Eight of harness racing’s hardest hitters will make the trek to Rideau Carleton Raceway this weekend for Sunday’s $176,500 Des Smith Classic, including the 2-1 morning line favourite Betterthancheddar.
The Casie Coleman pupil will line up behind the starting gate in Post 5 for Sunday’s 31st edition of the Des Smith Classic fresh off of his world record-equaling performance of 1:48 in the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace.
Betterthancheddar was driven to victory that night by George Brennan, and he’ll make the trip north of the border to handle the assignment behind the speedy son of Bettors Delight. The 15-time winner, who has stashed away more than $1.1 million to date, will shoot for his sixth win of the season for owners Steve Calhoun and the West Wins Stable.
Aracache Hanover, who was third to Betterthancheddar in the Ben Franklin Pace, has drawn Post 2 in Sunday’s main event for Team McNair. Doug McNair will drive the 20-time winner for his father, trainer Greg McNair, and together they’ll be looking for the speedball to add to his bankroll which recently surpassed $1.2 million for owners William Switala and Jim Martin.
Trainer Ron Burke will send out the talented twosome of Foiled Again and Won The West from Posts 7 and 8, respectively.
Foiled Again, who is a 62-time winner to date, will tote an impressive bankroll that sits at more than $3.8 million for the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables LLC. The eight-year-old son of Dragon Again will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing sixth-place finish in the aforementioned Ben Franklin Pace. Brett Miller has been recruited to drive the iron-tough performer.
Won The West, a career winner of 36 races and purses in excess of $3.9 million, will be looking to make his first trip to the winner’s circle this season for the partnership of Country Club Acres Inc, Strollin Stable and William J Robinson. His 1:47 race record makes him the fastest pacer in the field, and his 1:47.2 seasonal record from 2011 ties him with Primetime Bobcat as the fastest performers in the history of Canadian racing.
Here’s the complete field:
$176,000 Des Smith Classic
1. Foreclosure N - J Jamieson
2. Aracache Hanover - D McNair
3. Machal Jackson - J Plante
4. Bay Of Sharks – TBA
5. Betterthancheddar - G Brennan
6. Georgetown N - S Allard
7. Foiled Again - B Miller
8. Won The West - S Zeron
A solid undercard features a set of $40,000 OSS Gold Series eliminations for two-year-old pacing fillies plus a 10-horse, $40,000 OSS Gold Series elimination for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings.