News ArchivesArchives for August '18
Gold wins spark reflection and celebration
Sophomore trotting fillies were the stars of the show at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday evening, competing in a pair of Gold Series divisions, and while one filly’s connections were ready to celebrate the others were headed straight back to work.
The first $95,600 contest saw daughters of top Ontario sire Kadabra sweep the podium. Starting from Post 2, fan favourite Smoke And Mirrors and driver Trevor Henry took command heading by the halfway marker and were able to cruise home to a two length victory in 1:56.1. Pocket-sitter Collateral Beauty finished second and Miss Loo Loo Belle closed well to be third.
Richard “Nifty” Norman conditions Smoke And Mirrors for Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, Ontario, David McDuffee of Delray Beach, Florida and Little E LLC of New York, New York, and while the horseman was satisfied with the win he admits the filly has not regained the form that saw her earn $163,236 in the Ontario Sires Stakes program at two.
“She looks good on the track and she’s sound and trotting good, but she just looks like she’s waiting to get beat,” said the New Jersey-based trainer. “I don’t really know what it is, but she doesn’t get to the wire. Last year she used to charge home all the time and now she really looks like she doesn’t want to be there.”
Cambridge, Ontario resident Anthony Haughan handles the Ontario arm of Norman’s operation and soon after Smoke And Mirror’s first victory of the season the horsemen were discussing strategies to boost her performance.
“I was just talking to Anthony Haughan there. I said maybe we just change her attitude around, try and change a few ways we do work with her,” said Norman. “And she’s a good eater, but most horses have stomach problems somewhere along the line, so I think maybe we’ll just start doing that, maybe treat her stomach a little bit and see if we can get her a little happier.
“We’ve got quite a big break now until the next Gold. I’ll probably race her somewhere in between, but it’s a good opportunity to get her a little better,” noted Norman. “Time to freshen her up a little bit and see if we can make her a little better.”
The three-year-old trotting fillies do not make their fifth Gold Series start until October 2 at The Raceway at Western Fair District, just one week before the Oct. 13 Super Final.
In the second division Sorceress Seelster had things her own way from Post 5, sailing through fractions of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:26 on her way to a three and three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:54.1. Superlative finished second in her Gold Series debut and fan favourite Illusioneesta was third.
Scott Wray engineered the win for trainer Jack Wray of London and his partner Thomas Wray of Schomberg, and the whole Wray family was on hand to celebrate the filly’s second Gold Series win and the driver’s 37th birthday.
“We’ve got a little celebration back at the farm after. It wasn’t going to be as good if we didn’t win, but she might be a blow out now,” said Scott Wray to Woodbine Mohawk Park’s Chad Rozema in the winner’s circle.
The win was Sorceress Seelster’s third in six starts this season, with all three coming over the Woodbine Mohawk Park oval, two in Gold Series action and one in a July 12 overnight event. The only hiccup in her sophomore campaign to date was a break in the July 21 Gold event at Georgian Downs, but Wray was confident the return to Campbellville would find the Holiday Road daughter back in the winner’s circle.
“After that last race she was here (July 12) I was so impressed. I got home and I watched the replay and I thought, wow, the sky is the limit,” said Wray. “And then we went to Georgian and the track was a little inconsistent, and she wears flip-flops. Around the first turn I could feel she was kind of fumbly and then around the last turn I thought, oh please don’t do it, and she did it. So I had a lot of faith tonight that this track and these turns would be the answer.”
Provided she remains happy and healthy, Sorceress Seelster will have an opportunity to test her skills against the best trotting fillies in North America. She is eligible for the Aug. 24 Casual Breeze Stakes and the Sept. 8 Elegantimage eliminations, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park and both expected to feature Hambletonian winner Atlanta.
Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday, Aug. 20 with six Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies. The novice pacers will battle in Races 3, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 11 on the Monday evening program, which gets under way at 7:10 pm.
For complete results please visit Woodbine Mohawk Park Results — Thursday, August 16, 2018