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Mystician Making A Believer Of Gillis


Published: June 8, 2011 7:36 pm ET

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Jeff Gillis thought Mystician would be a nice horse on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit. Beyond that, he had few expectations. But after Mystician won last year’s Metro Pace and this season’s Upper Canada Cup at Georgian Downs, the trainer is a believer.

“Each time he wins he convinces me a little bit more,” Gillis said with a chuckle. “I’d be lying if I said training down I thought he was going to win the Metro. I thought we had a nice [Ontario Sires Stakes] Gold colt. I thought he could make a nice profit for us, but I didn’t envision him being Grand Circuit.”

Mystician will start from post No. 1 in the third of Saturday’s three North America Cup eliminations at Mohawk Racetrack. Jody Jamieson will handle the driving for Gillis, who owns the colt with Ken Henwood, Mac Nichol and Gerald Stay. The $1.5 million North America Cup final is June 18.

Gillis bought Mystician, a son of Camluck-Mystic Mistress, for $45,000 at the Canadian Open Yearling Sale. He is a full brother to multiple stakes winners Camystic and Lucks Mistress.

Mystician has won six of 14 career races and $1.06 million. He has finished second on four occasions.

“I knew the family a little bit,” Gillis said. “[Mystic Mistress] is a proven mare and he’s a full brother to some very legitimate horses. He resembled some of the foals that were successful. The video on him, he had a presence about him. He had a free-and-easy gait. I liked that. I was quite happy to get him at [$45,000].”

Mystician was eligible to last week’s Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, but Gillis gave the colt the week off after winning the $500,000 Upper Canada Cup on May 28.

Mystician - $500,000 Upper Canada Cup

“The schedule shook out, it would have made the North America Cup final potentially his fifth start in five weeks,” Gillis said. “I thought he would be better off fresh.”

Gillis said Mystician’s season got off to a shaky start.

“We were a little nervous the first time we qualified him; he was flat,” he said. “It turned out he scoped with a little bit of mucous so we took a little time there to get him straightened away. Since then, he’s been very good.”

Mystician is trying to join Sportswriter, Somebeachsomewhere, Rocknroll Hanover, Gothic Dream and Presidential Ball as horses to win the million-dollar Metro and North America Cup. Even with the Metro to his credit, the colt seems to be coming into the North America Cup somewhat under the radar.

“That’s fine by me,” Gillis said, laughing. “We’re not after the headlines. That doesn’t pay the bills. We’ll take the cash and let everyone else have the hype.”

The fields for the three elims are listed below.

Elim No. 1 (Race 3)
PP - Horse - Listed Driver
1 - Mach Of Ballykeel - Sylvain Filion
2 - Rock To Glory - David Miller
3 - Big Jim - Phil Hudon
4 - Powerful Mist - Tim Tetrick
5 - Bestofbest Hanover - Jack Moiseyev
6 - Rockabillie - Sylvain Filion
7 - Custard The Dragon - Montrell Teague

Elim No. 2 (Race 4)
PP - Horse - Listed Driver
1 - Feel Like A Fool - Brian Sears
2 - Betterthancheddar - Brett Miller
3 - Up The Credit - Jody Jamieson
4 - Grams Legacy - Brian Sears
5 - Eighteen - Paul MacDonell
6 - Lookinforadventure - Brett Miller
7 - Townslight Hanover - Scott Zeron
8 - Shadyshark Hanover - Tim Tetrick

Elim No. 3 (Race 6)
PP - Horse - Listed Driver
1 - Mystician - Jody Jamieson
2 - Roll With Joe - Randy Waples
3 - Keystone Velocity - Jody Jamieson
4 - Western Alumni - Randy Waples
5 - Dutch Richman - Tim Tetrick
6 - Wink N Atcha - Brian Sears
7 - Big Bad John - Brett Miller
8 - Foreclosure N - Sylvain Filion

This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit

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