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Artspeak Sets Simcoe Stakes Record

Published: September 12, 2015 9:19 pm ET

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Tony Alagna trainee Artspeak turned in a career-best performance of 1:48.2 to win the Simcoe Stakes on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Saturday's card also featured three Champlain Stakes and the eliminations for the Maple Leaf Trot and Canadian Trotting Classic.

A field of nine three-year-old pacers squared off in the $224,907 Simcoe Stakes.

Casie Coleman trainee Reverend Hanover was sent off as the heavy 3-5 favourite off a pair of impressive victories leading up to Saturday’s contest. The public’s choice got away third, as Go Daddy Go blasted to the front and posted an opening quarter of :26.1. Artspeak, the 7-5 second choice, dropped in fourth for driver Scott Zeron.

Reverend Hanover made a second quarter move to the lead for driver Steve Condren and posted a speedy half of :53.2.

Around the final turn, Artspeak was given his cue to move from Zeron and came first up to draw within a length and a quarter of Reverend Hanover at the three-quarter pole in 1:21.1.

In the stretch, Artspeak quickly erased Reverend Hanover’s lead and paced by the leader with powerful strides to score an impressive two and a quarter length victory in a stakes record time of 1:48.2. Reverend Hanover held on to finish second, while Split The House and The Wayfaring Man finished third and fourth, respectively.

Artspeak, who was last year’s two-year-old champion, came into Saturday night with three victories from 11 starts on the season, but most recently turned in a strong 1:50.1 qualifying mile at Mohawk on September 4.

“I felt in the post parade that he was back to the way he started this year,” said Zeron following the race. “He was aggressive and Tony did a great job prepping him for this race.

“He had a couple weeks off and he qualified here in [1]:50 and when I was racing here full-time that was a big mile qualifying.”

The son of Western Ideal came first up to score the victory on Saturday and Zeron was very impressed with the effort.

“I knew he was ready to rock tonight, doing a first-up trip like that, that was steep and to finish the way he did, it was amazing.”

Artspeak is owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and In The Gym Partners. The three-year-old colt now has four wins and over $522,000 earned this season.

A $100,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Selected Sale, Artspeak’s career totals currently sit at 12 wins and over $1.3 million in earnings.

The Alagna trainee returned $4.80 to win.

L A Delight Makes It Nine Straight In Champlain

L A Delight continued her dominance in the Champlain Filly Stakes on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack.

Just a single division was needed for the Champlain Filly Stakes, as a field of nine competed for a rich purse of $241,380.

One week after capturing the Shes A Great Lady Stakes, L A Delight returned to Mohawk and put on another impressive display.

L A Delight, the 1-9 favourite, was sent to the front by driver Randy Waples and touched down on the lead at the opening-quarter in :26.4. It was game over from there, as the Bob McIntosh trainee cruised through fractions of :55.2 and 1:24, before waving goodbye to her rivals and drawing off for a four and a half length victory in 1:52.1.

“She’s just getting more professional every week,” said McIntosh following the race. “I just feel lucky to have her and when you breed these things and they turn out like this, it’s just extra special.”

A daughter of Bettors Delight, L A Delight has now won nine consecutive starts after dropping her career debut and has banked over $526,000. She is owned and bred by Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc.

A $2 win ticket on the star filly returned $2.30. Good Will Hanover finished second, while Ivy League was third.

Following the race, McIntosh confirmed that L A Delight will race in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold leg before finishing her season in the Super Final. The OSS Super Finals will take place on Saturday, October 10 at Woodbine Racetrack.

Ontario-Sired Colts Shine In Champlain Stakes

Betting Line and Nvestment Bluechip scored victories in the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old pacers Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack.

Over $110,000 was on the line in each division, as 16 rookie pacing colts and gelding competed.

Control The Moment, this year’s Metro Pace champion, was suppose to headline the $117,407 first division Saturday, but the Brad Maxwell trainee was a late scratch due to sickness.

Casie Coleman trainee Betting Line, who finished second to Control The Moment in the Metro, took full advantage of the scratch of the favourite.

Driven by Steve Condren, Betting Line was able to drop in fifth in the early stages, as the lead changed hand several times through opening fractions of :26.3 and :55.2.

Around the final turn, Betting Line came to the outside for Condren and tried to catch the cover of Racing Hill, but the Coleman trainee struggled to keep up and sat four and three-quarter lengths off the leader Nocturnal Bluechip by three-quarters in 1:23.3.

In the stretch, Nocturnal Bluechip and Racing Hill went toe-to-toe and it appeared the race would come down to the pair, but Betting Line was able to straighten things out and charged by the leaders with a wicked rush late to win by one and three-quarter lengths in 1:52. Nocturnal Bluechip finished second, while Inspiration View got through late to grab third from Racing Hill.

