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Waples Celebrates Memorable Night

Published: September 5, 2015 9:47 pm ET

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Driver Randy Waples enjoyed a memorable stakes night at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday steering all three winners of the featured Metro Pace, Canadian Pacing Derby and Shes A Great Lady Stakes.

Waples's stellar night included victories aboard Control The Moment in the $685,000 Metro Pace, State Treasurer in the $685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby and L A Delight in the $455,000 Shes A Great Lady Stakes.

"These are the days or nights you dreamed about when you were a kid jogging horses on the farm," said the Milton, Ont reinsman. "You're out there having to jog one five miles or something and then your mind starts to wander and all of a sudden you're in the Little Brown Jug or the Hambletonian or you win a huge bunch of races in one night. I just can't believe the way that it set up. They all raced fantastic last week, I was fortunate enough to pick up [the drive on] State Treasurer, and then they all came out the next week and raced just as good. It's a very lucky night for me."

Undefeated two-year-old pacing colt Control The Moment earned his seventh career win with a sub-1:50 effort in the Metro.

Waples drove the son of Well Said to a career-best 1:49.4 victory for trainer Brad Maxwell of Guelph, Ont. and his co-owners Ben Mudry of Toronto and Pennsylvania's Howard Taylor and Edwin Gold. The 1-2 favourite paid $3.10 to win.

Voracity fired off the gate from post three to take the early lead over insider The Catamount Kid, with Ideal Rocky leaving from post eight and settling into third. Voracity sprinted through a :26 opening quarter before Betting Line swept up from fourth with Control The Moment hot on his heels from mid-pack and rolling three-wide before that colt could clear. Control The Moment quickly took control of the field from there, hitting the half in :54.2. He then raced past three-quarters in 1:22.4 with Ideal Rocky first over and Racing Hill following his cover. Entering the homestretch, Control The Moment began to open up on top and he was strong to the wire, finishing two lengths clear of second choice Betting Line, with Voracity rounding out the top three finishers -- all elimination winners.

Control The Moment, while a career winner of over $440,000 now in seven starts, showed his ability early on.

"It's been absolutely incredible," said Taylor of the colt, who was a $47,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase. "When he started racing and he won the qualifier, Brad called me up and said, 'watch that qualifier, you can get it online, that was some kind of qualifier.' And it was a qualifier; he was the only two-year-old in the race. And then when he won after his second start, he said, 'this is a special colt, I'm telling you.' The best horse he ever trained, he said."

"Some of them will just show you special things very early," noted Waples. "Like Thinking Out Loud did it, this colt was the same way and the filly [L A Delight] that Bob [McIntosh] has in tonight. They're very smart horses and smart horses make drivers look smart."

Waples headed right back to the winner's circle after steering 8-5 favourite State Treasurer to victory in the following Canadian Pacing Derby, presented by HPI Bet.

Nirvana Seelster was the quickest off the gate from post six, speeding through a scorching :25.2 opening panel before elimination winner Jk Endofanera looped the leader with Foiled Again parked three-wide from the nine-hole. Jk Endofanera turned back the challenge from Foiled Again through a :53.1 half, but Waples sent the other elim winner State Treasurer three-wide around harness racing's richest pacer and brushed to command. From there, the six-year-old son of Real Desire sprinted past three-quarters in a track record tying 1:19.3 and drew off down the stretch to score the stunning 1:47.4 victory. He paid $5.40 to win. Shamballa closed late for second-place honours while 89-1 longshot Limelight Beach finished third over JK Endofanera.

Dr. Ian Moore trains the star pacer, a former $6,500 yearling who has gone on to earn $1.84 million for owners Sally MacDonald of Souris, P.E.I. and Paul MacDonald of Toronto, Ont.

State Treasurer now boasts eight wins in 14 starts this year, including his third Molson Pace victory, Mohawk's Gold Cup Invitational and now consecutive stakes wins in the U.S. Pacing Championship, Roll With Joe and Canadian Pacing Derby.

