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Valedictory, Niagara Underway At Mohawk

Published: December 12, 2019 11:46 pm ET

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A set of winter series events got underway Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park, as the Valedictory for three-year-old colts and gelding pacers along with the Niagara for three-year-old filly pacers each featured a set of preliminary round divisions.

The Valedictory Series was originally scheduled to kick off on Monday, but was moved to Thursday when Monday’s card was scrapped due to unseasonably warm weather and rain that made the track unsafe.

Windsun Ricky was a popular winner in his $17,000 division for the tandem of driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Murray Brethour.

Filion got away sixth with the even-money favourite while Friday Night Blues powered to the lead from Post 8 and had the field chasing him past the first quarter in :27. Lyons Pegasus looped to the lead in the backstretch and opened up a three-length lead on the others at the half in :55.2.

Lyons Pegasus was still in charge of the speed at the three-quarter pole in 1:23.3, but the backfield was starting to get activated. Windsun Ricky, who was second over while sitting fifth as the field headed into the final quarter, kicked into gear in the late going and his :27.1 closing quarter propelled him to the half-length score over Lyons Pegasus in 1:51.4. What Up Mo took home the show dough.

Brethour shares ownership on the son of American Ideal-Windsun Soho with Windsun Farm Inc and Noblock Racing Stable. The homebred now owns a 5-4-4 record from 15 trips to the track this season. He’s closing in on $75,000 in lifetime earnings.

Virgin Storm was a wire-to-wire winner in his $17,000 division for driver James MacDonald and trainer Nick Surick.

The son of Always A Virgin-Hillcrest Sweetie shot to the top from Post 8 and successfully whacked out fractions of :28.2, :58 and 1:26 before sprinting home in :26.4 to win by a length over JKNR Liketell in 1:52.4. Rounding out the Trifecta ticket was Dreamfair Charro.

M Spacc Stables of Marlboro, NY owns the gelding who improved this year’s record to 4-6-2 from 25 assignments. Unraced as a rookie, the pacer has banked $57,555 to date.

In the opening division of the Niagara Series it was Dreamfair Zenfire turning in a front-stepping upset for Team Cullen in a sharp clocking of 1:53.

Travis Cullen got away third with the daughter of Sunfire Blue Chip-Dreamfair Zenyatta, who watched Mary Goodnight serve up an opening quarter clocked in :27.3. Cullen teed off with his charge in the backstretch, and they swept up on the outside to take the lead at the mid-way point in :56.3.

Dreamfair Zenfire had a comfortable lead at the three-quarter pole in 1:25.2, and she stormed home in :27.3 to seal the deal. She won by 1-1/4 lengths over Cranberry Brie. Taking home third prize in the $17,000 affair was the 6-5 favourite, Erikas Shadow.

Jodie Cullen trains the homebred for owner John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ont. After going winless in four starts last season, the filly has manufactured an eye-catching record of 6-6-7 from 37 starts this season. The lion’s share of the purse lifted her lifetime earnings to $64,131.

Arya Stark kicked off cover to pull off a 10-1 upset in the second division for the team of driver Chris Christoforou and trainer Melissa Lamoureux.

The daughter of Royal Mattjesty-Shes Game tucked in fourth in the early going while Shes A Major Lady took the group to the quarter pole in :27.4. Passport Hanover then popped the pocket and brushed to the lead in the backstretch, but it was a short-lived lead. Race favourite Trips Aces Hanover brushed to the top and took over shortly past the mid-way point in :56.2.

Trip Aces Hanover was still the leader at the three-quarter pole in 1:25.3, but Passport Hanover was off the rail and driving once again and Arya Stark was tracking her cover from second over. Arya Stark then used a :27.3 final frame to win by a neck over Giggle Hanover in 1:53.4. Trips Aces Hanover settled for the show dough.

Lamoureux shares ownership on the filly with Jeff Boy and Jefferson Davis. The group has watched the six-time winner assemble a 5-7-5 record from 34 starts this season. She pushed her earnings over $68,000 with the win.

To view results for Thursday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Results – Woodbine Mohawk Park.

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