Series Finals Highlight Mohawk Card

Published: March 26, 2021 09:28 pm EDT

Those road hockey games in his hometown of Sudbury might have helped driver Mike Saftic capture Friday’s final of the Snowshoe Pacing Series at Woodbine Mohawk Park, because his stick handling skills in deep stretch were top shelf.

Saftic managed to escape from the pocket while racing in very tight quarters with Bettors Donttell, and as a result the pacer managed to blast home late to win in 1:55.2.

Bettors Donttell powered off the gate and made the early lead for Saftic, who had nine foes chasing him to the quarter pole in :27.2. Race favourite Major Makover rushed up to take the lead in the backstretch, and once he cleared he laid down middle fractions of :56.4 and 1:25.4. Modern Rock put heavy pressure on the leader around the final turn, but he backed away in the lane.

Bettors Donttell angled out of the pocket and then kicked home in :29.1 to win by three-quarters of a length over Dragon Roars Again. Hes Swift, who also came up three-quarters of a length short, was third.

Jean Guy Belliveau trains the three-year-old son of Bettors Delight-Donttellruss for owner/breeder Troy Mark of Simcoe, Ont. The victory was the third of the season from six attempts for the four-time winner. The $20,300 payday pushed the pacer’s earnings just shy of $60,000.

It was a complete sweep of the Blizzard Pacing Series for Somewhere North, who posted 1:53.3 and 1:55.1 victories in the preliminary legs before winning Friday’s $40,400 final in 1:54.1 for driver Bob McClure and trainer Meg Crone.

McClure wasted no time sending the 2-5 to the lead from Post 7, and together they sped through fractions of :28.1, :56.3 and 1:25.2 before kicking home in :28.4 to win by 3-1/4 lengths over Patricia Mae. Rounding out the top three finishers was Filter Hanover.

Pinske Stables of Plato, MN bred and own the four-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Northwest Hanover who is now 4-for-5 this season. The eight-time winner pushed her lifetime earnings to $74,600 with the win.

The top distaffers in the nation also sparred on Friday evening in the $30,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred Handicap, and So Much More broke through for her first win of the season for driver James MacDonald and trainer Don Beatson.

The five-year-old daughter of Big Jim-Ladysai dropped in fourth in the early going while Ivana Flybye N and Major League N battled through an opening quarter clocked in :26.4. Ivana Flybye N brushed to the top, but Major League N popped back out in the backstretch to reclaim the position of command.

Major League N then hit the half in :55.4 before feeling first over pressure from So Much More around the final turn. They hit the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4 before So Much More started to edge away. She used a :28.2 closing panel to win by three-quarters of a length over Major Occasion A in 1:52.3. Ivana Flybye N, who was shooting for a fifth straight win, faded late and settled for third prize.

Don Beatson shares ownership on last year’s Older Pacing Mare of the Year in Canada with Kenn Beatson and Cole England. The partners watched her improve her yearly scorecard to 1-3-0 from five attempts while winning for the 32nd time in her career. The $15,000 payday bumped her overall bankroll to $580,867.

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

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