Current NewsCurrent News for June '18
Patience pays Gold dividends to Alexus Eh’s owners
Alexus Eh made her Ontario Sires Stakes debut in the first of two Gold Series divisions at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday evening and the three-year-old trotting filly recorded her fourth win in an early season that has come as a pleasant surprise to her connections.
As a two-year-old Alexus Eh did not qualify until late August, and while her effort was solid it was also five to eight seconds slower than the miles her peers were delivering in provincial competition at that point in the season. As a result, trainer David Byron of Thornton and his partners James Cantelon of Thornton, David Cantelon of Bolton and Craig Wallwin of Barrie, Ontario decided the best strategy was to delay the filly’s racing debut until her three-year-old season.
“She just wasn’t developed enough, and she was going to be late, so they just decided they wouldn’t rush her,” explained the filly’s regular driver, and David’s brother, Steve Byron. “So they just waited ‘til this year. There was no big issue.”
The decision to wait has proven to be a wise one as Alexus Eh has now logged four wins and one second in her first seven starts. Monday’s Gold Series victory, for a purse of $94,800, boosted her lifetime earnings to $75,250.
Starting from Post 2, Steve Byron settled Alexus Eh into fourth spot as Miss Loo Loo Belle took the field of six Gold Series hopefuls to a :28.1 opening quarter. Heading into the backstretch Byron sent the Holiday Road daughter after the lead and Alexus Eh hit the half-mile marker in :57.4. A 1:27.4 three-quarters and a steady effort in the face of a significant headwind through the stretch saw the fan favourite trot under the wire one length ahead of Miss Loo Loo Belle, stopping the teletimer at 1:57.4. Smoke And Mirrors completed the top three.
“She’s been a nice surprise, she’s doing everything she’s supposed to,” said Byron. “She’s getting to be pretty handy actually, to tell you the truth.
“We’re lucky to have her,” the Thornton resident continued. “It looks like she’s going to be competitive anyhow, I don’t think she’ll be the best one, but I think she’ll race with them, that’s for sure.”
Among the horses Alexus Eh will have to face in the future are 2017 division champion Kadabra Queen and Sorceress Seelster, who faced off from Posts 1 and 2 in the second Gold division on Monday.
Sorceress Seelster landed in third and Kadabra Queen in fourth as Dalliance Seelster reached the quarter in :27.3, but driver Scott Wray was not content to sit behind the leaders and quickly sent Sorceress Seelster to the front. Reaching the half in :56.4, Sorceress Seelster had opened up almost four lengths on the field by the 1:26.1 three-quarters and was able to maintain that margin through the 1:56.1 finish. Illusioneesta closed hard to be second, leaving Kadabra Queen to settle for third.
In the winner’s circle trainer Jack Wray thanked Woodbine Mohawk Park outrider Joanne Colville for her assistance in the post parade and escorting the fractious Sorceress Seelster back to the winner’s circle.
“She’s got a mind of her own, and it don’t work too well sometimes,” said Wray on a laugh. “But there’s speed there to work with.”
The London resident shares ownership of Sorceress Seelster with Thomas Wray of Schomberg and said son Scott perfectly executed the game plan for the filly’s second sophomore start.
“We had a little trouble with her laying on the outside line a little bit, so we wanted to move early and get back to the rail, and let them try and catch us,” noted the elder Wray.
Sorceress Seelster also opened her two-year-old campaign with a Gold Series win at Woodbine Mohawk Park and added a pair of second-place results to her resume before tailing off due to breaks in the late season. Monday’s outing was her second of the 2018 campaign and boosted the Holiday Road daughter’s lifetime earnings to $151,670.
The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Gold Series start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 25. Next up on the Campbellville oval’s Ontario Sires Stakes schedule is the Grassroots opener for the sophomore trotting lasses, which goes postward on Thursday, June 7. Post time for Thursday’s program is 7:30 pm and the fillies will compete in Races 2, 5 and 7.
For complete results please visit Woodbine Mohawk Park Results — Monday, June 4, 2018>