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O'Brien Winners Debut In Eliminations

Published: May 21, 2016 10:47 pm ET

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O'Brien Award winners Caprice Hill and L A Delight were victorious in their three-year-old debuts in the SBOA Stakes eliminations while Shamballa paced the nation's fastest mile of the season during Fireworks and Family Fun Night (May 21) at Mohawk Racetrack.

A crowd of thousands packed Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night for Fireworks and Family Fun Night and got to enjoy an action-packed 10-race card. The eliminations for the SBOA Stakes for Ontario-sired three-year-old fillies highlighted the card and featured the return of a pair of divisional champions.

A total of 21 three-year-old pacing fillies were split into two $25,000 eliminations.

The second pacing elimination featured the return of O’Brien Award winner L A Delight and she did not disappoint.

The Bob McIntosh-trained filly left from post nine and dropped in fifth in the early stages. Driven by Randy Waples, L A Delight came to the outside entering the far turn and eventually was situated second-over at the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, L A Delight ripped off cover and marched by her rivals to win by a three-quarters of a length in 1:52.2. Thatsoveryverynice, who was third-over around the final turn, finished second, while Lady Marina battled hard after leading throughout the middle-half to finish third. Free Show and Noone To Depend On finished fourth and fifth to qualify for next week’s final.

A daughter of Bettors Delight, L A Delight was making her season debut on Saturday after winning 11 of 12 starts as a rookie. The McIntosh trainee won the Shes A Great Lady and Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final last season and finished with earnings of over $704,000. L A Delight paid $2.40 to win.

Good Will Hanover delivered an impressive performance to win the first elimination in a career-best 1:51.1.

The Dr. Ian Moore trainee left hard to grab the early lead, but was overtaken in the second quarter by Mayhem Seelster. Good Will Hanover stalked behind the leader and made her move in the stretch to surge by for driver Chris Christoforou to score the victory by a length and a quarter. Mayhem Seelster finished second, while Lay Lady Lay was third. The final two horses to qualify for the final were Tonightimlovingyou and Divas Image.

A daughter of Big Jim, Good Will Hanover is trained by Moore for owners GLB Stable. Saturday’s victory was her first win in two starts this season and fifth overall. Good Will Hanover pushed her career earnings to over $177,000 with the victory. She paid $12 to win.

A group of 22 sophomore trotting fillies were split into two $25,000 eliminations.

O’Brien Award winner Caprice Hill looked impressive in winning the first elimination in 1:53.1.

The Tony Alagna trainee got away fifth from post nine and was sent first-up by driver Randy Waples heading into the first turn. Danish Darby held a length advantage over the first-up challenger at the three-quarter pole in 1:25. In the stretch, Caprice Hill cruised home in :28 to overtake the lead and secure the victory by a length and three-quarters in 1:53.1. Danish Darby finished second, while Tymal Tempest was third. P L Jill and Moonlight Cocktail rounded out the top five to qualify for next week’s final.

A daughter of Kadabra, Caprice Hill is trained by Alagna for owner Tom Hill. The sophomore trotting filly was making her season debut after a stellar seven wins in 10 starts as a rookie. Caprice Hill pushed her career earnings over $600,000 with Saturday’s victory. She paid $3 to win.

Celebrity Eventsy was an easy winner in the second elimination. The Staffan Lind trainee took the lead in the second-quarter and never looked back en route to a 1:54.1 victory.

Sylvain Filion guided Celebrity Eventsy to the three and a half length victory Saturday. She finished off her mile in :28.2 to secure the victory over runner-up Flowers N Songs. Jangone finished third, while Dottie and Major Muscle rounded out the top five.

A daughter of Manofmanymissions, Celebrity Eventsy was making her season debut Saturday after posting four wins in 10 starts last season. She is trained by Lind for owners Celebrity Farms LLC. Celebrity Eventsy has earned over $239,000 in 11 career starts. She paid $2.80 to win.

Also on Saturday, the popular older pacer Shamballa not only posted his first victory of 2016, but also the nation’s fastest mile of the year.

The Rick Zeron trainee took the lead on the way to half and posted fractions of :54.1 and 1:21.1 before sizzling home in :27 to win by six lengths in 1:48.1. Shamballa was making his second start of the season and competing in a $25,000 conditioned event. His winning time also equalled the North America season's record that Bigtown Hero set two weeks ago at Pocono Downs.

A six-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere, Shamballa has become a popular horse on the WEG circuit due to his signature closing speed. The Zeron trainee opted to do all the work on the front-end Saturday and picked up his 21st career win. Shamballa pushed his career earnings over $500,000 with his first win of 2016. He banked over $358,000 last season.

Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Miss Versatility first leg, featuring two divisions, highlights the 11-race card. Post time is 7:30 p.m.

The fields for the SBOA Stakes are listed below.

$173,329 Three-Year-Old Filly Pace
1. Tonightimlovingyou
2. Good Will Hanover
3. Lay Lady Lay
4. L A Delight
5. Free Show
6. Lady Marina
7. Thatsoveryverynice
8. Noone To Depend On
9. Mayhem Seelster
10. Divas Image
AE1. Maniana

$174,329 Three-Year-Old Filly Trot
1. Tymal Tempest
2. Caprice Hill
3. Celebrity Eventsy
4. Major Muscle
5. Dottie
6. Flowers N Songs
7. Danish Darby
8. Moonlight Cocktail
9. Jangone
10. P L Jill
AE1. Treasure Gifts K

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

(With files from WEG / Photos by New Image Media)

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