The good times kept rolling for Snowshoe Series star Speaker Of Peace and Preferred pacing mare Tells On A Roll as both were impressive winners on Friday night, Feb. 9 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Trainer Bill McClure's Speaker Of Peace (pictured above) completed a sweep of the Snowshoe Pacing Series in rein to Scott Young and claimed his second Mohawk series title with a 1:51.4 score in the $41,000 final.
After landing the three-hole leaving from post seven through a :26.2 opening quarter, odds-on favourite Speaker Of Peace was flushed first-up down the backstretch by the parked outsider, All Bets On Tex (Sylvain Filion). As the bettors' choice worked to clear on the way past the half in :54.2, pocket-sittter Sheddar (Jody Jamieson) found himself boxed in and full of pace behind the leading High Voltage Deo (Louis-Philippe Roy) and went off stride causing interference to All Bets On Tex and Wry (Doug McNair) as he was taken outside.
Speaker Of Peace took over command on the way to three-quarters in 1:22.4 and turned for home with a two-length advantage on All Bets On Tex, but the closers were coming. Lets Go Jude (Jonathan Drury) rallied off cover with Wry shaking loose late and Cabot Beach (James MacDonald) kicking into action from the backfield. Speaker Of Peace dug in late down the stretch and managed to hold them all off, winning by a half length with Wry getting up between foes for the runner-up honours. Lets Go Jude finished third over Cabot Beach, with All Bets On Tex completing the cheque-getters.
Speaker Of Peace completed a sweep of the series following wins in a pair of preliminary leg divisions on Jan. 26 and Feb. 2.
"Tonight, I was planning on being a little forwardly placed. I wasn't exactly sure how it was going to work so I had him on his toes a little more," said Young, who has driven Speaker Of Peace throughout the Snowshoe Series. "He dug down deep for me the last sixteenth, but I think that's because I covered him up last week pretty good, so he bailed me out this week.
"The first week [of the series] when I put him on the front, we had no fractions and he kicked home, but if I would have got parked a long way last week out of the 10 [hole], even if he did hold on, tonight he might have not. So it worked out and I can't thank Bill [McClure] enough. It's unfortunate that my buddy Bob [McClure] is hurt right now but Bill gave me the opportunity to put him back and I can't thank him enough, so it worked out good."
The four-year-old Artspeak-Im All In gelding has now earned five (consecutive) wins from six starts this year. He paid $5 to win as the 3-2 series favourite.
Also the Valedictory Series winner last December, Speaker Of Peace is now eight-for-28 lifetime with earnings climbing to $137,290.
"I think that was probably one of the most important factors was the way [his drivers] raced him and were patient, waited and brought him along because he wasn't at this level then," said Bill McClure, reflecting on the pacer's development. "It took him quite a while to mature. He slowly learned and got better and better, actually exceeded whatever expectations I had for him."
The Snowshoe Series was for three and four-year-old male pacers that were non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of midnight Oct. 31, 2023.
Another four-year-old pacer on a roll is Tells On A Roll, who turned back three-time O'Brien Award-winning distaffer So Much More en route to a 5-1/2-length victory in 1:51.1 in this week's $36,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred Pace.
The Indiana champion has been perfect in three starts to kick off her four-year-old campaign for trainer Jodie Cullen and owners Paul Sanders, A1stable and Ron Cullen.
Travis Cullen sent Tells On A Roll firing off the gate from post six while So Much More (James MacDonald), parked through a :27.1 opening quarter, pressed on and engaged the slight favourite on the front in a backstretch battle past the half in :55.2. But Tells On A Roll gave her rival the slip heading to three-quarters in 1:23.2 and took off down the stretch to win by open lengths. So Much More held second with Style For A Mile (Doug McNair) finishing third.
Sent postward as the 3-5 favourite off back-to-back Fillies & Mares Preferred victories in late January, Tells On A Roll paid $3.50 to win in her return.
The daughter of Tellitlikeitis and Have Rock Willroll now boasts a dozen victories lifetime and more than $400,000 in earnings from 29 starts.
To view Friday's harness racing results, click the following link: Friday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.