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Waples, Johnson sweep Boxing Day stakes at Woodbine
Friday, December 27, 2013 - from WEG Media

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Toronto, ON --- A couple of hours after winning the Niagara final with Lyonssweetie, driver Randy Waples and trainer Corey Johnson completed the Boxing Day sweep of stakes events at Woodbine, taking the $31,866 Valedictory with Yucatan.

Yucatan was excellent in collecting his sixth win of the year for Debbie Element in 1:55.1.

Yucatan was a 1:55.1 winner in the Valedictory at Woodbine.

Waples sat second with the Somebeachsomewhere colt behind expected speedster Avatartist through an early clip of :28 in the Valedictory. No movement was recorded in the second quarter in the top five spots through a half-mile split in :57.2.

On the turn, it was go time for Waples and Yucatan as the pair established command into a strong wind before having to hold Alexa's Jackpot off late to emerge a 1-1/4 length winner.

The Kentucky bred now has lifetime purse earnings of $75,390.

Yucatan didn’t show much early speed in his previous races, having closed ground from far back to finish third and fifth in the first and second legs of the Valedictory, respectively.

Woodbine’s Thursday card did reward horses who showed some early speed.

Yucatan paid $11.20 to win and combined with Alexa's Jackpot for a $42 exactor. Avatartist rounded out the $257.30 triactor.

J C Onthebeach, the near 2-1 favorite, was fifth, beaten 10 lengths.

Lyonssweetie goes gate-to-wire in Niagara final

She was only sixth in the first leg of the Niagara Pacing Series two weeks ago and second last time out, but it all came together perfectly in the $31,208 final for Lyonssweetie on Boxing Day at Woodbine.

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Lyonssweetie won the Niagara in a 1:55.3 clocking.

Randy Waples drove the 3-year-old daughter of No Pan Intended to the one ength score for trainer Corey Johnson and Geoffrey Lyons Mound in 1:55.3.

Waples sent Lyonssweetie to the front in the Niagara, cutting out an early quarter-mile split of :28.4. The race was likely won though after the duo got a half-mile in a soft :58.4.

Despite looming odds-on public choice Solid Queen, Lyonssweetie looked strong and sprinted away on the turn with plenty in reserve in the stretch to hold off late comers D Gs Pesquero and Envious Hanover.

It was the Ontario-bred’s fifth win this year and fifth overall. The bay filly now has purse earnings of $78,016 in 2013 to add to her $1,901 from last season.

Lyonssweetie was well-regarded going into the Niagara series having finished second in the Autumn final last month. She was a disappointing sixth, beaten 7-1/2 lengths in the first division of the first leg at 9-5, but a big effort in the final was tipped after a spirited inside rally last week in the second division of the second leg.

She paid $21 to win and combined with the longshots, D Gs Pesquero (12-1) and Envious Hanover (43-1) to fill out the top three spots and trigger a $3,343 triactor.

Solid Queen finished sixth.

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