Driven by regular pilot Randy Waples, San Pail cleared to the lead past the opening panel, by Windsong Geant (Rick Zeron), in a quick :26.3. As the top older trotters marched towards the half, Mister Herbie (Jody Jamieson) angled out from fourth and brushed past San Pail to claim the lead at the midway point in :55.4.
Mister Herbie, who was looking for his ninth-straight victory, would lead his eight rivals past three-quarters in 1:24.3. At the top of the stretch, Waples guided San Pail off the pylons and last year’s Breeders Crown winner responded, tracking down Mister Herbie to win his season’s debut by 2-1/4 lengths. Mister Herbie stayed for second, over Windsong Geant.
San Pail paid $4.50 for the win.
Following the win, driver Randy Waples didn’t have much choice, but put San Pail into early contention. “That’s the way he is after a layoff. He sort of drives himself and wants to leave the gate,” Waples said. “I was a little surprised by tonight’s effort because you would think he’d need a start or two and if he gets beat that’s the time. Tonight, he did it all on his own.” Trainer and co-owner Rod Hughes agreed with Waples.
“To be honest, I thought he needed a start,” he said. “He was pretty aggressive warming-up and again in the post parade, so that kind of told me that he was going to be in the mix of things in the early going. Then when Randy pulled him kind of early at the top of the stretch, I knew he had a lot of trot left.”
Co-owned by his breeder, Glenn Van Camp, San Pail (San Pellegrino–Village Beauty) notched his eighth straight win. The defending Glorys Comet champion won 14 of 16 races while banking $1,289,000 last season. His biggest accomplishments include victories in the Breeders Crown, his third Maple Leaf Trot and Nat Ray, just to name a few.
San Pail is closing in on a significant milestone, as he looks to surpass his rival, Arch Madness, to become the richest Canadian-sired trotter of all time. Arch Madness currently holds the mark with earnings of $3,231,677. (Woodbine Racetrack)