Stakes action continued at The Loop on Saturday, Sept. 2, with trainer Trevor Williams and driver Blake Piwniuk getting very acquainted with the track photographer yet again.
In the $7,641 MSSBA Silk Lace Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies, 1-9 favourite Maching Millions sat off the speed early as AK Black Badger (Marc Fillion) and AK Nite Lady (Kevin Hildebrandt) took turns on the lead through fractions of :29.4, 1:01.1 and 1:31.3. Blake Piwniuk had Maching Millions advancing first up from third down the backside for the second time, and with a :30.2 final quarter the filly pulled away for her third straight win. She stopped the clock in 2:02.3, with Ak Nite Lady five lengths back in second and Littlebittybaylor (Clayton Braybrook) best of the rest in third.
Adam Mace of Altona, Man. and Timothy Gordon of Spruce Grove, Alta. hold the papers on Maching Millions (Andreoli Hanover - Dixiedollydaisy), now a six-time winner as a sophomore with a 7-2-4 lifetime record and $34,636 earned from 22 starts. She paid $2.10 to win.
Irish Luke provided a stakes sweep for Williams and Piwniuk, getting up late to win the $7,608 MSSBA Golden Boy Stakes for three-year-old male pacers.
Irish Luke and Baylor Bobby were sent off as the even money co-favourites, content to sit third and fourth as Supa Fast (Dean Rey) hammered out fractions of :30.1, 1:00.3 and 1:31.3. As the field approached the third quarter, Braxtons Boy (Michel Rey) vacated the pocket and that provided cover to Irish Luke. Baylor Bobby (Braybrook) followed that move three wide around the far turn, angling into the four path turning for home. The widest horses of all had the most late kick, with Irish Luke holding off Baylor Bobby by three parts of a length. Supa Fast rounded out the top trio.
Mace and Mike Williams co-own Irish Luke (Youshouldseemenow - Deziree Belle), now a four-time winner this season in five outings. His share of the purse boosted his earnings to $15,467 lifetime. Irish Luke returned $4.20 on a $2 win ticket.
Between the Silk Lace and Golden Boy, Williams and Piwniuk connected with five-year-old Tuff As Buff (2:00.4, $6.30) for his sixth straight win. This win was the middle of a run of five straight scores on the card for The Loop's leading driver and trainer. The first win on the card came in the third race with Sporty Jewels (2:03.4; $7.00) and the fifth win came in the seventh race courtesy Handcuffed (2:01.2; $3.80).
Pure Addition ($2.60) ended their streak of wins in the eighth race, going wire-to-wire to win the $4,950 Open Pace in 2:01. Tyler Grundy engineered the winning voyage for trainer Jacqueline Grundy and owner Aurel Vodon of Virden, Man.
In full disclosure, Williams and Piwniuk didn't have a starter in the Open, so semantically there's a case to be made that Treasure Horizon broke the streak of straight wins in the ninth race finale by besting Gray Zee.
To view the results from the Saturday card of harness racing in Winnipeg, click the following link: Saturday Results - The Loop.