Winning the 48th edition of the Frank Ryan Memorial at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday evening turned out to be a piece of cake for Mister Herbie, who cruised to an easy victory in 1:54 for his O’Brien Award-winning connections – driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Jeff Gillis.
Mister Herbie was hustled off the gate from Post 6, and after being parked to the quarter pole in :27 by Windsong Geant he eventually worked his way to the lead. He clicked off middle splits of :55.4 and 1:25 before using a :29-second final frame to seal the deal by 2-3/4 lengths over Windsong Geant. Andover America came on late to finish third. Despite early breaks, Daylon Magician and Frenchfrysnvinegar managed to take home the final cheques in the rich trotting tilt.
Mister Herbie put a smile on the faces the pari-mutuel backers that sent him off as the 3-5 choice, and he also had his ownership group – J Gillis G Stay of Hillsburgh and Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON – grinning ear-to-ear, as well. It was the sixth win of the season in nine tries for the four-year-old son of Here Comes Herbie-Independent Lassie. The lion’s share of the purse helped the 16-time winner push his lifetime earnings to $1,088,653.