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Fillies Set For Elegantimage Battle


Published: June 10, 2011 8:24 pm ET

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Three-year-old trotting fillies faced off in a pair of $35,000 Elegantimage Stakes eliminations on Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack with the connections of Crys Dream and Beatgoeson Hanover earning the right to pick post positions for next weekend's final thanks to their winning efforts.

Driver Doug McNair rolled 21-1 longshot Eagle Canada to command from the center of the track in the first elimination and led the field past panels of :28.1, :57.3 and 1:26.2 before being collared in the stretch by a rallying Beatgoeson Hanover and driver David Miller.

After tucking in behind last week’s Casual Breeze Stakes division winner Lukes Sophie (Jody Jamieson) from the outside post position, Beatgoeson Hanover followed along in fifth until the midway point, at which time she tracked the first over move of the 1-2 favourite.

The Andover Hall-Beat The Wheel filly rallied off cover in the stretch and wore down the pacesetter with a :27.4 closing kick to score by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.4. Eagle Canada held on for second while pocket-sitter Iron Lady (Luc Ouellette) slipped up the rail to show and Luke Sophie grabbed fourth. Lady Rainbow finished fifth, earning the last spot in the final after Cleopatre Duharas (Sylvain Filion) made a break past the half-mile mark and Fitness Girl was scratched.

“She has to have a certain kind of trip. The trip worked out great and the one horse [Lukes Sophie] took us right into the race,” said Miller after the victory. “She felt pretty strong all the way around the last turn and when I did tip her three-deep there she took right off. The trip was good for her, it was pretty kind to her and she’ll keep benefitting off those kinds of trips.”

Beatgoeson Hanover paid $6.80 to win as the 2-1 second choice. Richard ‘Nifty’ Norman trains the filly for owner Neven Botica of Perth, Australia. After winning five of eight races, including the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship, and earning $172,546 as a freshman, Beatgoeson Hanover has begun her sophomore campaign with two wins and a runner-up performance to earn another $49,195.

Fresh off a pair of wins, including a division of the Casual Breeze Stakes, Crys Dream captured the second elimination with ease.

Oh Sweet Baby (Mario Baillargeon) took control of the field from post position seven and put up a :27.2 opening quarter while driver Luc Ouellette sent Crys Dream past a gapping three-hole, left open when Andover The Top made a miscue around the first turn.

Crys Dream took over command near the three-eighths mark and was untouchable as she cruised past the half in :58 and three-quarters in 1:27.2 en route to a three and a quarter length triumph in 1:55.1. Seducedbychocolate (David Miller) and China Pearls (Randy Waples) finished second and third respectively. Cedar Dove (Jack Moiseyev) advanced first over, but ended up fourth after baring out in the stretch. Oh Sweet Baby also advanced to the final with her fifth place effort.

When asked if Crys Dream was better this week than in her last start, Ouellette said he didn’t notice any differences.

“She’s the same really -- let’s knock on wood for that -- but I haven’t had to use her hard, so she was the same this week as last week,” he said. “She’s a dragon that’s not awake yet.”

The Campbellville resident says that driving the filly conservatively is by design.

“It’s going to be a long year for her and expectations are really high. The least we have to use the better it is because we’ll need it later,” said Ouellette. “As you can see tonight with the other division, the good ones are starting to come out. I’m sure the competition will get tougher as we go on.”

Crys Dream paid $2.40 to win. The Taurus Dream-Crystas Image filly earned victories in all but one of her eight starts as a freshman and banked $596,065. She is now three-for-three in 2011 with another $83,140 earned. Canada’s 2010 Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year is trained by Henrik Hollsten for breeder Reve Avec Moi Dreamwithme of Grand Valley, Ont. and partners Deo Volente Farms LLC of Flemington, T L P Stable of Kearny, New Jersey and Jerry Silva of Long Beach, New York.

The $519,000 Elegantimage final is scheduled for Pepsi North America Cup night next Saturday, June 18.

Here is a look at the field in post position order:

1. Eagle Canada
2. Beatgoeson Hanover
3. Lady Rainbow
4. Crys Dream
5. Oh Sweet Baby
6. Iron Lady
7. Seducedbychocolate
8. China Pearls
9. Cedar Dove
10. Lukes Sophie
AE1. Crème De Cocoa

For results from Friday's harness racing card, click on the following link: Friday Results - Mohawk Racetrack.

(With files from WEG)

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