Freshmen Face Off In Mohawk Stakes

Published: August 18, 2013 12:18 am EDT

A trio of the sports top freshman pacers were showcased on Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack with $81,811 divisions of the Nassagaweya Stakes taking place.

Play It Again Sam, Arthur Blue Chip and Somewhere In L A all found the wire first for their respective connections.

Play It Again Sam, driven by Randy Waples, notched his seventh straight win as he stopped the timer in 1:52.

The talented son of Shadow Play was hard-used to earn the front as he was parked to the opening station in :27.1. From there, favourite Play It Again Sam led his eight rivals past the mid-way point in :55 and three-quarters in 1:24 before Waples called on him for more speed en route to victory lane. Victory Bayama (Sylvain Filion) finished second, ahead of Winds Of Change (Scott Zeron).

Owned by Wayne Whebby of Dartmouth, N.S. and R G McGroup Ltd. of Bathurst, N.B., Play It Again Sam increased his career earnings to $50,827. He paid $3.50 to win.

Moore was also a winner in the first division as Arthur Blue Chip and Paul MacDonell got under the wire first in 1:52.

The son of Shadow Play marched to the front past the opening station in :27.1 and never looked back as he laid down fractions of :55.3 and 1:24.2 before edging away from his eight rivals to win by one and a half lengths. Boomboom Ballykeel (Sylvain Filion) finished second over Three Of Clubs (Doug McNair).

Owned by Shadow One Stable of Guelph, Ont., Arthur Blue Chip now has a 4-0-1 record from six starts this season along with $174,494 in earnings. He paid $3.50 to win.

In the other division, Somewhere In L A converted off a perfect pocket trip to win in 1:52.1.

Driven by Waples, the son of Somebeachsomewhere cleared to the front past the opening station in :27.2, before getting covered up by Idealbeach Hanover (Paul MacDonell). Idealbeach Hanover continued to lead his eight rivals past the mid-way point in :55.3 and 1:23.3. Down the stretch, Idealbeach Hanover began to tire as Somewhere In L A angled out of the pocket to score the victory. Twin B Speedo (Jack Moiseyev) finished second with Idealbeach Hanover third.

Trained by co-owned by Bob McIntosh of Winsdor, Ont., along with Ohio's CSX Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ont., Somewhere In L A now has a 3-1-1 record from six starts this season along with $68,105. He paid $17.10 to win.

All three winners remain eligible to the $700,000 (estimated) Metro Pace on Saturday, August 31 at Mohawk with eliminations taking place on August 24.

Twenty of the sports top freshman pacing fillies were put on display on Saturday evening in a pair of $108,933 divisions of the Eternal Camnation Stakes.

Precocious Beauty led the way in the first division with a 1:50.2 stakes record to set the tone for next Saturday’s Shes A Great Lady Stakes eliminations at the Campbellville oval.

Driven by Doug McNair, the daughter of Art Major took over command past the quarter in :26.1, before laying down panels of :55.2 and 1:23.2 en route to a six and a half length score. Heavy favourite Rockingcam Park (Jack Moiseyev) finished second, with Take That Hanover (Randy Waples) third.

Trained by Gregg McNair for Kentucky owner/breeder James Avritt, Precocious Beauty now has a 2-2-0 record from four career starts along with $72,167 in earnings. She paid $6.90.

McNair also took the other division with heavy favourite Shes Da Bomb in 1:52.

Beginning from post four, Shes Da Bomb was parked to the opening quarter in :28, but quickly marched to the lead before the half. Mind Over Matter (Chris Christoforou) then took over command to lead past the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:24.1. Turning for home, McNair was able to angle his way out of the pocket and Shes Da Bomb did the rest as she drew away by four and three-quarter lengths. Mind Over Matter stayed for second, over Beach Gal (Scott Zeron).

Trained by Tony O’Sullivan for New York owner Frank Bellino, Shes Da Bomb remains undefeated in three career starts as her bankroll increased to $70,461. She paid $3.30.

Both winning fillies are eligible to the $430,000 (estimated) Shes A Great Lady Stakes final on Saturday, August 24, the undercard for the $700,000 (estimated) Metro Pace.

In addition to sweeping the Eternal Camnation divisions, McNair won Saturday night's $34,000 Preferred Pace with the O'Sullivan-conditioned and Bellino-owned Casimir Jitterbug in a career-best equalling 1:49.3. McNair gave O'Sullivan a training triple after scoring with Aslan and also picked up a win with Murray Brethour trainee Kindly Poet.

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

(With files from WEG)