A son of Bettors Delight, Betting Line has now won five of eight starts for earnings of over $330,000.

Following the race, Coleman noted that her trainee was on the right line and will be visiting the vet Monday to address an issue.

Betting Line has found success on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit this season and that is where Coleman has him aimed for next.

“There’s a Gold here [at Mohawk] the next Tuesday [September 22] and if he’s ready I’ll probably take him there,” said Coleman. “I’ll probably skip Flamboro and then Super Finals and he’s also in the Breeders Crown.”

Betting Line is owned by West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun and Mac Nichol.

The son of Bettors Delight paid $3 to win.

Jody Jamieson worked out a perfect trip to allow Nvestment Bluechip to capture the $115,906 second division.

Nvestment Bluechip charged out to the front and took the field by the opening panel in :27.

Voracity, the 3-5 favourite, made a second quarter brush from fourth to take command at the half in :56. Voracity turned up the tempo in a :27.4 third quarter, as Kokanee Seelster pressed at him first over.

In the stretch, Voracity tried to pace away to victory, but Jamieson brought Nvestment Bluechip off his back and the son of Shadow Play paced on by for the victory in 1:52.1. New Talent made a late rush to finish a length and a half back in second, while Sossys King Kong finished third ahead of Voracity.

Nvestment Bluechip is trained by Dave Menary and the conditioner said things went exactly as planned on Saturday night.

“It kind of went like I thought it was going to go,” said Menary. “The colt had a really good week and I’ve always been pretty high on the colt and tonight we got paid for it.”

Menary Racing Inc., Michael Guerriero, Denis Breton and Thomas Kyron share ownership of Nvestment Bluchip, who now has three wins from seven starts this season. The rookie pacing colt has banked over $166,000 for his connections.

Nvestment Bluechip paid $8.20 to win.

Natural Herbie & Resolve Win Maple Leaf Trot Eliminations

The top older trotters in harness racing were on display Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack for the Maple Leaf Trot eliminations.

A talented group of 13 older trotters, including two mares, were separated into two $40,000 eliminations. The top five finishers from each division punched their ticket to next week’s $680,000 final.

The underdog Natural Herbie came up with his best performance of the season, as he scored a 12-1 upset for owner/trainer/driver Verlin Yoder.

Bee A Magician, the 3-5 favourite, was sent out to the front by driver Brian Sears and posted an opening quarter of :27, while Natural Herbie dropped in fifth.

JL Cruze made a second quarter move to the front for driver John Campbell and took the field by the half in :56. Natural Herbie came first up for Yoder around the final turn and was four and a quarter lengths off the lead, as JL Cruze reached the three-quarter pole in 1:24.2.

In the stretch, Bee A Magician edged to the outside from the two-hole and trotted by the leader to take command. It appeared that Bee A Magician was going to capture the first elimination, but Natural Herbie showed his determination trotting up a storm late to prevail in the final strides by a neck in 1:52.4.

“I figured there would be enough speed on the front end,” said Yoder following the race. “I was hoping I could be first up or second up, but it worked out pretty good and when I called on him he was ready.”

Lindys Tru Grit got up for third and Whiskey Tax finished fourth to round out the Superfecta. JL Cruze faded back to finish fifth, but did qualify for the final.

A five-year-old gelded son of Here Comes Herbie, Natural Herbie burst onto the Grand Circuit scene last season and banked over $361,000.

This season hasn’t been nearly as productive for the Yoder trainee with just two wins from 14 starts entering tonight's eliminations, but the conditioner believes the horse gets better later in the season.

“He’s always been late showing up,” said Yoder. “He’s not trotting slower than he did last year, but he took his sweet time getting there.”

Natural Herbie now has 27 career wins and increased his earnings to over $849,000 with Saturday’s victory.

The Yoder trainee paid $27.70 to win.

In the second elimination, Resolve showed why his connections put up $45,000 to supplement the four-year-old to the Maple Leaf Trot.

Trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, Resolve flashed good early speed to trot out to the front and posted an opening quarter of :27.4. Swedish trotting mare D One, the 7-5 favourite, made a move in the second quarter from fourth, but made a break taking her out of the race.

After a half-mile time of :56.4, Resolve took the field around the final turn with Daylon Magician pressing first up. Obrigado, who trotted along second over, put in a couple bumpy strides going to three-quarters, but quickly recovered to remain close.

In the stretch, Resolve would not surrender his lead and trotted home in :27.3 for a three and a quarter length 1:52.4 victory. Intimidate, who got a pocket trip, finished second, while Obrigado split horses late for third. Flanagan Memory and Daylon Magician finished fourth and fifth to advance to the final.

