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Plenty of excitement in Snowshoe openers
Friday, January 08, 2016 - by Mark McKelvie, for WEG media

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Toronto, ON---Great finishes and impressive efforts was the story of Friday night’s (Jan. 8) first round of the Snowshoe Series at Woodbine Racetrack.
 
A total of 24, 3- and 4-year-old pacers were split into three $17,000 divisions for the first leg of the three-week series.
 
In the first division, just a head separated the top-five finishers, as St Lads Charger scored a 14-1 upset.
 
After a first-quarter battle, Every Intention led the field down the backstretch and by the half in :55.1. St Lads Charger and driver Trevor Henry came first-up around the final turn from third and sat less than a length from the lead turning for home.
 
New Image Media photo
St Lads Charger (No. 2) won his Snowshoe Series division over Brown Dirt Cowboy (5) and Hickory Terrific (1).

 
In the stretch, St Lads Charger was able to edge by Every Intention in the final eighth, but a trio of challengers made it a five-across finish. At the wire, St Lads Charger prevailed in 1:54.3 by a nose over Brown Dirt Cowboy and Hickory Terrific.
 
Hp Black Shadow and Every Intention finished fourth and fifth, respectively, by a head. The top seven finishers were separated by less than two lengths.
 
A 3-year-old son of Sportswriter, St Lads Charger is trained by Victor Puddy for owners Randy Christopher, Limco Inc., and Bill Manes. The sophomore pacing colt won just one of 10 starts as a rookie in 2015.
 
St Lads Charger increased his career earnings to over $20,000 with the victory.
 
The Puddy trainee paid $30.40 to win.
 
Fresh off a victory in the Valedictory Final, Shades Of Bay scored a three-length victory in the second division at odds of 1-5.
 
Driven by Phil Hudon, Shades Of Bay got away fourth, but made a powerful backside move to the lead and posted a half-mile time of :56.2. After pacing a third-quarter of :29.1, Shades Of Bay cruised home in :27.2 to win in 1:52.
 
Tower Of Power finished second, while Swapportunity was third.
 
A 4-year-old son of Art Major, Shades Of Bay is trained by Sean Mehlenbacher for owner Timothy Kim.
 
Last season, Shades Of Bay won four of 11 starts for earnings exceeding $50,000. He has now won four of five starts since joining the Mehlenbacher stable in November.
 
Shades Of Bay now has five wins and over $60,000 in career earnings. He paid $2.50 to win.
 
In the final division, Richard Moreau trainee Rafa scored a four-length victory at 9-5 in 1:52.3.
 
Driven by Sylvain Filion, Rafa was third around the first turn, while Thoughtyoudlikeit battled with outside challenger Pistopackinpiper. The lead pair continued to battle through a half of :55.4.
 
Around the final turn, Thoughtyoudlikeit put away Pistopackinpiper, but faced a new challenge from Tylers Beach Boy, as Rafa continued to pace along in the pocket.
 
In the stretch, Rafa was able to convert off the inside trip and charged by the leaders to win by open lengths in 1:52.3. Tylers Beach Boy finished second, while Shippen Out got up for third ahead of Thoughtyoudlikeit.
 
A son of Camluck, Rafa is trained by Moreau for owner Robin Morley. The 4-year-old was making just his third career start Friday and is now a perfect three for three after winning both of his starts in 2015.
 
Rafa now sports a career bankroll of $19,000. The Moreau trainee paid $5.90 to win.
 
In order to be eligible to the Snowshoe, the 3- and 4-year-old pacers had to be non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of Oct. 31, 2015.
 
The second leg of the Snowshoe will take place next Friday (Jan. 15). Live racing continues Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

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