Sparky Mark continued down the comeback trail as he held off his fellow Preferred pacers to record his sixth consecutive victory at Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday night.
With regular reinsman Sylvain Filion in the sulky for the $38,000 event, the late season streaker zipped up the rail to take the lead forcing Major Hottie (Keith Oliver) into the pocket spot during a :27-second opening quarter. Sparky Mark proceeded to the half in :55.2 and three-quarters in 1:23.2 with the parked outsider Upfront Hoosierboy (Mario Baillargeon) advancing up into second.
OK Boromir (Luc Ouellette) gapped his second over cover and eventually found himself trailing the seven-horse field while Reibercrombie (Jody Jamieson) angled off the pylons from mid-pack to pick up the cover.
Upfront Hoosierboy began to apply heavy pressure to the pacesetter in the stretch with Reibercrombie coming on, but Sparky Mark prevailed by one length in 1:50.3. Reibercrombie edged out Upfront Hoosierboy for second-place honors.
“He’s a small horse with a big engine, but he’s from a great family of winners and the entire family has extreme desire to win and he’s no different,” said trainer Mark Austin in a recent article profiling the Astreos-Luckbealadytonite four-year-old.
Sparky Mark, who has recovered from a cracked pastern bone that kept him out of racing action for six and a half months, is now 12-for-16 on the year with almost $200,000 earned. Lifetime, he has posed for 19 win photos and stashed away over $300,000 for owner-breeder Leo Thibodeau of Windsor, Ont.
Sparky Mark paid $2.90 to win as the 2-5 favorite. (Woodbine Racetrack)