Casual Breeze Stakes

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    Raceday    2006-06-02
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Casual Breeze Stakes    3 st divisioner
3 year old Filly 1.609m auto 
  Purse: 75 000$ 


Buck I St Pat lowers stakes record; MacDonell and Bax capture two Casual Breeze divisions

TORONTO, June 2, 2006 – Buck I St Pat recorded the fastest mile by a three-year-old trotting filly this season and driver Paul MacDonell captured the other two splits with John Bax pupils, as three $75,000 divisions of the Casual Breeze Stakes highlighted the Saturday evening programme of racing from Woodbine.

In the third division, with pilot Dave Palone in tow, Buck I St Pat ($3.60, $3.00, $3.00) sat second to the :27.4 opening quarter before the invading driver sent his mount first-up, clearing easily in the backstretch prior to the :57.2 half-miler marker. From there the daughter of Jailhouse Jesse clicked off three quarters in 1:27.1 and came the final quarter-mile in 28 seconds all on her own.

Oaklea Odessa
Oaklea Omega

Buck I St Pat eventually recorded a 1:55.1 mile, which stands as a new stakes record.

Armbro Domino ($4.60, $4.50) and driver Chris Christoforou finished second, 5½ lengths in arrears, completing the $14.50 exactor. With Charlie Norris at her controls, Clareen ($13.60) finished five and three-quarter lengths back of Buck I St Pat, rounding out the $208.80 triactor.

“She was wrapped up finishing,” Palone said about Buck I St Pat, who is eligible to Woodbine’s Elegantimage Stakes (June17) and is owned by Howard Taylor, Edwin Gold, Abraham Basen and R. R. Fuller. “I was a little concerned going out of there [leaving the gate]. I didn’t want to get her hot and have to release someone and maybe have her jump out of gear. We missed the gate a little bit, but she’s a quality filly.”

Buck I St Pat won six of her eight races as a two-year-old and has now notched two wins in her three starts so far this campaign.

Buck I St Pat has now banked $117,986 in her career, $57,300 of which coming from this season.

In the opening division, Oaklea Omega ($6.10, $2.90, $2.30), a Balanced Image filly trained by John Bax, took a pocket trip and eventually trotted away to a two-length victory in a life’s mark clocking of 1:57.2 for driver Paul MacDonell.

After coming first-over on the final turn, Exquisite Way ($10.10, $5.20) and driver Rick Zeron finished second, rounding out the $76.90 exactor.

With pilot Luc Ouellette at her lines, Gastine ($3.80) cut the fractions in :28.4, :100.1 and 1:29.4, respectively, and finished three length back of Oaklea Omega, completing the $382.40 triactor.

“I was really happy with her effort,” said MacDonell, who helped improved Oaklea Omega’s seasonal record to 1-3-0 from her fifth start, bumping her 2006 earnings to $86,752. “When she came off cover just past the three-quarters pole she had a ton of trot left. The trip really helped her.”

Oaklea Omega, who is eligible to the Elegantimage, now has three career wins and $165,745 in purses on her card for owners Parkhill Stud Farm, Brilo Farms, Glenn Van Camp and Venture K Stables.

MacDonell picked up his second Casual Breeze win of the evening in the second division, as he piloted another Bax trainee, Oaklea Odessa ($3.20, $2.40, $2.20), to a gate-to-wire victory in 1:56.3, extending the Balanced Image filly’s 2006 unbeaten streak to five.

Fresh off her sweep of an O.S.S. Gold Series event at Hiawatha Horse Park, Oaklea Odessa, also eligible to the Elegantimage, recorded the fractions in :28.2, :59-flat and 1:28.4 before coming home with a :27.4 final quarter to seal the 2¾-length victory.

Driven by Jeff Gregory, Mai Tai ($12.30, $6.10) finished second and rounded out the $75.30 exactor, while Drugeda ($4.90) and driver Trevor Ritchie finished three lengths in arrears and completed the $380.00 triactor.

Pure Ivory, an O’Brien and WEG Award winner in 2005, broke stride early and was subsequently distanced.

“I figured she’d be tough to beat after getting there [the opening half-mile] unstressed. Even the third quarter was pretty leisurely for her, so she was able to snap home pretty good with a fast fraction off that,” MacDonell said about Oaklea Odessa, who has seasonal earnings of $144,754 and $244,553 in career purses for owners Parkhill Stud Farm, Ariel Stables and Glenn Van Camp.

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