05/21/2017 11:58PM

Flamboro Downs: Western Fame finishes first in Confederation Cup

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Garnet Barnsdale
Western Fame kept Check Six at bay to prevail in the 39th edition of the Confederation Cup

Western Fame picked up the biggest win of his career to date when he held off Check Six in the lane to grab top honors in the C$176,000 Confederation Cup for 4-year-old male pacers on Sunday night at Flamboro Downs.

Racing over a track listed good and a second off, Western Fame (Trevor Henry), who won one of the two eliminations last week, left quickly from post four, letting Mr. Wiggle Pants (Doug McNair) clear briefly before regaining front at the 26 2/5 first quarter.  A parked-out Roll Away Joe (Alfie Carroll) advanced in the second quarter, getting to within three-parts of a length of Western Fame at the 55 2/5 half.  Check Six (Louis-Philippe Roy) was positioned second-over behind Roll Away Joe, with Stonebridge Beach (Stephane Pouliot) and Sintra (Jody Jamieson), the other elimination winner and even-money choice, sitting third- and fourth-over, respectively.

With that 29 second second quarter in his pocket, Henry upped the tempo in the third quarter, stepping away from Roll Away Joe and opening up a pair of lengths as Check Six moved three-wide into the second position at the 1:23 4/5 three-quarters.  The margin Western Fame had gotten was short-lived, as Check Six rushed up on the leader's outside in the final turn, perhaps poking a nostril in front at the midway point of the bend.  Western Fame responded to the challenge, though, regaining a clear lead turning for home.

Check Six mounted one final charge at Western Fame late in the going, but Western Fame would not yield, hitting the finish line half a length in front in 1:51 4/5.  Sintra, who started from post eight and loomed a possible threat three-wide past three-quarters, could only get into third, followed by Stonebridge Beach and Seeley Man (James MacDonald).

"I thought he had a real good shot," said Henry.  "He drew the four-hole, and all the tough ones were on the outside.  I figured he could make front, and he did.  My horse was great going in the last turn, and then something caught his eye, he looked at it, and he just stopped.  Then (Check Six) came at him, and he just took right off.  I've never seen a horse go from so slow to so fast in an instant.

On a real hot night, that's a 49 mile for sure."

Western Fame is a son of Western Ideal trained by Jimmy Takter for owner-breeder Brittany Farms.  This was his ninth career victory, and he has now earned C$573,174.  Sent off as the 2-1 second choice, Western Fame paid $6.10 to win.

A trio of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series events for 3-year-old colt trotters were featured on the undercard, and the winners were:

-Rosberg (Roy/trainer Julie Walker) in 1:58

-Dream Massive (MacDonald/trainer Mark Steacy) in 1:58 1/5

-On First (Henry/trainer Shannon Henry) in 1:58 1/5