"I'd like to take some form of credit, but I'd be lying," said the always-humble Waples after the victory. "The credit goes to the horse, he's been a fantastic animal for a long time and then you got to go the guy that's kept the horse -- bought him, trained him down, did everything that he did with him and manages to keep him great every week -- and that's Dr. Moore."

"You certainly have to give a lot of credit to Randy," countered Moore, noting that he gave very little directions to Waples, who hadn't driven the horse since 2013. "I said, 'use your discretion.' He's been appreciating an aggressive drive lately and the horse is fantastic, that's for sure.

"He's aged and matured and I'm training him differently this year. In fact, I'm not training him much at all, just jogging him in between races and turning him out everyday, so he's excelled on that."

Both Waples and Moore said they are hoping to see their friend and State Treasurer's regular hometown driver Chris Christoforou back in action soon as he recovers from injuries sustained in a July racing accident.

Waples was back at it in the Shes A Great Lady Stakes to work out another winning trip aboard two-year-old pacing filly L A Delight, who extended her streak to eight with a career-best 1:51.2 triumph.

Elimination winner Thatsoveryverynice left from post three and crossed over to command ahead of insiders Three Dreams and Albany Girl through a :27.3 first quarter. Meanwhile, Darlinonthebeach was advancing on the outside after a post six start and she eventually worked past the early leader, but had 3-5 favourite L A Delight, the other elim winner, on her back. L A Delight brushed by at the half in :54.3 and cruised past three-quarters in 1:23 without facing any challengers before drawing off by two and three-quarter lengths in the stretch. Darlinonthebeach chased her home in second-place and Thatsoveryverynice finished third. L A Delight paid $3.30 to win.

The Bettors Delight-West Of L A filly is owned and bred by the Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. of Windsor, Ont., Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ont. and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio. She is now eight-for-nine in her career with earnings soaring over $406,000.

Training down, McIntosh said he underestimated L A Delight, but once she hit the racetrack, he knew he had a special filly on his hands.

"I knew she had the pedigree to be a good filly, but when she came in she was just an ordinary-looking filly and training down she was one of those ones that was very workman-like about her job, but did nothing to stand out," said McIntosh. "I thought I had a couple of fillies better than her, but they're back in the barn. When it came time to race, she just kicked it in and she was a total professional."

The Waples-driven Rodeo Rock, conditioned by Don Swick, and Tony Alagna trainee Highlandbeachycove each took turns in the winner's circle after a dead-heat finish in the $50,000 Metro Consolation. Shuffled to the back of the pack heading for home, Rodeo Rock and Waples rallied on the far outside while Highlandbeachycove and Scott Zeron came through between horses down the stretch. They hit the wire together in 1:53 outside of 4-5 favourite Sossys King Kong and Stonebridge Beach. Both colts earned their first career wins. Rodeo Rock is campaigned by Royal Wire Products Inc. while Highlandbeachycove is owned by Alagna Racing, Eagles Soar Partners, Joe Sbrocco and Alan Alber.

Waples won a total of five races on the card, also teaming up with Dr. Moore for a victory with their former 2013 Metro hopeful. Arthur Blue Chip, a Metro elimination winner two years ago but scratched sick from that final, earned his first victory since his O'Brien Award winning two-year-old campaign during Saturday's undercard. The hard-luck pacer, who was sidelined due to a stall injury and a variety of other issues, won the second start as a four-year-old in a new lifetime mark of 1:50.2 (with a :26.4 final quarter), prevailing by half a length over Bettorever and Forever Just. The son of Shadow Play is owned by Shadow One Stable of Guelph, Ont.

Saturday's Grand Circuit card also included the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old male trotters and filly pacers.

Driver John Campbell swept the $113,953 and $115,454 divisions for sophomore male trotters with favourites Canepa Hanover and Muscle Diamond.

