Rookie pacing colts and geldings clashed in a pair Nassagaweya Stakes divisions on Saturday (Aug. 28) at Woodbine Mohawk Park, and two-year-old pacing fillies made their local Grand Circuit debuts in a pair of Eternal Camnation divisions.
Bob Loblaw cashed with a thrilling victory in the $140,300 second division, nailing Betterhavemymoney at the line to win by the narrowest of margins in 1:52.4. The victory was a special moment for track announcer Ken Middleton Jr., as the long-time voice of Woodbine Standardbred racing bred, co-owns and trains the gelded son of Sunshine Beach.
“I wasn’t quite sure [if I won], it was real close at the wire,” said Filion of the photo finish.
Sylvain Filion worked a two-hole trip for Bob Loblaw behind Atlas Hanover, who cut fractions of :26.4, :57 and 1:26.2. Favourite Betterhavemymoney came first-up and powered to the lead with an eighth of a mile remaining. Meanwhile, Filion angled out with Bob Loblaw to give him a clear shot and the Middleton trainee reached up for a photo finish, prevailing by a small nose for the thrilling score.
Atlas Hanover finished third, while Rockaway Bay was fourth.
Bob Loblaw is now two for seven with $107,927 earned for owners Middleton Jr., Dave Walls, James Grant and Starting Centre Stables. Middleton bred Bob Loblaw along with the late Bill Galvin, a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. The Ontario sired rookie is eligible to all of Mohawk Park’s upcoming Grand Circuit races, including the Metro Pace.
Filion, who has driven Bob Loblaw in all his races and qualifiers, has seen great growth in the youngster all summer.
“He was kind of a spooky two-year-old that needed to learn how to race, but I have to give credit to our man up there [Ken Middleton]. He’s done a great job with him and he’s come a long way.”
A $2 win ticket on Bob Loblaw returned $15.70.
The $139,300 first Nassagaweya division saw Magical Arthur sweep from third to first on the far turn and power home to win for Filion and trainer Anthony Beaton in 1:52. The gelded son of Artspeak was coming in off a maiden-breaking victory in an Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots event.
“I think it gave him a lot of confidence moving forward,” said Beaton of Magical Arthur’s last start. “We always thought he was a relatively nice colt training down, but obviously we didn’t quite have him tip top shape to go in the Gold.
“I was hoping Sylvain would pull him because I thought he had some ability to go with this bunch of horses…obviously he showed us he can go with them”
Century Inspector went to his usual spot on the lead, cutting fractions of :26.1 and :55.2 before being overtaken by Magical Arthur and ultimately finishing third. Aviator rallied to grab second.
Magical Arthur is a homebred for David Lumsden and now has two wins in five starts and $84,825 earned. A $2 win ticket returned $23.40.
Rookie pacing fillies made their Woodbine Mohawk Park Grand Circuit debut in a pair of Eternal Camnation divisions.
Fade Out blasted home in :26.2 to take the first $113,650 division for driver Doug McNair and trainer Gregg McNair. American Ticket got things her own way on the front, posting panels of :27.4, :56.1 and 1:24.3, but could scoot away in the stretch. Fade Out, who was second-over turning for home, found her best stride in the final-eighth of a mile to win in 1:51.3.
Big Bettor Hanover grabbed second, while American Ticket settled for third.
Fade Out came into Saturday’s Grand Circuit contest off a runner-up finish in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event.
“She was off a couple weeks going into her start last week…I was hoping she’d race good again tonight and she did, so hopefully going forward she’ll keep getting better,” said Doug McNair post-race
A daughter of Sportswriter, Fade Out is now two for five with $122,666 earned for owners Gregg McNair, Dean Lockhart and McKinlay & Fielding. She paid $6.20 to win.
Nick Gallucci trainee Prohibition Legal kept her perfect record alive with a 1:52.3 score in the $113,650 second Eternal Camnation division.
The Millar Farms homebred swept to the lead early from third for driver James MacDonald and put the race to bed from there. Prohibition Legal posted panels of :56 and 1:24.3 before a :28 final-quarter for the easy-looking victory.
Smuggle Tina finished second, while Treacherous Kiss was third.
“She was heavy favourite, so I just wanted to keep her out of trouble,” said MacDonald. “She showed that devastating kick last time and she can do it any way. She’s lazy on the front, but good on the front. If someone had of come to her she’ll really take off. She did what she had to do and she’ll never do an ounce more.”
Prohibition Legal has now earned $192,691 for Millar Farms. The daughter of Big Jim is staked up to all of Mohawk Park’s upcoming Grand Circuit events.
A $2 win ticket on Prohibition Legal returned $2.30.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.