MILTON, September 23, 2023— A hard-luck year shone some glitters for Celebrity Bambino as the foiled Hambletonian favorite collected the victory in the $660,000 Canadian Trotting Classic final on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Driver Yannick Gingras settled Celebrity Bambino into fourth as 101-1 shot Little Expensive slid to the lead through a :26.3 first quarter with 6-5 favourite Up Your Deo in the pocket. Winners Bet tipped outside from fifth moving to a :56.1 half, forcing Gingras’ hand to pull Celebrity Bambino uncovered on the rim.
Misfortune of a possible first-over journey soon dissipated when Celebrity Bambino found cover from pocket-pulling Up Your Deo to the final turn. Following in the reprieve of the slipstream, Celebrity Bambino swung off cover past three-quarters in 1:24 and set his head down for the drive as Winners Bet tried to outfoot him to his outside. Celebrity Bambino sped through past the beam to clock a 1:51.4 victory by a neck over Winners Bet, while Hasty Bid stormed through a seam at the inside for third and Up Your Deo flattened out into fourth.
“At the start of the race, it wasn’t going right again,” Yannick Gingras said after the race. “He felt so good warming up in the post parade – he was right on the bit the way that I wanted him. The gate opened up, but his footing wasn’t right; he wasn’t trotting good. Looked like I was going to get away in a bad spot there, but the race change when Louis [Roy with Tuscan Prince] made a break and the other horses grabbed up. I got him through the first turn, and after that it went right. I knew Ake [Svanstedt with Up Your Deo] would pull the two hole and [my colt] did the rest.”
The victory pushes Celebrity Bambino closer to millionaire’s row with now $936,070 in the coffers for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Knox Services Inc., JandT Silva Stables LLC and Phillip Collura. Ron Burke trains the colt by Muscle Hill who collected his ninth win from 24 starts and paid $6.80 to win.
By Ray Cotolo, for Woodbine