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Stars Sharp In Friday Qualifiers

Published: May 17, 2019 11:55 am ET

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Divisional champions and stakes winners continued to prepare for returns to pari-mutuel competition during qualifying action on Friday (May 17) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Mother Nature finally provided those entered to qualify at Mohawk a dry racing surface, but that dryness came with a strong headwind for horses in the final quarter.

After an uncharacteristic mile on Monday, 2018 O'Brien Award winner Stag Party showed more of the form that garnered him divisional honours with an impressive 1:53 mile. Driver Louis-Philippe Roy settled the son of Bettors Delight away in third early, allowing Ellis Park (James MacDonald) and Mach Code (Trevor Henry) to make the early calls on the front end before right-lining Stag Party after the half and clearing to the lead with a brisk backside brush. Stag Party was up by three at the 1:25.1 third station and powered away with by nearly eight lengths over Ellis Park in 1:53.

Trainer and co-owner was thrilled with the performance on Friday, noting that the sophomore closed strongly into a "huge head wind" and cleared the open pacers around the last turn like "they were tied to a post."

"With the head wind that’s a 1:51 mile easy, and he’s not even blowing," Coleman told Trot Insider after the mile.

Coleman confirmed that Stag Party will now be pointed for the first Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event of the season, slated for Saturday, May 25 at Mohawk. In nine rookie starts, Stag Party (Bettors Delight - My Lady Day) posted a 6-2-1 summary and banked nearly $670,000 for owners John Fielding, Mac Nichol, McKinlay & Fielding and West Wins Stable.

Making his second qualifier of the year, Alarm Detector unleashed a vicious mile in preparation for his four-year-old campaign. Trevor Henry had the son of Chapter Seven situated in second, sandwiched by stablemate R First Class (Mario Baillargeon) and Run Director (Sylvain Filion) through a :30.2 opening quarter. Henry gave Alarm Detector his cue, pointed him to the front and let the trotter do the rest. A :58.3 half was followed by a 1:27 third quarter, and Alarm Detector trotted home strongly into the headwind to trip the timer up by almost seven lengths in 1:57.3. Run Director edged out R First Class to complete the top three.

Alarm Detector (Chapter Seven - Final Countdown) is trained by Ben Baillargeon for owners Tom & Elizabeth Rankin, Claude Hamel and Santo Vena.

A pair of Gregg McNair's stakes-winning pacing fillies made Mohawk debuts after initial qualifiers last month at Pompano Park. KYSS champ Beautyonthebeach came first up just past the half for driver Doug McNair in her qualifying test and she powered away for a three-length decision in 1:56.1, closing in :28.2.

Jim Avritt owns homebred Beautyonthebeach (Somebeachsomewhere - Precocious Beauty) a winner of $275,979 as a rookie while posting a 5-2-3 summary from 13 starts.

McNair engineered a similar trip for stablemate Prescient Beauty, who sat third until just before the third quarter in her second sophomore test before sprinting away from her rivals through a sharp :27.2 final stanza to win by nearly four lengths in 1:57.2.

Also owned by breeder Avritt, 2018 Three Diamonds champ Prescient Beauty (Art Major - Precious Beauty) posted a 5-3-3 summary from 13 starts with $469,859 in two-year-old earnings.

Breeders Crown elimination winner Smart As Hill (Paul MacDonell) made his second sophomore appearance of the season in advance of a possible start in the upcoming Goodtimes Stakes eliminations, powering home in :29 for a three-plus length score over a debuting Okeanos (Filion) in 1:58.3.

Trained by Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling, Smart As Hill (Muscle Hill - Smarty Pants) banked $139,580 as a freshman for Dreamville Stable and Harbor Racing Stable LLC while posting a consistent 3-3-2 summary.

The Friday qualifying session also marked the return to action for driver Phil Hudon, who was injured in a qualifying accident in late April. Hudon suffered a broken left foot and bruised right foot in the accident but told Trot Insider that he "felt no pain" after a mile with trotter Stormont Chef and declared himself "ready to get back at it." Hudon is listed on a pair of horses tomorrow night at Mohawk and plans to drive based on his Friday morning test.

To view the charted results from Friday's qualifying session, click the following link: Friday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park (Qualifiers).

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