Thirty-two freshman trotting fillies will invade Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening, competing for a top two position in four $40,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold eliminations
Trainer Ben Baillargeon will harness three of the novice trotters, and the Rockwood, Ont. resident’s hopes are highest for regally-bred Cool Creek Breeze, who makes her Gold Series debut from Post 4 in the first elimination.
“She wasn’t quite ready for the Gold the first couple times, so I was in no rush, and I think now we are ready for the Gold,” says the trainer. “She’s all trot, and she’s nice, and I think she’s going to be a real good mare.”
Baillargeon shares ownership of the half-sister to $1.3 million winner Casual Breeze with breeder Diane Ingham of Mount Pleasant, Ont. The partners opted to start the daughter of Angus Hall and Balanced Breeze in the Grassroots program, and Cool Creek Breeze earned a trophy in the July 10 season opener at Flamboro Downs with a 2:04.3 effort and then finished second on July 23 at Kawartha Downs.
“We took our time with her, we brought her along real nice and slow, and the rest is up to her,” says Baillargeon. “She shows a quarter in :28 seconds her last start in Kawartha Downs. The speed is going to start to come out now. Hopefully she’ll step it up a notch.”
Mario Baillargeon will steer Cool Creek Breeze in the first race on Monday and the Milton, Ont. resident will have an eye out for July 20 Gold elimination winner Winning Sissy from Post 8. In her two outings thus far, the filly has tried both sitting in a hole and racing from the front, and Baillargeon says she is easy to get along with on the racetrack, unlike in the barn.
“She’s a one groom horse. If she don’t know you she won’t let you catch her, stuff like that. She has to trust you before you’ll be able to do anything to her,” he explains. “She’s got lots of personality, but on the track she’s real good. In the barn, she’s not mean or anything like that, but you’ve got to get her trust before you can even go and get her in the stall.”
Cool Creek Breeze’s stablemates Tyrany Seelster and Crystal Rayne will start from Post 1 in Races 3 and 9, respectively. Baillargeon is looking for an improved performance from Tyrany Seelster due to the addition of trotting hopples to her equipment list, but is not sure what to expect from Crystal Rayne.
“Tyranny Seelster, she qualified real well but she jumped it off the first two Golds, so we put the trotting hopples on her, and she qualified here real well last week. The other one she just come my way,” explains the horseman, who takes over Crystal Rayne’s care from U.S.-based trainer Ron Burke. “I jogged her [Thursday] and I can tell she’s a little aggressive, but that’s all I know about her.
“I know she qualified in 1:59 and she was pretty much under wraps, they told me. They told me the speed is there, but that everything else not maybe there yet,” he adds.
Baillargeon conditions Tyrany Seelster for longtime owner Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, Que., who purchased the daughter of Angus Hall and $356,252 winner Tymal Timeout from last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale for $47,000. Randy Ringer and Michael Ringer of Washington, Pennsylvania bred and own Crystal Rayne, who is by former OSS star Majestic Son and out of the Ringer’s $141,614 winning mare Crystal V W. The filly is a half-sister to $446,880 winner Hoopie, who was the mare’s first foal.
Mario Baillargeon will steer all three fillies on Monday, aiming to finish in the top two to secure a berth in the August 15 Gold final. In addition to the top two finishers, two third-place finishers will also advance to the $130,000 Gold final by random draw.
Mohawk Racetrack features the two-year-old trotting fillies in Races 1, 2, 3, and 9 on Monday, with the first Gold elimination going postward at 7:10 p.m.
To view entries for Monday's harness racing card, click on the following link: Monday Results - Mohawk Racetrack.