Freshmen Star In Fall Four Stakes

Published: November 19, 2016 08:21 pm EST

The Woodbine Entertainment Group's final major stakes night of the season featured the $1.8 million "Fall Four" Grand Circuit events for two-year-olds on Saturday, Nov. 19 at Woodbine Racetrack.

In the first of the Fall Four stakes, Magic Presto and driver Brian Sears prevailed off a pocket trip, sweeping by favourite Princess Aurora in the stretch to win the $447,000 Goldsmith Maid for trotting fillies.

Leaving from post six, Magic Presto trotted past Temple Ruins (Matt Kakaley) off the gate and led the field through the first quarter in :29.1 before 3-5 favourite Princess Aurora (Yannick Gingras) marched forward from an early three-hole and cleared on the way to the half in :58.1. Princess Aurora continued to lead the way to three-quarters in 1:26.3 with the developing outer flow not posing any immediate threat. However, Sears launched Magic Presto from the pocket in the final eighth of the mile to score going away by three lengths in 1:55.4. Princess Aurora settled for second while Temple Ruins followed almost nine lengths behind in third.

"It was great, the trip worked out really well and the horse performed really well," said trainer Richard 'Nifty' Norman of the Kadabra-In The Mean Time filly, who bounced back from sickness this fall to earn her fourth win of the year from nine starts. "Brian actually hasn't driven her when she's been at her best. We kind of assured him that she was on her way back and she qualified good and he came up and everything went to plan. It was just a shame she got sick for the Super Final, and then she got healthy for the Breeders Crown, but she really wasn't fit enough and it just didn't payoff, but we got paid tonight so it worked out good."

The victory boosted Magic Presto's bankroll to $393,000 for owners Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, Ont., Florida's Herb Liverman and David McDuffee, and Little E LLC of New York.

"It's a good way to end the year," noted Norman. "She gets put away in good shape and she's a big, powerful filly, I think she'll be a good filly next year so I'm looking forward to that."

Magic Presto paid $7.10 to win as the 5-2 second choice on the toteboard.

Thats The Ticket unleashed a powerful closing kick to steal the glory in the $427,000 Three Diamonds for pacing fillies with David Miller catch-driving for trainer Chris Ryder.

Elimination winner and 6-5 favourite Idyllic Beach (Yannick Gingras) worked to clear Breeders Crown champion Someomensomewhere (Marcus Miller) through a :27.2 first quarter and led the field past the half in :56.4 before fellow elimination winner Caviart Ally (Andrew McCarthy) began to advance from fourth to apply pressure to three-quarters in 1:25.2. While Caviart Ally loomed outside of the leader into the stretch, Candlelight Dinner (Jonathan Drury) rallied off her cover with 5-1 shot Thats The Ticket firing widest of all from third-over and powering home in :27.3 for the three-length victory in 1:53.4. Idyllic Beach held on for second over Candlelight Dinner and Caviart Ally.

"That was nice to pick that one up," said Miller, who drove the Roll With Joe-Art Account filly for just the second time in her 14-race debut season. "We had planned just racing her off the end of it there, hopefully get some cover that would take us where we needed to go. Past the half when they all started moving, I was just hoping they would get up with the leader there, which they did and everything worked out good, but I moved her over at the head of the stretch and she really dug. About halfway through it there, she was almost up to the leader and she was just starting to get wound up so I was feeling pretty comfortable. She won pretty handy."

The win was Thats The Ticket's second of the year to go along with five other top-three finishes and lift her bankroll to nearly $332,000. Miller previously drove her in another late-closing stakes effort, where she finished second in the International Stallion Series at The Red Mile.

"She had the outside that day too and she came storming home to be second that day," he said. "I'm glad she got the win [today]."

Thats The Ticket is owned by Craig Henderson, Robert Mondillo, and Lawrence Minowitz.

She returned $13.70 to her backers at the betting windows.

Favourite Snowstorm Hanover earned his third straight 1:55.1 victory in the $404,000 final of the Valley Victory for trotting colts.

Driven by Matt Kakakley for the Ron Burke stable, Snowstorm Hanover assumed command early on from post five and carved out fractions of :28.1 and :57.3 before opening up four lengths on the way to three-quarters in 1:25.3. Meanwhile, fellow elimination winner Jake (Sylvain Filion) was flushed out from third by the oncoming International Moni (Scott Zeron), who closed outside down the lane in pursuit of the front-striding favourite. However, Snowstorm Hanover held off International Moni to win by one length and equal his lifetime mark. Jake finished third.

