Drivers of Canadian extraction were the featured in a trotting contest at Monticello Raceway on Monday afternoon, October 22nd as part of the tracks year-long Heritage Drivers Series and when the dust had settled Jimmy Devaux and Gate Keeper cruised an easy 2:02.4 win in the race dubbed “the Maple Leaf Mile ”. Second place went to Dynamic Preacher driven by Stephane Bouchard and Elton Blue Chip and driver Keith Haase took home the show dough.

In what was the eighth and final preliminary of the year-long series, Devaux now is eligible to compete in the All America Cup which will feature the winning drivers of each leg.

Usually a pacing event this year trotters filled the entry box and director of racing, Eric Warner, put together a competitive event.

When the gate sprung three horses, Tornado Alley (Jacques Primeau); Consulate (Jimmy Doherty, Jr.; and Jobo Da’Shabra (John Gilmour), went for the lead but on the first turn Consulate, one of the favorites, went off stride but landed quickly and they challenged Primeau’s trotter for the lead.

Meanwhile Jobo Da’Shabra and Gilmour found room between horses going to the quarter and they swept to the front before the second turn.

From there Jobo Da’Shabra showed the way by the half and when the field straightened up the backside Jimmy Devaux moved the eventual winner, Gate Keeper, three-deep and they swept to the lead and opened up three lengths on the final turn. When they straightened in the lane only the margin of victory was in doubt as Gate Keeper cruised home an easy 5 length winner.

“Before the race I thought we had a good chance to win it and things worked out in our favor when Doughery’s horse made a brake on the (first) turn and Gilmour had use his trotter hard to make the front,” Devaux related after his driving victory.

“I had a covered trip until I tipped him (Gate Keeper) going to the three quarters and when I did he shot by everyone and we worked out an easy victory.”

Oddly, Gate Keeper, the winner of the race for drivers of Canadian heritage , is owned by a Canadian, Robert Bourgeon of Levack, Ont. Gate Keeper paid $7.40 for win.

Now the field for the series finale, the All-America Cup, is set. Besides Devaux, others who are eligible to compete include: Bobby Williams, Jr. (Dr. Martin Luther King Pace); Lisa Krom (Lady Godiva Pace); Jimmy Taggart, Jr. ( St. Paddy Pace); Alan Charles (Passover Pace); Mike Merton (Munich Mile) and Mike Forte (Godfather Pace) and Zeke Parker (Mayflower Mile).

The All America Cup is slated for mid-November . Should any of the drivers who won their preliminary leg not be able to compete the driver of the second place finisher in that race will become eligible for the finale.