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Boadicea remains flawless in Gold Series action
Boadicea continued her domination of the three-year-old pacing filly division with a third Gold Series win at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday evening.
Starting from Post 6 with regular driver Jonathan Drury in the race bike, Boadicea had control of the race before the :27.1 quarter and never let her peers get close enough to challenge. After a :54.4 half and a 1:21.3 three-quarters Boadicea opened up a four and one-quarter length margin the stretch, pacing under the wire in 1:49 to match her own Ontario Sires Stakes speed record. Sunny Dee followed Boadicea around the Woodbine Mohawk Park oval into second and Lovely Donna was third.
“You shouldn’t get worried, but you never know, eh,” said trainer Bill Budd, admitting to a few nerves before the heavy favourite clinched her seventh straight win. “She’s just a wonderful mare.”
Boadicea and Drury were greeted by a large crowd in the winner’s circle as owner-breeders Charles “Chuck” and Gordon Lawrence of Blenheim, ON were joined by their family. Many of the elder Lawrence’s five children, nine grandchildren and great-grandchildren were on hand to greet the filly that Gordon, the eldest grandchild, called every horseman’s dream.
“He had the whole family here I think, the whole family,” said Waterdown, ON resident Budd of the winner’s circle celebration. “I’m very happy for them.”
With another month until the next Gold the daughter of Big Jim and Rose Seelster will maintain her daily routine — an hour of paddock time at 6 a.m., followed by a jog or the occasional training mile and then an afternoon of leisure — interspersed with one or two overnight races.
“I’ll just nurse her along. She takes care of herself pretty good anyway,” said Budd, who raced the filly twice between her June 22 Gold event and Saturday’s test. “She’s very easy on herself. You could put her on the cross-ties and she’d still be there with her head down when you come back up from whatever you were doing.”
With her flawless record in Gold Series action Boadicea sit atop the sophomore pacing filly standings with 150 points, 25 more than Powerful Chris, who picked up her second Gold Series win in the second $105,600 division.
Like Drury, regular reinsman Bob McClure sent Powerful Chris to the front early from Post 5 and the fan favourites rolled through fractions of :26.4, :55.3 and 1:24 on their way to a one-half length win in 1:50.3. Grassroots regular So Much More finished second in her first Gold Series start and Chocolatemilktoast was three lengths back in third.
“I never talk to Bob about how he’s going to drive. I never talk to a driver ever about how they’re going to drive, because I don’t want to ever put something in their head, but I guess I wasn’t surprised in there that he went to the front,” said trainer John Pentland. “I think in a short field like that he knew he was going to be able to get to the front easy enough and control it.”
The win was the Betterthancheddar daughter’s second of her sophomore campaign and pushed her lifetime earnings to $324,6115 for Dorchester resident Pentland and his co-owners Jack Darling Stables Ltd. of Cambridge and Syllabus Stable of Georgetown, ON, whose principal John McClure is thoroughly enjoying the filly’s exploits in his 93rd year.
“He’s so enthusiastic about it and having such a fun time. He is really enjoying this ride,” said Pentland of the elder McClure. “We’re certainly keeping her past her three-year-old season; she’s not on any auction block at all. Everybody is having a lot of fun with her.
“It’s a great group that we have here, that own her and everybody involved, Scotty (Barr) and the guys that work for me, everybody has had a hand in this and we’re just having a lot of fun.”
Like Budd, Pentland will be looking for an overnight race or two to keep Powerful Chris sharp heading into the fourth Gold Series event on August 25 at Rideau Carleton Raceway, where he hopes to avoid Boadicea for a third straight time. The fillies met in the June 1 Gold Series season opener, Powerful Chris’s second start of the sophomore season and Boadicea’s third, and Boadicea prevailed by two and one-half lengths in 1:52.
“It’s eventually going to happen, but I guess maybe it’s like (Muhammad) Ali and (Joe) Frazier, they’d rather go and just fight everyone else and not have to meet,” said Pentland with a chuckle.
Next up on Woodbine Mohawk Park’s Ontario Sires Stakes schedule are six Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old trotting fillies on Tuesday, July 30. The trotting lasses will be featured in Races 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, and 9 on the card, which gets under way at 7:10 pm.
Complete results for Saturday’s program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results — Saturday, July 27, 2019.