:29.4 en route to a 1:59.2 career-best triumph by three and a half lengths. Kylie Hall and Doug Brown came on for second while the popular Jack Moiseyev-driven Im On Cloud Nine recovered from a break to finish third, but almost 12 lengths behind. The Kadabra-Souffle Hanover filly, who is three-for-14 in her career, is owned by the Trevor Henry Stables Inc. of Arthur, Ont. and Daniel McCann of Parkhill, Ont. Stirling Abacus was a player in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots program last year picking up cheques in all six of her starts there and was runner-up in the Middlesex County Trotting Series Final.
The Ontario Prep Series is for three-year-old Ontario sired pacers and trotters that are and non-winners of $40,000 in 2011. The final for the filly trotters will take place next on Wednesday, May 9. The trotting colts will face off on Sunday, May 6 in their elimination round followed by their final one week later.