A son of Muscle Hill, Resolve is owned by Hans Enggren and now has two wins from nine starts this season. The Svanstedt trainee has only missed the board once this season and has compiled earnings of over $243,000.

Resolve’s victory Saturday night was his eighth career score and pushed his earnings to over $457,000.

The Svanstedt trainee paid $5.60 to win.

Following the eliminations, the post positions were drawn for next week’s $680,000 final with the elimination winners selecting their post:

1. Resolve
2. Bee A Magician
3. Natural Herbie
4. Flanagan Memory
5. Lindys Tru Grit
6. JL Cruze
7. Daylon Magician
8. Whiskey Tax
9. Intimidate
10. Obrigado
AE1. Market Share

The $680,000 Maple Leaf Trot will be the co-feature next Saturday (September 19) along with the $700,000 Canadian Trotting Classic.

Takter Sweeps Canadian Trotting Classic Eliminations

Jimmy Takter trainees Uncle Lasse and Pinkman were victorious on Saturday night in the eliminations for the Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk Racetrack.

A group of 13 three-year-old trotters were split into two $40,000 eliminations for the Canadian Trotting Classic. The top five finishers from each division advance to next week’s $700,000 final.

In the first elimination, Uncle Lasse prevailed in a tight win photo over Crazy Wow in 1:52.3.

Driven by Brian Sears, Uncle Lasse was able to get away in the two-hole on the back of Crazy Wow, who was sent off as the 1-2 favourite. The field of six sat lined up for the majority of the opening three-quarters, as Crazy Wow cut out fractions of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:25.2.

In the stretch, Uncle Lasse came to the outside for Sears to try and track down Crazy Wow, who turned the race into a final-quarter sprint. Uncle Lasse was able sprint home in :26.4 to get up in the final strides and defeat Crazy Wow by a head.

“The trip worked out perfect,” said Sears following the race. “I was real happy with that and the horse responded off the trip.”

Muscle Up The Goal finished third, while Dont Rush and French Laundry rounded out the top five to secure a spot in the final.

Trained by Jimmy Takter, Uncle Lasse scored his fifth win of the season Saturday night. The son of Donato Hanover has hit the board in nine of 11 starts this year and has banked just shy of $500,000.

Sears noted that Uncle Lasse might be ready to break through and win a big one.

“He’s been knocking on the door all year and hopefully he has a good one next week,” he said.

Uncle Lasse is owned by Solveigs Racing Partners and Goran Falk. Saturday was the ninth career victory for the winner of over $860,000.

Uncle Lasse paid $7.80 to win.

Hambletonian champion Pinkman was an easy winner in the second split to give Takter a sweep of the Canadian Trotting Classic eliminations.

Driver Yannick Gingras, Pinkman trotted out to the front, but gave way at the :27.4 first quarter to stablemate The Bank. Gingras wasted little time retaking the lead in the second quarter and the 4-5 favourite led the field by the half in :56.1.

After a third quarter in :28.3, Pinkman sprinted home comfortably in :27.3 to win by two lengths over The Bank in 1:52.2, setting a new track record for three-year-old trotting geldings. Muscle Diamond finished third, while Centurion Atm, who had a poor start, and Iron grabbed the last two spots in the final.

A son of Explosive Matter, Pinkman’s victory Saturday was his first win since capturing the Hambletonian on August 8.

“He sure was really good tonight,” said Gingras following the race. “[I] kicked the plugs out halfway down the stretch and he got into another gear and was trotting real strong through the wire.”

Pinkman came into the Canadian Trotting Classic eliminations off a pair of subpar efforts in the Yonkers Trot, but Gingras said the gelding just didn’t enjoy the half-mile surface.

“He struggled on the half and was running in hard and pretty bumpy gaited. It was pretty amazing that he stayed at it both weeks,” Gingras said. “He’s a really game horse, but the half-mile track wasn’t what he likes.”

Pinkman is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman. The Takter trainee now has nine wins from 13 starts and earnings of over $1.2 million this season.

Pinkman’s career totals sit at 15 wins and a bankroll of $1.8 million.

He paid $3.70 to win.

Both elimination winners earned their connections the right to select their post for next week’s $700,000 Canadian Trotting Classic final. Here is how the three-year-olds will lineup for the Canadian Trotting Classic final:

1. French Laundry
2. Dont Rush
3. Uncle Lasse
4. Pinkman
5. Iron
6. Muscle Up The Goal
7. Muscle Diamond
8. Crazy Wow
9. Centurion Atm
10. The Bank
AE: Jetpedia

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

(With files from WEG)

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