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Mr. Movember Sweeps Autumn Elims


Published: December 2, 2011 8:09 pm ET

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After being named Trot Magazine's Mr. Movember Friday afternoon, the freshly shaved Mike Saftic carried his winning momentum into tonight's harness racing card at Woodbine Racetrack as he swept both three-year-old filly pace eliminations for the Autumn Stakes and won the Fillies & Mares Open Pace.

Trot's Movember Madness contest winner guided both Shadys Art and Machs Delicacy to victory lane in the Autumn Stakes eliminations.

In the first $25,000 tilt, Shadys Art pulled off a 22-1 shocker for trainer George Hunt.

Lucky Taryn (Anthony MacDonald) showed early speed off the gate, leading the field into the first turn, but the parked out Lyons Puddin Pie (Chris Christoforou) drove on, clocking the :27 opening panel.

The heavy favourite remained the tempo-setter, hitting the half in :55.4 and then the three-quarters in 1:25.1.

In deep stretch, Lucky Taryn angled out from the pocket and tracked down the leader, but it was Shadys Art who found open racetrack and some late speed to score the triumph by half a length in 1:54.1. At odds of 29-1, Lucky Taryn finished second with Lyons Puddin Pie holding on for third.

Also advancing to the final is fourth-place finisher Missmachrts (Phil Hudon) and Charolettes Maggie (Paul MacDonell), who was fifth.

“Trainer George Hunt said she tied up last week so, she should be better this week,” Saftic said following the win. “I thought I would just score her out and get her away close. She can always get home good.

“Once I got out and shook loose, I thought I was going to pick up the ones in front of me,” added the Campbellville, Ont. resident. “She came home strong.”

After going winless in four starts as a rookie, the pacing miss has put together a 4-2-3 record in 24 starts this season. The daughter of Modern Art-Shadys Fg has banked $62,565 to date for owner and breeder Marvyn Walter McKee of Peterborough, Ont.

Shadys Art returned $46.80 to win.

The Nicky Comegna-trained Machs Delicacy scored by a head in the second elimination in a new lifetime mark of 1:54.4.

Highland Candy Bar (Garrett Whelan) was the leader past the first quarter in :26.4 before the parked out Medway Flashpoint (Doug McNair) was taken to the front.

Also parked was Machs Delicacy. She made a bid for the lead, but was unable to clear. The bay poked a head in front at the half in :56.1, but Medway Flashpoint regained the lead before the third-quarter marker in 1:25.1.

As the nine fillies turned for home, 5-1 fourth choice Machs Delicacy came back on and held off the hard closing 6-5 favourite, Carly Hollywood (Sylvain Filion). Fire Fox (Rick Zeron) rounded out the triactor.

Also advancing to the final is fourth-place finisher Highland Candy Bar and Ground Shaker (Mario Baillargeon), who was fifth.

“I told trainer Nicky Comegna I was going to try leaving with her a little bit and change her game plan up,” Saftic said. “We got parked every step, but she hung tough. Halfway down the lane, she dug in and got the job done.”

The reinsman also stated he will be selecting Machs Delicacy to drive in the final.

The bay, who was unraced at two, now has a lifetime record of 3-2-2 in 26 starts for owner Bruno Comegna of Burlington, Ont. The daughter of Mach Three-Armbro Caviar has stashed away $66,179 in career earnings.

Machs Delicacy paid $13.40 to win.

The top five finishers advance to the Autumn Stakes final, which is slated for Friday, Dec. 9. Elimination winners have earned the privilege to select their post positions for the $60,000 final.

Here’s how the sophomore fillies will line up behind the gate for the final:

1. Carly Hollywood
2. Fire Fox
3. Shadys Art
4. Machs Delicacy
5. Charolettes Maggie
6. Lucky Taryn
7. Highland Candy Bar
8. Lyons Puddin Pie
9. Missmachrts
10. Ground Shaker
AE. Medway Flashpoint

Earlier on the card, three-year-old pacing filly Tea Party Princess stepped up into the $42,000 Fillies & Mares Open Pace and put an end to Rebeka Bayama's win streak while starting her own.

Fresh off a victory in the Fillies & Mares Preferred Pace last weekend at Woodbine, this year's New York Sire Stakes and Simcoe Stakes champion rallied home from second over to win in 1:51 -- once again over Ontario Sires Stakes champion Waasmula -- with Saftic at the helm.

The David Menary-trained Tea Party Princess and Saftic settled away seventh off the gate from Post 5 while an early three-horse battle for the top spot ensued. Outsiders Bullet Point (Rick Zeron) and 4-5 favourite Rebeka Bayama (Sylvain Filion) were split by Dreamfair Eternal (Chris Christoforou) and raced three-wide into the first turn. Bullet Point pushed ahead from the inside at the :26-second opening quarter mark while Dreamfair Eternal settled into the pocket and Rebeka Bayama took back to third.

However, Dreamfair Eternal refused to sit a pocket trip for long and brushed to command down the backstretch, reaching the half in :54.1. Saftic then angled Tea Party Princess to the outside and picked up cover when Rebeka Bayama moved off the pylons in front on her.

Looking to extend her win streak to six, Rebeka Bayama applied pressure to Dreamfair Eternal as they raced by three-quarters in 1:23 before wearing her down in the stretch. But Tea Party Princess came flying home on the outside to prevail with Waasmula (Keith Oliver) and Blissful Smile (Scott Zeron) closing well for second and third over Rebeka Bayama.

Brad Gray of Dundas, Ont. owns the Art Major-Hannah Banana filly, who has won half of her 20 starts this year while banking almost $440,000.

Tea Party Princess paid $16.30 to win.

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

(With files from WEG)

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