Favorites fade in Goodtimes and Gold Cup

by Karen Briggs, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Campbellville, ON — The final two stakes on the 2013 North America Cup undercard at Mohawk Racetrack strayed from the bias of the evening in that the favorites didn’t deliver.

New Image Media photo

Flanagan Memory was a 1:54.1 winner in the Goodtimes.

In the C$225,276 Goodtimes final for 3-year-old trotting colts, first choice Toocool Forschool bowed to Flanagan Memory and Chris Christoforou, who dominated from gate-to-wire and came home a length to the good, in yet another career-best 1:54.1.

Though Mike Saftic kept Toocool Forschool (Kadabra–Stonebridge Lane) in the hunt throughout the mile, the Glenn Lalonde trainee couldn’t get past the determined Flanagan Memory (Kadabra–Classy Stacy). Gotta Secret, trained by Richard Moreau and piloted by Sylvain Filion, stepped up for third.

Flanagan Memory is conditioned by Rene Dion, who shares ownership with Liette Flanagan of Repentigny, Quebec.

The win was a welcome return to major stakes-winning company for Chris Christoforou, who remarked, “It feels good. He’s a nice horse and I had a lot of confidence in him going in. The trip worked out good so I’m just happy to be here in the winner’s circle.

“I drove him a bit last year and he won, and I’ve been driving him this year since he’s been back (four starts). That’s the first time I’ve raced him on the front and I wouldn’t want to make a habit of it, but it didn’t bother me. I was pretty much open to anything with him. I thought Mike’s horse (Toocool Forschool) was the horse to beat and the trip just worked out. We were in the right place.”

The final stake of the evening, the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational, saw Warrawee Needy, back on home turf, bouncing back from a couple of disappointing efforts south of the border to best the favored Fred And Ginger (Ron Pierce), who led for much of the mile.

The 4-year-old son of E Dee’s Cam, trained by Carl Jamieson and driven by son Jody, played a waiting game while Camaes Fellow (Yannick Gingras) and Fred And Ginger led the field through a brisk three-quarters.

In the stretch, a tiring Fred And Ginger began to drift off the rail, letting Camaes Fellow squeeze past on the inside, but Warrawee Needy cut that advantage short by advancing third over on the grandstand side, stopping the timer in a career-equaling 1:48.3.

Camaes Fellow hung on for second, three-quarters of a length in arrears, and Modern Legend (John Campbell) grabbed third, with the 3-2 Fred And Ginger fading to sixth.

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