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Stakes Mania At Mohawk Park

Published: August 24, 2019 7:58 pm ET

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A smorgasbord of stakes events was served up Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park as rookies battled in divisions of the Nassagaweya and the Eternal Camnation. Older trotters, in the meantime, butted heads in a set of Maple Leaf Trot eliminations.

Here’s what took place on the power-packed program:

$40,000 Maple Leaf Trot – 1st elimination

A short field of six faced the gate in the first elimination, and Guardian Angel AS turned in a front-stepping masterpiece for driver Tim Tetrick en route to a popular score in 1:51.4.

Atlanta motored to the early lead and had the field chasing her past the opening quarter in :28. Hot on her heels, however, was a parked out and driving Guardian Angel AS. That foe muscled his way to the lead in the backstretch, and once he cleared it was game over for the others. He stepped through middle panels of :57.1 and 1:24.3 before using a :27.1 closing panel to turn back the pocket-sitting Atlanta by three-quarters of a length. Speeding Spur N, Dream Together and Dancer Hall also earned spots in next week’s rich final.

“I was thinking about (tucking), but Atlanta I thought would want to follow my horse and lucky it worked out that way,” said Tetrick. “My horse has raced good every start this year…my horse is strong.”

Anette Lorentzon trains the five-year-old son of Archangel-Provide AS for ACL Stuteri AB of Kentucky and Kjell Johansson of Sweden. The win improved this year’s record to 6-1-0 from 9 attempts and it pushed his lifetime win total to 22. The classy campaigner has banked $921,116 to date.

$40,000 Maple Leaf Trot – 2nd elimination

The winning streak is now three-in-a-row and climbing for Crystal Fashion, who was a decisive winner in the second elimination for the team of driver David Miller and trainer Jim Campbell.

The four-year-old son of Cantab Hall-Window Willow got away fourth while Hannelore Hanover powered to the lead and served up an opening quarter clocked in :27.3. Miller got Crystal Fashion into gear when the field entered the backstretch, and the gelding eventually worked his way to the front.

He hit the half in :56.1 and then the three-quarter pole in 1:24.1 while being prompted by a first-over Manchego. Crystal Fashion put away that foe and used a :28-second final frame to win by a pair of lengths over a late-rushing Marion Marauder in 1:52.1. Also advancing to the final were Six Pack, Machego and Emoticon Hanover.

“I feel very good about this horse (going into the final) because he’s been such a good horse, we’ve been blessed to have a horse like him,” said trainer Jim Campbell. “He gives it a good effort every time we put him out there. He’s a very versatile horse, you can race him any way you want.”

Fashion Farms LLC of New Hope, PA owns the 18-time winner who boasts a 5-1-1 record from nine starts this season. The $20,000 payday bumped his bankroll to $1,774,859 with the win.

Post positions were drawn - and selected by the elimination winners - for next Saturday's final after the eliminations were completed. Here's how they'll line up behind the gate:

$600,000 Maple Leaf Trot Final
1. Six Pack
2. Crystal Fashion
3. Guardian Angel AS
4. Speeding Spur N
5. Dancer Hall
6. Dream Together
7. Manchego
8. Marion Marauder
9. Emoticon Hanover
10. Atlanta

$228,100 Nassagaweya Stake

Trainer Tony Alagna was loaded for bear going into this rich tilt, and his ravishing rookies dominated their freshman foes by virtue of a sweep of the top three positions.

Captain Kirk shot to the lead from Post 2, and he had the field chasing him past the opening post in a very tepid clocking of :28. He quickly came under attack, and it was a pair of familiar faces doing the attacking.

Captain Nemo powered up in the backstretch to loop his front-stepping stablemate, and hot on his heels was fellow stablemate and the public’s top choice, Capt Midnight. It was Capt Midnight who took the field through middle fractions of :55.2 and 1:24 before unleashing a :27-second closing quarter to post the half-length win over Captain Nemo in 1:51. Captain Kirk rounded out the Tony-fecta.

“It took me almost over until the five-eighths to get him stopped after the race,” said McCarthy, who put Capt Midnight on the front for the first time. “I knew he’d be good on the front, but I had to tell him what to do at the head of the stretch and he responded well like a good horse does.”