In the first divisions, Hemi Seelster took the lead off the gate from post four and led the field through first half fractions of :28 and :57.4 while Canepa Hanover, who got away third from the outside post seven in rein to Campbell, launched his attack approaching the midway mark. Hemi Seelster trotted on through three-quarters in 1:25.1 with Canepa Hanover outside and Dont Rush on the move behind him. However, Canepa Hanover gained the upper hand in deep stretch and defeated the Goodtimes champion by two lengths in 1:53.3. Iron finished third off a pocket trip, with Dont Rush fourth.

The early season New Jersey Sires Stakes Championship winner, who broke stride as the favourite the last time he raced at Mohawk in the Goodtimes, earned his third win from 11 starts this year. The Jimmy Takter trainee also boasts top three finishes in the Stanley Dancer Memorial and Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial behind his Hambletonian-winning stablemate Pinkman.

"This is a tremendously talented colt," said Marvin Katz, who co-owns the Muscle Hill son with his Toronto-based partners Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband, along with breeder Brittany Farms, Brixton Medical Inc. and Takter's wife Christina. "He's had his challenges getting to racing and to be able to show his talent. Jimmy Takter is as good as anyone in the world as we know and he'll get him there. This horse is a serious horse."

In the second split, insider Muscle Up The Goal had his rivals stacked three-wide into the first turn as he came through for the lead by the quarter :27.1. Whom Shall I Fear settled into the two-hole while Rubber Duck remained parked out down the backside before dropping in third ahead of Muscle Diamond. As Muscle Up The Goal led the field past the half in :56.4, Campbell sent Muscle Diamond first up and charged up alongside, edging ahead at the 1:26 three-quarters mark. Muscle Diamond opened up three lengths down the stretch and then held off the late charge of Lookslikeachpndale, who came within a head of the winner at the wire in 1:54.2. Luck O The Irish followed over two lengths behind after tracking Muscle Diamond's cover.

Brett Bittle trains and co-owns the Muscle Hill colt, the 2014 Breeders Crown runner-up who has three wins in just five starts this year. Charles E. Keller III, Charles E. Iv Keller and Daniel Bittle also share ownership.

"We're just getting him tight now and I think that showed mid-stretch," said Campbell. "I thought he'd be a little stronger, but I think he just needs racing. I think he's going to come on in the latter part of the summer and fall and compete in these bigger stakes."

Wrangler Magic, the Fan Hanover Stakes champion, scored another Grand Circuit victory Saturday in the $223,193 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies.

Driven by Sylvain Filion, Wrangler Magic flashed early speed to get situated in the two-hole as Invest In Art cut out fractions of :26 and :54. Solar Sister challenged first up, but Invest In Art took no prisoners pacing by the three-quarter pole in 1:21.3. In the stretch, several fillies made a bid for the lead, but Wrangler Magic and Filion found room to split horses and prevail in 1:50.3 by a neck over a closing Delightful Hill. Glamour Seelster finished third, while Invest In Art held on for fourth.

"She's a great filly and she keeps surprising me every week," said Filion. "She's very nice to drive."

Trained by Stephane Larocque, the Mach Three-Ja El Shamrock filly now has three wins from 11 starts this season for sophomore earnings over a half-million dollars.

"This is phenomenal," said breeder and co-owner Dr. Maurice Stewart. "Bred and raised the filly out of a mare we still have out in Alberta, arranged the sale of her, and the partners we have in regards to Tom Kyron, Brian Paquet, Yves Filion, it's phenomenal. We've had a great time racing her. It's exciting."

Wrangler Magic paid $10.30 to win as the 4-1 third choice in the wagering.

Dropping out of stakes competition for the first time since mid-June, William R. Haughton Memorial champion Mach It So pulled off a mild 7-1 upset in the evening's $34,000 Preferred Pace as he circled his foes to score a 1:49.2 triumph by half a length over Ultimate Beachboy and Ellis Park. James MacDonald catch-drove the millionaire Mach Three gelding, who is trained by Jeff Bamond Jr. for Bamond Racing.

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Mohawk Racetrack.

(With files from WEG)

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