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'Star Power' Steps In Gold Spotlight

Published: September 18, 2021 11:39 pm ET

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Star Power Hanover staged an upset in the lone $159,600 two-year-old trotting colt Gold Series division at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday night (Sept. 18), giving driver Bob McClure and trainer Luc Blais back-to-back appearances in the winner’s circle on another stakes-rich evening at the Campbellville oval.

Sent the fifth choice from post 6 in the 12-horse contest, Star Power Hanover left smartly and landed in third behind Twin B Archie and Luca Hanover and in front of heavy favourite Duly Resolved. Twin B Archie rang the :27.4 quarter and then yielded to Duly Resolved, who took the field to a :57.3 half. When Luca Hanover tipped out heading by the 1:27.1 three-quarters, McClure moved his charge up behind Twin B Archie. And when that colt stepped out to challenge Duly Resolved, McClure moved Star Power Hanover into an open lane, and the colt sprinted past the leaders to a three-quarter-length victory in 1:55.1.

“He certainly stepped up in a big way,” said McClure of the Wheeling N Dealin son’s first victory. “He’s always shown flashes of potential, but getting him to realise that potential has been a little tough. I think Luc has finally got him in a good spot, and he’s trending in the right direction at the right time, for sure.”

In six previous starts, Star Power Hanover’s best finish had been a third-place result, both in a Sept. 14 overnight and the Aug. 19 Gold Series event at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The colt started his Ontario Sires Stakes career at the Grassroots level, where he finished a hard-closing fourth, then made a break in his July 29 promotion to the Gold Series. A pair of qualifiers followed and the youngster has been error free through the last month, finishing no worse than fifth.

“One start there, he didn’t really want to go to the gate, so then the next time I had him there early and he didn’t like horses coming up behind him,” said McClure of the colt’s first two outings. “He’s quirky, I wouldn’t say hard [to drive] just quirky, certain things bother him that don’t bother others. Every week seems to be a learning curve trying to figure what upset Star Power this week.”

Campbellville, Ont. resident Blais trains Star Power Hanover for Determination of Montreal, Que., who offered $57,000 to acquire the colt out of last fall’s Black Book Yearling Sale. Saturday’s win boosted the trotter from sixteenth to fifth in the division standings with a total of 62 points. The two-year-old trotting colts have one regular season Gold event remaining, on Oct. 3 at Flamboro Downs, before the top 10 point earners return to Woodbine Mohawk Park for the $225,000 Super Final on Oct. 16.

“He’s really perfect gaited and he’s a really nice size, he’s a very good looking horse,” said Rockwood, Ont. resident McClure. “I’d rather have him peaking now than early.”

In addition to Star Power Hanover, McClure and Blais teamed up to capture the $414,000 Elegantimage with US-bred three-year-old trotting filly Donna Soprano, who is also owned by Determination.

Woodbine Mohawk Park hosts a pair of Ontario Sires Stakes events on Monday, Sept. 20, welcoming the two-year-old pacing fillies and three-year-old trotting colts for their last regular season Grassroots Leg. Fans can download a program and watch the live stream on the racetrack’s website. Advance registration for general attendance is no longer required.

(Ontario Sires Stakes)

The Ontario Sires Stakes were part of a stakes-packed program at Woodbine Mohawk Park headlined by the Canadian Trotting Classic. Read all the recaps in the Mohawk Saturday Stakes News Centre.

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