Fresh off a pair of 1:55.1 victories in the Matron Stakes and his Valley Victory elimination last weekend, Snowstorm Hanover was sent postward as the 7-5 favourite and paid $4.90 to win.

"I got to the front just like the elimination and he held them off," commented Kakaley after the race. "There was a little bit [of an anxious moment] the last 16th or so. I heard them coming and he was getting a little tired -- you know, 1:25 three-quarters is pretty quick tonight I think. He was getting a little tired, but he was still game.

"[The wind] is strong and it's cool tonight, and it takes its toll on him, that's for sure."

The Muscle Massive-Snow Angel Hanover colt is now six-for-14 in his career with earnings over $395,000 for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Frank Baldachino, Phillip Collura, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.

Downbytheseaside turned the tables on Breeders Crown champion Huntsville, drawing away in deep stretch to win the $520,000 Governor’s Cup for pacing colts and giving driver David Miller his second stakes victory on the night.

With a pair of outside leavers firing to the front, 1-5 favourite Huntsville (Tim Tetrick) and 2-1 Downbytheseaside settled away fourth and fifth, respectively, through a :27.2 opening quarter. Huntsville then made a quarter-pole move to take charge with Downbytheseaside hot on his heels and clearing at the half in :55.2. After a third-quarter breather to the next marker in 1:23, the top two began to gain some separation from the rest of the field turning for home with the Brian Brown-trained Downbytheseaside eventually drawing away from his pocket-pursuer in deep stretch to win by three lengths in 1:51.1. Filibuster Hanover (Yannick Gingras), one of the early leavers, rounded out the top three finishers.

"Me and Brian [Brown] talked about the race and we were kind of hoping it would line up like it did there in the Breeders Crown," said Miller in a post-race interview. "I said, 'Don't be surprised, there will probably be some from the outside leaving' and he made an equipment change on him to an open bridle. He was a bit bully before. He was a little more quieter, and when the gate folded, he let me do what I wanted to do. Like I said, the ones from the outside left so I was just kind of waiting to see what Tetrick did. When he moved, I thought I better go with him. My horse got to the front and he swells up when he's on the lead. He was very strong; I never pulled his plugs. He paced right through the wire good.

"I honestly thought I was second-best, but I thought if the trip worked out or one of us got used pretty hard getting to where we wanted to go, I maybe could pick it up. It worked out good, I was able to get to the front without too big of fractions. He's a good horse."

Downbytheseaside, who prepped for the final with a 1:56.1 qualifier at Dayton Raceway, paid $6.70 to win as the 2-1 second favourite.

Brown trains the Somebeachsomewhere-Sprig Hanover colt for Ohio owners Country Club Acres Inc., Joe Sbrocco and Richard Lombardo. Downbytheseaside now boasts a career record reading 8-3-2 in 13 starts, with earnings climbing to nearly $645,000 and a world record 1:49 lifetime mark.

During Saturday's undercard, Sandbetweenurtoes ($8.70) earned her second victory this month in the $30,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred Pace on the WEG Circuit, advancing from mid-field to take command from stablemate Ms Mac N Cheese after the :27 first quarter and never looking back. In rein to Jody Jamieson, the Somebeachsomewhere-Als Girl mare carved out middle splits of :56 and 1:23.2 en route to the 1:52.3 victory. Ms Mac N Cheese (Sylvain Filion) followed one length behind in second while favourite Imagine Dragon (Tim Tetrick), who defeated Sandbetweenurtoes by a head last week, got up late for third. Richard Moreau trains the winner for owner Bradley Grant of Milton, Ont.

In other action, O'Brien Award winner Vegas Vacation made his first start since the 2015 Ben Franklin Pace. With Jonathan Drury driving for trainer Casie Coleman, the six-year-old millionaire son of Bettors Delight found room late to close from the backfield and finished second in a $27,000 top-level conditioned pace behind Moreau trainee Traceur Hanover (Sylvain Filion) in a 1:51.1 mile. The winner, a four-year-old son of Western Ideal and Transference, surpassed the $500,000 career earnings mark for owner Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, Que.

Moreau ended the night with a training triple as the four-year-old pacer Mach On The Beach (Doug McNair) matched his lifetime mark of 1:52.2 in the finale, which produced a Jackpot Hi 5 carryover of $292,536.72.

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack.

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