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Niki Hill Remains Undefeated, Wins Shes A Great Lady

Published: September 25, 2021 9:51 pm ET

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Niki Hill ($2.30) rose to the toughest challenge of her short career to win the $500,500 final of the Shes A Great Lady, for rookie pacing fillies, on Saturday's (Sept. 25) blockbuster card at Woodbine Mohawk Park, holding off Prohibition Legal in a stretch-long duel.

The daughter of Always B Miki and Road Bet floated into fourth behind a contested :26.4 first quarter before Dexter Dunn made a measured brush with her up the backstretch to clear Boudoir Hanover (Todd McCarthy) at the end of a :54.4 half mile. There were no breathers for Niki Hill at any point in the mile, though, as James MacDonald activated Prohibition Legal — six-for-six coming into the Shes A Great Lady final — from midfield to advance first-over through the sweeping far turn. After working forward to force a :27.4 third quarter, Prohibition Legal worked to nearly level pegging with Niki Hill in upper stretch — but Niki Hill dug deep to repel her outside rival by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:50.2, equalling the lifetime mark she set in last week's elimination. Joyride Hanover (Tim Tetrick) narrowly finished third, collaring Boudoir Hanover up the pegs.

"James and his filly really threw down coming to three-quarters and into the stretch," Dunn said. "I thought she had more in the tank, and she kicked away at the end of it.... She's got that staying ability and holds her speed a long way into the mile."

Chris Ryder trains Niki Hill, who improved to a perfect five-for-five, for owner Tom Hill.

Dunn was asked to compare this filly to her extremely talented former stablemate Party Girl Hill, who was 15 for 16 in an incredible thee-year-old season last year and was on tap to return this year but had to be retired due to injury.

“She’s on her way to that stage. Obviously Party Girl didn’t race at two, she started her career at three. She has that staying ability like Party Girl and can hold her speed for a long way in the mile.”

As for his success so far this season, the driver commented: “It’s the horses I get to drive and the people I get to drive for. I’ve been lucky, I’ve driven some unbelievable horses, they do all the hard work.”

The filly’ owner, Tom Hill Sr., explained the victory was more special given what happened with Party Girl Hill:

“After losing the ability to race Party Girl this year God sent me two champions, he sent me this one and he sent me Grace (Hill), who are two super fillies and fill the void for Party Girl.”

“We always like coming to Mohawk, it’s a great track, great venue. With what’s happened around the world with the pandemic I never thought we’d be here again like we are. it’s unbelievable,” added Tom Hill Jr.

The Shes A Great Lady is named in honour of the talented Ontario-sired pacing mare who was an O’Brien Award winner and world record setter in 1996 and established more than one world record.

The Shes A Great Lady Stakes is part of Canada's richest card of harness racing, headlined by the 2021 Mohawk Million. Read about all the stakes from the card in the Mohawk Million News Centre.

(with files from WEG)

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