Streakavana earned his third Gold trophy of the season in Saturday's Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event at Mohawk Racetrack, and in doing so, moved to the top of the point standings for the two-year-old pacing colt and gelding division.
In the evening's first of two $105,000 Gold divisions, Big Bad Bill (Trevor Henry) showed early gate speed taking the lead from post seven into the first turn, but insider Southwind General (Doug McNair) swept to the top past the :26.2 first quarter mark with Calvin K (Chris Christoforou) parked and pressing after leaving from the outside post eight.
As Southwind General gave Calvin K the cold shoulder on the way to the half in :55.2, driver Sylvain Filion positioned Streakavana second-over and then sent him three-wide to confront the pacesetter at the 1:25.2 third quarter mark. Streakavana took over the lead as they raced into the stretch and drew clear to score in 1:53.1. Mc Mach (Paul MacDonell) rallied home from the backfield to finish second over Southwind General.
Streakavana rebounded from his first off-the-board finish of his career in the previous Gold leg on September 19 at Grand River Raceway and now has four wins along with one second-place finish from six career starts.
"He didn't like the turn last week and he missed the turn," trainer Scott McEneny explained. "He was a little sick and we just worked on him for the last couple of weeks and he was good tonight so we'll get him ready for the Super Final [on October 15].
"He had a good week and everything, but I was little worried," said the Waterdown, Ont. horseman. "I wasn't very happy with his race last week, but he had some things that were issues and we got them looked after so hopefully he'll be good."
Streakavana overtook Sports Column for the lead in the divisional point standings with his victory in the final Gold leg of the season, which gives him 155 points.
"It's still very tough, there's a lot of nice colts out there," said McEneny, assessing his competition. "There's some in the other division. He's one of the better ones, so hopefully we draw good and get a good trip."
Streakavana paid $3.20 to win as the 3-5 favourite. The Big Jim-Stonebridge Madona gelding boosted his bankroll to $175,250 for owners Brad Grant and Teresa Davidson, both of Milton, Ont.
In the second division, Machin A Trick rallied home from the backfield to earn his first Gold victory in rein to James MacDonald.
Outside leaver Bet On Brett (Rick Zeron) hustled to command off the gate, but his lead was short-lived as Happy Trio (Sylvain Filion) pulled the pocket at the :26.3 first quarter mark and took over while a parked out Arsenal Seelster (Mario Baillargeon) retreated to a four-hole behind 8-5 favourite Classic Pro (Randy Waples).
While Happy Trio led the field through middle splits of :55.3 and 1:25.1, the backfield began to advance with the eventual winner spotted third over after trailing the field through the first half-mile. However, Machin A Trick surged onto the scene down the stretch to steal the spotlight in 1:53.2, with Bet On Brett closing inside to finish half a length behind. Classic Pro rounded out the top three finish order.
"He's got a really big move to him," gushed MacDonald after the pacer's :27.1 late-closing kick sealed the deal. "I didn't want to be too far out of it, but sometimes you can't really help what you're dealt with so when the trip worked out like it did, I moved him and he was gone."
Machin A Trick, who was a runner-up to Big Bad Bill in the previous Gold event at Grand River, paid $6.40 to win as the 2-1 second choice in the field.
"He's still green, he's still figuring out how to pace," noted MacDonald. "Like he gets a little 'rolly,' so Grand River wasn't his cup of tea, but here, he was super and he's having a good go."
Machin A Trick earned his third win of the season from eight starts and pushed his earnings over the $100,000 mark for trainer Jeff Gillis, who also shares ownership with Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ont. and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, New York. The connections purchased the Mach Three-Tricky ridgling for $50,000 from the Canadian Yearling Sale.
"There's some nice colts this year, but hopefully he's the best one," said MacDonald looking forward to the Super Final.
This week's $34,000 Preferred Pace ended in a photo finish with even-money favourite Nickle Bag ultimately holding off Ellis Park by a head for the top honours.
Moving in one post with the scratch of State Treasurer but still furthest out, post seven starter Nirvana Seelster (Rick Zeron) charged to the top over Evenin Of Pleasure (Sylvain Filion) into the first turn and put up a :26.1 first quarter before Nickle Bag swept by. Trevor Henry sent the popular six-year-old pacer from fourth to first, reaching the half in :55 and then three-quarters in 1:23.3 with Ellis Park (Randy Waples) chasing first over but coming up just short at the wire in 1:51.3. Evenin Of Pleasure rallied outside to finish just a half-length behind in third.
Nickle Bag paid $4 to win. The Rocknroll Hanover-Buckle Bunni gelding, now a 10-time Preferred winner this year, is trained by Bill Robinson and owned by Linda Loyens of Denfield, Ont. and Harry Loyens of Ilderton, Ont.
Amidst the 11-race card, trainer Carmen Auciello won three straight races with Mach Power ($5.60, Billy Davis Jr.), longshot Bugger Bruiser ($102, Rick Zeron) and Cash For Gold ($13.90, Paul MacDonell).
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Mohawk Racetrack.