While the public’s top betting choices squabbled midpack, driver Scott Young and On A Streak took the front and battled to the finish to hold off 4-5 choice Southwind Tyrion and win the $535,000 William Wellwood Memorial on Saturday (Sept. 12) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Logan Park, off at 90-1, left for the lead with Warrawee Whisper landing in second and On A Streak in third. Past the quarter in :27.2, Young sent On A Streak for the lead and cleared command from Logan Park while Southwind Tyrion carried even-money shot Macho Martini wide into the turn before the two favourites tucked into fourth and fifth. Macho Martini floated wide moving to a :57.2 half trying to flush Southwind Tyrion first over, but while in tight quarters was forced three wide as Locatelli split horses to the far turn.
Macho Martini circled back to the two wide path but raced a three lengths off his stablemate On A Streak, who raced pressed to three-quarters by Southwind Tyrion in 1:25.4. The pair exchanged blows through the stretch, with Southwind Tyrion edging to the lead before On A Streak surged back to the front at the inside. Macho Martini started to rally late and lunged to the pylons in the final sixteenth as On A Streak hit the finish with a nose in front of Southwind Tyrion in a 1:54.3 mile. Tokyo Seelster closed for fourth.
“This is incredible. Even a guy like me doesn’t have a whole lot of words,” said Scott Young after the race as he scored his first win on the Grand Circuit. “The nerves were good, I was actually even surprised with myself. I had complete confidence in my colt. He just missed Yannick’s colt last week, and with an inside post I figured he’d be top three for sure and anything better would be great.
“I took a look over and saw Yannick first up, Bobby [McClure and Macho Martini] following him obviously. I thought could try and get a little distance in the last turn and my colt dug all the way down the lane. I still thought Yannick was gonna get me halfway down the way and I was content with second even. But he kept digging and right at the wire we got her.”
Returning $32.00 to win, On A Streak won his first race from six starts, earning $312,601 for owner Determination. With the victory, the Luc Blais-trained colt by Cantab Hall secured a spot into the final of the Mohawk Million, a race where nine other owners had an opportunity to purchase a spot on the gate. The win gives Serge Godin’s Determination a second spot on the Mohawk Million starting gate, which he can either keep or sell to another stable.
The William Wellwood Memorial was one of the handful of major stakes events on the Saturday card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Recaps from the other races are available at the following links:
To view the results from Saturday's card of harness racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park, click the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.