Making their career debuts, Badlands Hanover colts Slight Touch and Tarpon Hanover won the first two of three $40,000 Gold eliminations for driver Scott Zeron and trainer David Menary.
Slight Touch inherited a 1:55.1 mark in the first elimination following a judges' placing.
Glammit (Mike Saftic) fired to command from the outside post seven during the :28.3 opening quarter before Moon Over Mara (Doug McNair) swept up from third to take over the top spot as the field straightened up down the backstretch. The new leader hit the half in :57.3 while Zeron sent Slight Touch first up from fifth and applied heavy pressure past the 1:26 three-quarters mark. He then edged out in front down the stretch with Glammit locked in and loaded. Weaving out wide, Glammit found a clear path, but caused interference to the popular Panongahela (Brett Miller), who was racing third over. Glammit sprinted home hitting the wire first over Slight Touch, but was placed back to third. Panongahela was third-placed-second.
Slight Touch paid $5.70 to win as the slight second choice. The Badlands Hanover-Touch Of Silk colt, purchased for $16,000 at the Canadian Yearling Sale, is owned by Robert Seguin of Gatineau, Que.
Favourite Tarpon Hanover rallied home from off the pace to win the second elimination by three lengths in 1:52.4.
Santanna One (Jody Jamieson) set his sights on the front and sprinted through a :26.4 opening quarter to get there over Ok Fantastic (Paul MacDonell). As he headed to the next marker in :57, Roar (Jack Moiseyev) swept up from fifth and took over just past the half. However, Tarpon Hanover was hot on his heels and the 2-1 choice cleared before the 1:24.3 third quarter mark and drew away from the field. Roar chased him home for runner-up honours while Ok Fantastic rounded out the top three.
Tarpon Hanover paid $5.90 to win. The Badlands Hanover-Tarport Herald colt, a half-brother to Tarver Hanover ($829,919) and Tarpaulin Hanover ($614,437), was an $82,000 Harrisburg Sale yearling purchased by Ontarians Menary of Cheltenham, Brad Gray of Dundas, Bruce Norris of Caledon East and Denis Breton of Welland.
Mach Pride, a Mach Three-Cyper Wave colt, brushed to command down the backstretch and never looked back en route to a four length 1:53.3 win in the other elimination for driver Rick Zeron and trainer Louis Eftimiadis.
Tempo Seelster (Jody Jamieson) put up a :28.4 opening quarter before 1-2 favourite Mach Pride went from fourth to first down the backstretch. Once in control, he hit the half in :57.4 and three-quarters in 1:26, then sprinted home for the victory with Bad Boy Hill (Doug McNair) overtaking Tempo Seelster for second.
The win was the second in three starts for Mach Pride, who is owned by Gerald Mijal of Westland, Michigan.
Here is a look at the field for next week's $130,000 OSS Gold Final:
1. Panpero Firpo
3. Tarpon Hanover
4. OK Fantastic
7. Tempo Seelster
8. Bad Boy Hill
9. Mach Pride
10. Slight Touch