The third edition of the Mohawk Million will headline a $3.6 million card of harness racing this Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Started in 2020, the Mohawk Million is an event for two-year-old trotters that follows a ‘buy-in’ format. A total of nine slots were available for purchase at the cost of $100,000 (CAD) each for entry in the $1 million (CAD) Mohawk Million. The 10th and final slot was awarded to the winner of the William Wellwood Memorial on Aug. 27.
The owners of the slots were not required to declare a two-year-old trotter for the race until Monday at noon. Each slot is considered an entity that could be sold, traded or leased.
Just like in past years, several of the slot owners worked out private deals with their spot in the race. Owner Brad Grant has had the winning slot in both editions of the ‘Million,’ securing a horse that he did not own in each victory.
Here is a breakdown of this year’s slot owners and field:
1. Oh Well (Slot Owner: Hunterton Farms & Partners)
Owner: S R F Stable
Trainer: Marcus Melander
Driver: Tim Tetrick
Hunterton Farms’ Steve Stewart has bred both winners of the Mohawk Million (Venerate and Venerable) and now is in the position of slot owner. Hunterton & Partners secured Marcus Melander trainee Oh Well for the $1 million race. The son of Muscle Hill has been the top rookie trotter in New Jersey Sires Stakes competition, winning the Sires Stakes final in July and the New Jersey Classic on Sept. 16.
2. Proud To Be Lindy (Slot Owner: Brad Grant)
Owner: Bax Stable, Glengate Farms
Trainer: John Bax
Driver: Chris Christoforou
Brad Grant is two-for-two when it comes to his slot in the Mohawk Million. The Milton, Ont. resident worked out deals to secure Venerate in 2020 and Venerable in 2021. Now Proud To Be Lindy from the John Bax barn will look to keep Grant’s streak alive. The daughter of Muscle Hill is winless in six starts, but does have three runner-up finishes. Proud To Be Lindy is one of three fillies in this year’s race.
3. Oh Look Magic (Slot Owner: Glengate Farms – Jim Bullock)
Owner: Bax Stable, Glengate Farms, The Cavalier Stable
Trainer: John Bax
Driver: Matt Bax
Jim Bullock’s Glengate Farms is competing in its second ‘Million’ and this time will be represented by one of its own in Oh Look Magic. The gelded son of Lookslikeachpndale is four-for-seven in his rookie season with notable victories in a division of the Champlain and an elimination of the Wellwood Memorial. The father-son team of John and Matt Bax will be looking for their million-dollar moment.
4. Yo Beth D (Slot Owner: Doug Overhiser)
Owner: Black Magic Racing LLC
Trainer: Todd Luther
Driver: Trevor Smith
Greg Luther’s Black Magic Racing has been making a splash in recent years and is now set to compete in the Mohawk Million after acquiring a slot from Doug Overhiser. Purchased by Black Magic Racing from Verlin Yoder in early-August, Yo Beth D moved to the barn of Todd Luther and continued her winning ways. The Indiana Sires Stakes star is five-for-seven on the season. Driver Trevor Smith will make his Woodbine Mohawk Park debut with the daughter of Helpisontheway in Saturday’s rich contest.
5. Hasty Bid (Slot Owner: Steve Heimbecker)
Owner: 1000063663 Ontario Inc., Paige Austin
Trainer: Paige Austin
Driver: James MacDonald
Steve Heimbecker has been a strong supporter of the Mohawk Million. The prominent owner was part of the group that held the slot used by winner Venerate in 2020. This time around, Heimbecker has worked a deal with Paige Austin and James MacDonald for their two-year-old trotter Hasty Bid. A gelded son of My MVP, Hasty Bid has two wins in six starts, including a victory in the Wellwood Memorial Consolation. Austin is in her rookie season and is one of three female trainers in the race.
6. Winners Bet (Slot: Wellwood Winner)
Owner: Lindy Farms of Conn, Robert Rudolph
Trainer: Domenico Cecere
Driver: Dexter Dunn
Winners Bet punched his ticket to the Mohawk Million with a strong victory in the Wellwood Memorial on Aug. 27. The Domenico Cecere trainee has won three of six starts and never finished outside the top three. Winners Bet is looking to become the first Wellwood winner to capture the ‘Million.’ On A Streak finished third in 2020 while King Of The North was fifth in 2021.
7. Silly Me Hanover (Slot Owner: Determination)
Trainer: Luc Blais
Driver: Bob McClure
Serge Godin’s Determination has supported the Mohawk Million from day one and will be sending out its fifth ‘Million’ starter on Saturday. Silly Me Hanover will look to get Determination its first victory in the rich race. The daughter of Walner is two-for-five to begin her career, with both victories coming in legs of the Pure Ivory Series.
8. DWs Point Man (Slot Owner: Crawford Farms)
Owner: Ecurie CSL, 9174 7998 Quebec Inc.
Trainer: Richard Moreau
Driver: Louis-Philippe Roy
Crawford Farms has worked out a deal for their support to be used by DWs Point Man. A relative unknown in Ontario until recently, DWs Point Man made five starts in Saratoga, New York to begin his career before Sylvain Descheneaux’s Ecurie CSL and Sophie Bourgeois’ 9174 7998 Quebec Inc. purchased the gelded son of My MVP. Since joining the barn of Richard Moreau, DWs Point Man is two-for-two with both wins coming in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold events.
9. What An Angel (Slot Owner: Gino Toscani)
Owner: Gino Toscani
Trainer: Desiree Jones
Driver: Mark MacDonald
Gino Toscani returns to the Mohawk Million with one of his own. Toscani had two slots in last year’s ‘Million,’ racing one of his own while working out a deal with different connections to use the other. The Archangel colt What An Angel has made 10 starts this season, posting a win and four other top three finishes for Jones.
10. Crantini (Slot Owner: TheStable.ca)
Owner: TheStable Crantini Group
Trainer: Megan Scran
Driver: Yannick Gingras
The rapid rise of the TheStable.ca has been well documented. Founded by Anthony and Amy MacDonald, the fractional ownership operation now has more than 900 partners from more than a dozen countries around the world. The International Moni colt Crantini has had a successful campaign to date, posting three wins and two seconds from seven starts. The chestnut colt joined the barn of Megan Scran in early-summer and enjoyed a successful Pennsylvania Sires Stakes season.
Saturday’s Mohawk Million card also includes the $900,000 Metro Pace, $615,000 Canadian Trotting Classic, $525,000 Shes A Great Lady and $350,000 Elegantimage. Post time is 7 p.m.
(With files from Woodbine)