The son of Captaintreacherous-It Was Fascination has won three-in-a-row for the partnership of Marvin Katz, Kenneth Jacobs, Brad Grant and Captain Kirk Racing. The pacer has earned back $147,850 of his $350,000 price tag from last year’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale.

$112,239 Eternal Camnation – 1st division

The betting public was all over Alicorn in her rich assignment, and the speedball wowed the crowd with a 1:51 performance for the duo of driver Louis Philippe Roy and conditioner Chantal Mitchell.

The daughter of Bettors Delight-Mythical parked to the opening quarter in :27 before securing the lead. She went on to post the half in :56.4 before being pressed by Lady Lou to the three-quarter pole in 1:24.3. Roy called on Alicorn to find another gear at the head of the lane, though, and she complied. She rocketed home in :26.2 to win by 5-3/4 lengths over Lady Lou in 1:51. Off The Press tagged along to finish third.

“She just does it so easily and is an amazing filly,” said Mitchell following the race. “As long as she comes out of this good, we’re going to comeback next Friday in the (OSS) Gold and then go onto the Shes A Great Lady, but we’ll take it one week at a time and see how she progresses.”

Sent off as the 1-2 favourite in the seven-filly affair, Alicorn improved her rookie record to 3-2-0 from six attempts with the win. The lion’s share of the purse bumped her career earnings to $163,290. Not bad considering she was a mere $30,000 purchase from last fall’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale by owners Windermere Stable LLC of NY and Robert Muscara of Pennsylvania.

$112,239 Eternal Camnation – 2nd division

All eyes were on the odds-on Reflect With Me in the second division, and the 1-9 favourite didn’t disappoint her army of pari-mutuel supporters.

Andrew McCarthy allowed Reflect With Me to get away fourth while Kat powered to the lead from Post 5 and had the field chasing her past the quarter pole in :27. Somebeachsometime commenced a first-over rally from fifth as the field entered the backstretch, and in a matter of strides she struck the front and had the field following her to the half in :55.3.

McCarthy then came first-over with Reflect With Me, who was still more than a length away from Somebeachsometime at the three-quarter pole in 1:24.1. Reflect With Me continued to fight, however, and she easily went past Somebeachsometime in the lane. She was then forced to fend of a determined Karma Seelster in the final sixteenth of the contest, and she did. A :27.3 closing quarter sealed the deal for Reflect With Me, who won by a half-length margin over Karma Seelster in 1:52. Kat took home third prize.

“It was a horse race tonight and I had to come first-over tonight,” said McCarthy following the victory. “She dealt with it and she fought right to the wire.

“She’s a very good filly and she’s got so much speed it’s probably not ideal coming first-up with her. She showed last week that she can go on the front and is definitely good with cover, but you got to do what you got to do sometimes.”

Tony Alagna trains the daughter of Captaintreacherous-Remember When for Brittany Farms LLC of Versailles, KY and Brad Grant of Milton, Ont. The victory was her third from just five trips to the track. She’s stashed away $91,920 in earnings to this point.

$34,000 Preferred Pace – Canadian Pacing Derby Prep

A powerhouse performance was turned in by Jimmy Freight, who gets set to take on some of harness racing’s heaviest hitters in next Saturday’s Canadian Pacing Derby at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

The four-year-old son of Sportswriter-Allamerican Summer powered off the gate and battled with Western Fame to the quarter pole in :26.2. Western Fame cleared, but Jimmy Freight came right back around to reclaim the lead for driver Scott Zeron. From there, Jimmy Freight stepped past the half in :55.1 and the three-quarter pole in 1:22.2. A :27.4 closing panel earned Jimmy Freight the win by 1-3/4 lengths over Courtly Choice in 1:49.1. Western Fame grabbed the show dough.

Richard Moreau trains the O’Brien Award winner for owner Adriano Sorella of Guelph, Ont. The victory was just his second of the season, but the 20th of his career. He’ll head to next week’s assignment with a bankroll that stands at $1,290,386.

The post position draw for the 2019 $525,000 Canadian Pacing Derby was held during the Saturday card:

1. This Is the Plan
2. Done Well
3. Western Fame
4. Jimmy Freight
5. Lather Up
6. Courtly Choice
7. Filibuster Hanover
8. Casimir Richie P
9. McWicked

(With quotes from Woodbine Mohawk Park)

To view results for Saturday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Saturday Results – Woodbine Mohawk Park.

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