Stakes Elimination Night At Mohawk

Published: August 29, 2015 09:04 pm EDT

The sport’s top older pacers and rising stars were on display Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack in eliminations for the Canadian Pacing Derby, Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady.

A solid group of 18 older pacers were split into a pair of $40,000 eliminations for the Canadian Pacing Derby. The top five finishers from each nine-horse elimination earned a spot in next week’s $685,000 final.

In the first elimination, State Treasurer continued his hot streak with a narrow 1:50.1 victory over a track rated "good."

The six-year-old son of Real Desire was sent off as the heavy 1-5 favourite and got away fourth in the early stages for driver David Miller. Ellis Park made a second quarter move to the front and took the field by the half in :54.4. Around the final turn, Miller sent State Treasurer first up and the Dr. Ian Moore trainee got on even ground with Ellis Park at the third station in 1:23. State Treasurer grabbed sole position of the lead in the stretch, but had to dig in deep to get the victory, as All Bets Off made a late charge to finish second by a neck.

“It was a pretty good pace and I was able to sit in past the half there and when I moved him I just let him come easy there,” said Miller following the race. “At the head of the lane I asked him and he finished it off.”

Captive Audience shot up the rail to finish third, while Piston Broke and Mcwicked rounded out the top five finishers.

State Treasurer now has three consecutive victories and seven from 13 starts in 2015. His 28th career victory increased his earnings to nearly $1.5 million for owners Sally MacDonald and Paul MacDonald.

State Treasurer paid $2.70 to win.

Returning to the site of his 2014 Pepsi North America Cup victory for the first time, JK Endofanera took the second elimination in 1:50.1.

Driven by Brett Miller, JK Endofanera left from post seven and was parked around the first turn before clearing to the front as he entered the backstretch. Shamballa, the 6-5 favourite, got away fourth and made a second quarter move to the lead for trainer/driver Rick Zeron. The public’s choice posted a half-mile clocking of :54.1 and took the field into the final turn. Mach It So challenged first up at Shamballa in the third quarter, as JK Endofanera followed closely in the pocket. The three-quarter time was 1:22, as Shamballa carried the lead into the lane. In the stretch, Shamballa tried to pace away from his rivals, but JK Endofanera moved to the outside and was able to track down the favourite and score a one and three-quarter length victory.

“I wanted to kind of get away up close,” said Miller after the race. “I still feel this horse is better off the pace and off a helmet, but being an elimination race I didn’t want to get eliminated, so I wanted to kind of be up close.”

JK Endofanera now has three wins in four Mohawk starts and Miller noted the long stretch favours the Jimmy Takter trainee.

“He’s a great big horse and the long stretch is definitely to his advantage.”

Nirvana Seelster shot through late for third, while Foiled Again and Limelight Beach from the Ron Burke barn finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

JK Endofanera now has four wins from nine starts this season for owners 3 Brothers Stable. The son of Art Major has three victories to his credit since joining the Takter barn six starts ago.

Saturday’s victory was the 18th of JK Endofanera’s career and increases his earnings to nearly $1.8 million. He paid $6.70 to win.

JK Endofanera will look to become the first Pepsi North America Cup champion since Gallo Blue Chip in 2001 to also win the Canadian Pacing Derby.

The Metro Pace has served as launching ground to stardom for many pacers over the years and 21 two-year-old pacers contested three $40,000 eliminations for the 2015 edition.

Tony Alagna trainees finished one-two in the first elimination with Voracity getting up the final strides to defeat American Passport in 1:54.3.

Several horses fired out at the start with American Passport getting the front and posting an opening panel of :26. Cruise Patrol, who was parked around the first turn, cleared to the lead in the second quarter and reached the half in :54.4. Voracity, the 3-5 favourite, was taken to the back by Randy Waples and picked up cover in the middle-half. American Passport edged out of the pocket nearing the third station, as Voracity was sent three-wide and sat two and a half lengths off the lead turning for home. In the stretch, American Passport took the lead and was quickly confronted by Voracity. The Alagna trainees slugged it out down the lane and American Passport held the narrow advantage late, but Voracity edged by his stablemate in the final steps to win by a nose. Nvestment Bluechip finished third, while Cruise Patrol was fourth.

A son of Sportswriter, Voracity now has four wins from five starts to begin his career. Although the rookie has been doing most of the work on the front end, Alagna noted that Waples said taking to the back was by design.

“[Randy] said everybody looked like they wanted to go out of there a hundred, so [he] just took him back and I know he’s so good off a helmet as well, so I wasn’t concerned about it,” said Alagna. “That’s a big mile tonight, the track is pretty tiring, especially for these young horses, and I think you will see them all fire right back next week.”

Voracity increased his earnings to $172,000 with the victory for owners Brad Grant, Alagna Racing LLC, and John Fodera.

The Alagna trainee paid $3.40 to win.

Control The Moment remained undefeated with an eye-catching 1:52.1 victory in the second elimination.

Driven by Waples, Control The Moment left from post six and the 1-5 favourite was able to take a seat in third around the first turn. As the field paced by the three-eighths, Waples gave the Brad Maxwell trainee his cue to brush to the front and he posted a half of :55.4. After pacing a third-quarter of :29, Control The Moment left his rivals far behind and paced home comfortably in :27.2 to score a three and a half length victory.

“He felt the same as he always does, he just feels like he’s a really unbelievably nice horse,” said Waples post-race. “There’s more in there that I haven’t found yet, like he can do things there that make me in awe.”

Ideal Rocky split rivals late to finish second, while Racing Hill made a charge on the outside to edge by Manhattan Beach for third.

