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Canadian Records In Eliminations

Published: June 12, 2015 8:22 pm ET

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Bee A Magician and the Jimmy Takter stable stole the spotlight during Friday night's eliminations for the Goodtimes Trot and Armbro Flight Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack.

The top five finishers from each elimination will advance to the finals, which will be held on Pepsi North America Cup Night next Saturday, June 20 at Mohawk. The connections of the elimination winners will be able to select their post positions.

The overwhelming 1-9 favourite coming off a New Jersey Sires Stakes Championship victory at The Meadowlands at the end of May, Canepa Hanover dominated his rivals in the first of two $30,000 Goodtimes eliminations for three-year-olds on Friday night with a 1:51.3 track and Canadian record performance.

The time of the mile matched the record that fellow Jimmy Takter trainee Trixton had set last year in winning the 2014 Goodtimes final.

"They both are by Muscle Hill and both very well bred horses," said Takter comparing Canepa Hanover and Trixton in a post-race interview. "They are very similar in a lot of ways. They are very powerful, both of those horses. Trixton went up here for the Goodtimes also before heading down the Hambletonian. They are very similar type of horses and I'm just fortunate to have two back-to-back like this."

Canepa Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras left just outside of Hemi Seelster (Steve Byron) from post five and overtook that rival around the first turn. He quickly trotted out four lengths in front by the :27.1 first quarter and maintained his commanding lead through middle splits of :55.3 and 1:23.2 before turning for home. The Muscle Hill-Cressida Hanover colt was a wrapped up 11-1/2 length winner in 1:51.3 to tie the track and Canadian record. Iron (Tim Tetrick), Rubber Duck (Sylvain Filion), Hemi Seelster and early breaker Olympic Son (Trevor Henry) followed in second through fifth-place.

"He's got crazy power," commented Gingras after the race. "He was better tonight than he was in the Sires Stakes, if it's even possible. He was very impressive in New Jersey, but tonight he got over this track really good. At the quarter in :27.1, it felt like I was going :30. I just let him trot his own. He's big, strong and long-gaited. I didn't want to back him down too much. But he went [1]:51.3 like it was [1]:55. He could have gone a lot faster than this."

Canepa Hanover is owned by breeder Brittany Farms along with Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, Sam Goldband, Brixton Medical Inc. and Christina Takter.

Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, was back on Canadian soil for the first of two $35,000 Armbro Flight eliminations for older trotting mares and turned in a record performance of her own.

The newly minted triple millionaire following her Charlie Hill Memorial Trot victory last weekend at Scioto Downs, Bee A Magician powered away from her foes on Friday to a 1:51.1 triumph, lowering Perfect Alliance's track (1:51.4) and Canadian (1:51.2) records that were set last year in stakes action on the WEG circuit.

Defending Armbro Flight Stakes champion Classic Martine (Tim Tetrick) fired to the lead from post seven into a :26.4 opening panel before Handover Belle (Yannick Gingras) brushed by down the backstretch. But Sears made his move with Bee A Magician past the :55.1 half-mile mark and quickly swept to command before reaching three-quarters in 1:23.4. The 2-5 favourite opened up a couple of lengths coming into the stretch and widened that margin to four lengths by the wire, trotting her final quarter in :27.2. Classic Martine finished second with Allie Labrook (Dan Shetler Jr.), Handover Belle and Harley Momma (Sylvain Filion) completing the top five finish order.

"I was really happy with the way things worked out," said Sears. "She was really good tonight scoring down and I think the cool weather might have helped her a little bit too -- not as much stress from the heat.

"She was razor sharp tonight and I was really happy with her, that's for sure."

The Kadabra-Beehive mare is now five-for-six in her five-year-old campaign for trainer Richard 'Nifty' Norman and owners Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee.

With record performances in the first eliminations of the night after a rainy day at the Campbellville, Ont. oval, Sears noted that the track was in "super" condition.

"I think that water only helps tracks unless it gets a little too sloppy, but the track is super as of now," he said.

Shake It Cerry won the other Armbro Flight elimination by three lengths in 1:52.4 for Gingras and Takter with Rockin With Dewey (Mario Baillargeon), Bax Of Life (Chris Christoforou), Charmed Life (Jody Jamieson) and early breaker Frau Blucher (Tim Tetrick) earning the remaining spots in the final.

Rockin With Dewey worked her way to the lead over insider Riveting Rosie (Paul MacDonell) as they passed the first quarter in :27, but 1-5 favourite Shake It Cerry swept from fourth to first down the backstretch and never looked back.

"She's got that quick speed, there's no doubt about it. When I moved her, she moved with purpose," said Gingras. "She felt strong all the way."

Shake It Cerry hit the half in :56.1 and trotted by three-quarters in 1:24.4 while remaining clear of first over challenger Bouncing Bax (Sylvain Filion). Down the stretch, Shake It Cerry opened up three lengths to secure her third straight victory.

"It's going to be a good horse race," Gingras said of facing Bee A Magician in next weekend's final. "Bee A Magician, she's tough. She's a great mare. She won just as easy as I won myself. They're going to hook up, there's no doubt."

The four-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig, who boasts over $2.1 million in career earnings, is owned by Solveigs Racing Partners.

Gingras and Burke again teamed up to complete a sweep of the Goodtimes eliminations as French Laundry was a dominant 1:53.3 winner over stablemate The Bank (Jimmy Takter), with Win The Day (Tim Tetrick), Covert Operative (Randy Waples) and Caulfield (Trevor Henry) rounding out the top five finishers.

After Covert Operative put up a :28-second first quarter, The Bank swept around him and was followed by stablemate French Laundry, who took over the top spot past the :56.4 half-mile mark. French Laundry began to separate himself from the field through three-quarters in 1:25.1 and ended the 1:53.3 mile with a three and a half length advantage.

"I think he's probably a little bit better following," Gingras said of his preferred racing strategy for the winning Muscles Yankee-Creamy Mimi colt. "He's put up some good miles in doing it, but tonight at 1-9 [odds] I just took matters into my own hands and he was much the best in here.

"He was mature and nice to drive [last year]. He's very handy. He's not the biggest horse, but he wants to do it."

French Laundry is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and breeders Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.

The post position draw results for both finals are listed below.

$233,000 Goodtimes Trot
1. Hemi Seelster
2. Caulfield
3. French Laundry
4. Canepa Hanover
5. Covert Operative
6. Rubber Duck
7. The Bank
8. Win The Day
9. Olympic Son
10. Iron
AE: Infiniti As

$272,000 Armbro Flight Stakes
1. Bax Of Life
2. Classic Martine
3. Shake It Cerry
4. Rockin With Dewey
5. Bee A Magician
6. Charmed Life
7. Frau Blucher
8. Harley Momma
9. Handover Belle
10. Allie Labrook
AE: White Becomes Her

Eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup, Fan Hanover Stakes and Roses Are Red Stakes will be contested on Saturday night at Mohawk. First race post time is 7:25 p.m.

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

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