Thirty-one rookie fillies made their way to Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening, as the Campbellville oval hosted Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series eliminations for the trotters
Cool Creek Breeze drew first blood thanks to a narrow score in the opening elimination for Team Baillargeon. Mario Baillargeon rallied the regally-bred daughter of Angus Hall-Balanced Breeze miss to the lead shortly past the mid-way point and after rolling the field to the three-quarter pole in 1:30.1 she used a :28.4 final frame to win by a neck over a dead-game Kylie Hall in 1:59. Zorgwijk Mercedes rounded out the top three finishers.
Trainer Ben Baillargeon of Rockwood shares ownership on the trotting lass with her breeder, Diane Ingham of Mount Pleasant, ON. Cool Creek Breeze is a sister to the likes of Casual Breeze (1:53.1 - $1,347,330), Musclesextrodinair (1:53.4 - $249,506) and V I P (1:54.4 - $103,607).
Destinys Magic was second-placed-first in the next $40,000 elimination as a result of race favourite Witch Way experiencing some bad racing luck in deep stretch. Witch Way muscled her way to the lead at the quarter pole in :29.3 before relinquishing the top spot to the backstretch-brushing Destinys Magic who hit the half in 1:00.
Destinys Magic and Paul MacDonell were still on the lead at the three-quarter pole in 1:29.3, but they were confronted and then overtaken in the lane by Witch Way who appeared to be on her way to another victory before making a costly break as the field approached the wire. Despite crossing the line first, the ORC Judges placed her back to fifth for a lapped-on break at the wire and for causing interference while on the break. Destinys Magic was awarded the win, Phoenix Goal was third-placed-second and The Magic Of Paris was fourth-placed-third.
Trainer Dan Lagace co-owns the $7,000 purchase from last year’s Lexington Select Yearling Sale with Michelle Gagne and Jack Darling Stables Ltd of Cambridge, ON. The victory improved her overall record to 2-1-1 in five tries and the lion’s share of the purse lifted her lifetime earnings to $65,600.
Princess Fortune rode cover and accelerated past rivals for driver Anthony MacDonald in the lane to win the third elimination in 1:57.2. It was the first lifetime score for the homebred daughter of Macs Crown K-Hi Noons Fortune, watched Tyrany Seelster and Dancehall Mistress battle through middle splits of :58.4 and 1:28. MacDonald kicked his charge off cover and she out-sprinted her rookie rivals to the line. Dancehall Mistress was second best, with Tyrany Seelster holding on for third.
Sent off as the even-money choice, the Paul Reid trainee improved her overall record to 1-1-1 in five tries with the score while pushing her lifetime earnings to $34,900.
Circles, who finished second in the first two OSS Gold Series Finals of the season, halted the teletimer in a career-best clocking of 1:57 in the final elimination for Hall of Fame driver Jacques Hebert and trainer John Smith. The daughter of Majestic Son-Merles Image was third and parked at the quarter pole before brushing to the lead in the backstretch. Once in command of the tempo she led the field through middle splits of :58.1 and 1:28.2 before using a :28.3 closing panel to seal the deal by 2-3/4 lengths. Frisky Strike finished in the runner-up position, with third prize going to Crystal Rayne.
The filly, who is owned by John Smith Racing Stb Inc of Woodlawn, ON, now boasts a 3-2-0 record in five starts. She has already stashed away $125,000 in career earnings.
The top two finishers from each elimination plus two of the third-place finishers drawn by lot will make up the field for next Monday’s rich final. Here’s how they’ll line up behind the starting gate:
$130,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series Final
1. Phoenix Goal
2. Kylie Hall
3. Princess Fortune
4. Destinys Magic
6. Tyrany Seelster
7. Cool Creek Breeze
8. Dancehall Mistress
9. Zorgwijk Mercedes
10. Frisky Strike
To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – Mohawk Racetrack.