A son of Well Said, Control The Moment, who was a $47,000 yearling purchase last fall in Lexington, is owned by Maxwell, Howard Taylor, Edwin Gold and Ben Mudry. The Maxwell trainee is now six-for-six to start his career and has $98,187 in earnings.

Control The Moment paid $2.60 to win.

Betting Line bounced back from a break in his most recent start to win the third and final elimination in 1:52.2.

The Casie Coleman trainee left from post three with driver Steve Condren and got away in third. In the second quarter, Condren sent Betting Line, the even-money favourite, to the front to overtake the lead from The Catamount Kid at the half in :56. After pacing by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4, Betting Line kicked clear from his rivals by a pair of lengths in mid-stretch and cruised home in :27.3 to win by two and a quarter lengths. The Catamount Kid finished second, while Pretty Boy Hill was third.

Following the race, Coleman said she was happy to see Betting Line back on track after his break at Rideau Carleton Raceway.

“I really don’t know what that Ottawa start was all about, it’s uncharacteristic for him to make a break,” said Coleman. “We did a little bit of tinkering. I brought his hopples in a half an inch and we changed his bridle.”

A son of Bettors Delight, Betting Line now has four wins from six starts and earnings of $117,000 for owners West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun and Mac Nichol. Betting Line was purchased for $60,000 as a yearling at Harrisburg.

The Coleman trainee paid $4 to win.

Cruise Patrol, the fourth-place finisher from the first elimination, drew into the final to complete the field of 10 for next week’s championship.

A group of 12 two-year-old pacing fillies were split into a pair of six-horse $35,000 eliminations for the Shes A Great Lady Stakes. The top five finishers from each elimination punched their ticket to the final.

In the first elimination, Thatsoveryverynice went gate-to-wire with ease to score her fourth win of the season in five starts.

Driven by Jody Jamieson, 1-5 favourite Thatsoveryverynice stepped out to the front without any challengers and posted an opening panel of :28.4. The daughter of Vintage Master went unchallenged through the middle-half panels of :58.1 and 1:26.3 before pacing home under no urging in :27.4 for a two and a half length 1:54.2 victory. Upside Surprise finished second, while JK Fannie rounded out the Triactor. Albany Girl and Highland Rocksolid also secured spots in next week’s final.

A Tony Alagna trainee, Thatsoveryverynice entered her elimination off a comfortable victory in the Eternal Camnation Stakes. Following the race, Jamieson noted that his filly got the job done easily once again.

“[I] didn’t even have to pull the plugs tonight and she was very strong,” said Jamieson. “Each time I drive her she gets more impressive and tonight was no exception. Slow fractions, but to have no one around her and to be able to pull away under minimal urging and then shut her down halfway down the stretch, I mean, I don’t think she could be coming into the final in much better form.”

Thatsoveryverynice increased her earnings to over $142,000 for owners Alagna Racing LLC and Marvin Katz with the victory. A $2 Win ticket on the Alagna rookie paid $2.50.

L A Delight extended her win streak to seven with a matching 1:54.2 victory in the second elimination.

The Bob McIntosh trainee got away third with driver Randy Waples while Blue Moon Stride posted fractions of :28.2 and :57.4. Waples then sent the 1-5 favourite first up as the field paced by three-quarters in 1:26.1. In the stretch, L A Delight quickly paced by Blue Moon Stride and cruised home under minimal urging to win by a length and a half over a hard-closing Darlinonthebeach. Three Dreams finished third while Blue Moon Stride and Ivy League rounded out the top five to advance to the final.

Following the race, Waples noted that McIntosh made an equipment change heading into this week’s start.

“Bob added them [earplugs] this week...I said to him last week after I raced her that she was just maybe getting a little bit warm compared to what she had been and he said 'okay, no problem.' He goes out and changes her equipment, takes a filly that hasn’t been beat [in six starts] and makes her better. That’s Bob McIntosh.”

A daughter of Bettors Delight, L A Delight is owned and bred by Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings. The rookie pacer now has seven wins in eight starts and earnings of over $178,000.

L A Delight paid $2.50 to win.

Mohawk's regular Saturday night Preferred Pace went to repeat winner Duc Dorleans, who paced the mile in 1:49.3 with Phil Hudon aboard for trainer Jacques Dupont and owners Gestion C. Levesque 2005 Inc. and Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc. Odds On Equuleus finished second and Machal Jordan was third.

The $685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby (presented by HPIBET), the $685,000 Metro Pace and the $455,000 Shes A Great Lady Stakes will take place next Saturday (September 5). Post time is 7:05 p.m.

The post positions for the stakes finals are listed below. Elimination winners earned the right to select their posts for the final.

$685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby
PP - Horse
1. McWicked
2. State Treasurer
3. JK Endofanera
4. All Bets Off
5. Shamballa
6. Nirvana Seelster
7. Limelight Beach
8. Captive Audience
9. Foiled Again
10. Piston Broke
AE: Clear Vision

$685,000 Metro Pace
PP - Horse
1. The Catamount Kid
2. Betting Line
3. Voracity
4. Control The Moment
5. Racing Hill
6. Nvestment Bluechip
7. Pretty Boy Hill
8. Ideal Rocky
9. Cruise Patrol
10. American Passport
AE: Manhattan Beach

$455,000 Shes A Great Lady Stakes
PP - Horse
1. Three Dreams
2. Albany Girl
3. Thatsoveryverynice
4. L A Delight
5. Upside Surprise
6. Darlinonthebeach
7. Highland Rocksolid
8. Ivy League
9. JK Fannie
10. Blue Moon Stride
AE: Show Time Hill

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

(With files from WEG)

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