Lis Mara tops mark at Des Smith Classic

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:27 AM ET

To no one's surprise, history was made at Rideau Carleton Raceway last night.

With Brian Sears on the bike, Lis Mara established a new Canadian record on a 5/8 mile winning the 25th Des Smith Classic in a time of 1:49.3.

The previous record was 1:49.4.

"I knew we were throwing up some pretty big numbers," said Sears. "We did pretty good just to keep it up."

With the winner's share of the $181,250 purse, Lis Mara's 2006 earnings moved just past the $993,000 mark.

Finishing second in the race was Ponder L, with Mark MacDonald in the sulky. Buckeye One, driven by Rick Zeron, was third.

The race featured Holborn Hanover, who holds the world pacing record of 1.46.4, set four weeks ago at the Meadowlands.

But that's not all.

Some believed the field at this Des Smith Classic represented the fastest race ever assembled. The combined career earnings of the seven horses was $9.6 million, and their lifetime best average was an amazing 1:48.2.

Des Smith was the track announcer and director of public relations at Rideau Carleton Raceway for 22 years. A former NHLer and the father of late CJOH sportscaster Brian Smith, Des was inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame in 1985 and onto the Rideau Carleton's Wall of Fame in 1989.


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