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Gold Series debutantes triumph at Woodbine Mohawk Park
Of the 26 three-year-old pacing fillies that gathered at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday night for their first Gold Series event of the season, 11 were making their Ontario Sires Stakes debut and it was the debutantes that emerged victorious in all three divisions.
Unraced at two due to an injury, Sunny Dee made her career debut on January 17 and had a flawless record of seven wins in seven starts heading into Saturday’s first $73,867 Gold division. As a result, Woodbine Mohawk Park fans sent her off as the heavy favourite and the Bob McIntosh trainee did not disappoint, cruising to an effortless 1:52.3 victory over a rain-soaked track rated one second slower than normal. Deb and Chocolatemilktoast finished three and three-quarter lengths back in second and third.
“She was really good tonight, but she has been, she’s a special filly,” said Trevor Henry, who drives Sunny Dee for Windsor resident McIntosh and his fellow owner-breeders Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH.
The Sunshine Beach daughter, who bumped her career earnings to $172,578 with her eighth win, is eligible for the Fan Hanover Stake at Woodbine Mohawk Park next Saturday, June 8 and Arthur resident Henry is looking forward to tackling the best sophomore pacing fillies in North America with the talented youngster.
The second division saw a trio of first-time OSS starters ranked as the fans’ top choices and it was Betcha Baby who hung on for a nose victory over a hard charging Lovely Donna and Sports Flix. Milton resident Sylvain Filion drove Betcha Baby to the 1:54.1 victory for trainer Nick Gallucci of Brantford, ON and owner-breeders Velocity Standardbreds of Lebanon, OH.
The win was the Bettors Delight daughter’s second in seven lifetime starts and lowered her personal best by two-fifths of a second.
Unlike Sunny Dee and Betcha Baby, Boadicea made five starts as a two-year-old, but trainer Bill Budd raced the long-legged filly exclusively at Woodbine Mohawk Park and opted to skip the freshman OSS events. However, with a trio of qualifiers and two starts under her belt this season, including a win at Woodbine Mohawk Park on May 20, Budd and driver Jonathan Drury were confident Boadicea was ready for the provincial stage.
Starting from Post 6 Drury sent Boadicea to the lead and rolled through fractions of :27.2 and :55 before yielding to favourite Powerful Chris in the backstretch. After drafting behind the favourite through the 1:23.3 three-quarters Drury tipped his filly out in the stretch and Boadicea powered home to an impressive 1:51.3 victory. Powerful Chris settled for second, two and one-half lengths behind the winner, and Summer Charm was five more lengths back in third.
“She’s a big filly, a big filly. She’s about 17 hands. She was growing so much we quit with her as a two-year-old,” said Budd. “She’s just, everything is push button about her, she takes care of herself. She’s all heart and go.”
Budd trains the Big Jim daughter for Charles and Gordon Lawrence of Blenheim and was pleased to see Boadicea score a win for the owner-breeders. Unlike Sunny Dee, Boadicea is not eligible to the Fan Hanover stake so her next opportunity to shine will come in the second Gold Series event, June 22 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, where Budd is confident she will deliver another strong effort.
“She loves her job,” said the Waterdown, ON resident. “She’s always got the ears up looking for something, just especially to race, she loves it.”
In addition to the Gold Series event for the three-year-old pacing fillies, Woodbine Mohawk Park also hosted two divisions of the Somebeachsomewhere stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Saturday night and Ontario Sired horses delivered impressive results.
Recent Gold Series winner Century Farroh extended his unbeaten streak to eight with a 1:52.4 victory in the first $80,000 division, holding off fellow OSS competitor Caviart Rockland by a neck. Better Up made it an Ontario Sired sweep with his third-place effort.
Sylvain Filion piloted Mach Three son Century Farroh to the win for trainer Dr. Ian Moore of Cambridge and the Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, NS.
In the second division Bettors Delight sons Best In Show and Stag Party finished second and third behind American-bred Tyga Hanover, who stopped the clock in 1:52.1.
Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park this week as the Campbellville oval welcomes the three-year-old trotting fillies for their Gold Series opener Monday and their Grassroots opener on Tuesday. Post time for both programs is 7:10 pm.
For complete results visit Woodbine Mohawk Park Results — June 1, 2019