Niagara Winner Kicks Off Five-Win Night For Roy

Alabama Hannah winning at Woodbine Mohawk Park
Published: December 9, 2023 12:35 am EST

Three-year-old pacing filly Alabama Hannah kicked off the Niagara Series and a five-win night at Woodbine Mohawk Park for driver Louis-Philippe Roy on Friday, Dec. 8.

Ladyterra and Tyler Borth also won their respective $18,000 opening leg division of the series for three-year-old pacing fillies that were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of Oct. 31.

Driven by the hot-handed Roy in the Niagara Series opener, the Meg Crone-trained Alabama Hannah overcame an outside post eight start as she blasted to command in the first turn and set fractions of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:24.3 while rebuffing slight 6-5 favourite Firstofanera (James MacDonald) en route to her victory in 1:52.4. Occasionally Sharp (Jody Jamieson) finished nearly three lengths behind in second, overtaking pocket-pursuer Voom Voom (Bob McClure) down the stretch.

A newcomer to Mohawk last month off a layoff, Alabama Hannah has won two of her four starts since joining the Crone stable in Ontario for owner Jeffrey Nanna of Utica, New York. The Huntsville-Upfrontandpersonal filly was the second favourite on the toteboard and paid $4.70 to win.

The victory was the first of five winning drives on Friday for Roy, who also made trips to the winner's circle with Meadowbranch Noble ($9.90) from the Carmen Auciello stable, the Rick Zeron-trained Shes Got It All ($4.20), Mercutio ($4.10) for conditioner Shane Arsenault and then capped off his big night with a 24-1 upset in rein to Avas Angel Baby ($50.60) for trainer Nick Gallucci.

Roy lifted his seasonal win count to 305 and has driven horses to more than $7.39 million this year. With $6.6 million earned in Canada, he ranks second among the nation's drivers while his 298 wins is third best.

Floating away from the middle of the gate in the second Niagara division for Borth, even-money favourite Ladyterra was parked through a :27.1 opening quarter before forging ahead of outside leaver Oh Gouda (Brett MacDonald) for the top spot. She then fronted the field through a :56.3 half and turned back first-over challenger Saldana Hanover (James MacDonald) through three-quarters in 1:25.4 before drawing off by 3-1/2 lengths at the end of the 1:53.3 mile. The late-closing Angostura Hanover (Sylvain Filion) got up for second while Oh Gouda edged out Saldana Hanover in a show photo.

A daughter of Sweet Lou and Queen To Me, Ladyterra is campaigned by rookie trainer Zachary Carroll and owner Karen Carroll of Shedden, Ont. Making just her second start for her new connections in Ontario, the popular winner returned $4.10 to her backers at the betting windows.

The second leg of the Niagara Series will be contested next Friday, Dec. 15 followed by the $30,000 (added) final on Boxing Day.

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