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Simcoe & Champlain Stakes Continue

Published: September 8, 2012 11:46 pm ET

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Sent off at odds of 9-1, Panther Hanover, driven by Sylvain Filion, converted off a perfect pocket trip to score the victory in the lone $252,521 Simcoe Stakes division for sophomore pacing colts on Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack.

Michaels Power (Scott Zeron), the 6-5 favourite, gunned his way to the front to lead his 11 rivals through panels of :25.4, :53.2 and 1:21.4. A Rocknroll Dance (Yannick Gingras) worked his way to the lead as they entered the stretch, but Filion angled Panther Hanover out of the pocket and overtook that foe to score in 1:49.1. A Rocknroll Dance stayed for second, two and a half lengths behind, while Michaels Power settled for third.

“I wanted to get into position early and when I saw Scotty [Scott Zeron] leave too, I was happy because I could get covered up by the favourite, but turning for home I was looking for room because my horse really wanted out,” Filion said. “He responded well. He’s such a nice horse.”

Trained by James ‘Friday’ Dean for Hamilton, Ont. owner Jim Carr, Panther Hanover increased his bankroll to $332,450. The son of Rocknroll Hanover has crafted a 6-1-0 record from eight starts this season. He paid $20.20 to win.

Also on the program, a pair of Champlain Stakes were contested featuring rookie colts and fillies.

In the $226,763 filly division, L Dees Lioness and Scott Zeron scored a narrow victory in 1:51.4.

Zeron guided the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere to command to lead her 10 rivals through moderate panels of :28.1, :56.4 and 1:24 before using a final :27.4 quarter to seal the victory. I Luv The Nitelife (Jack Moiseyev), who defeated L Dees Lioness in the Shes A Great Lady final in her most recent outing, finished second, beaten by a head. Nikki Beach (Tim Tetrick) finished third.

“I was slightly disappointed I lost the last race [Shes A Great Lady], it was a great stretch duel and she [I Luv The Nitelife] just out-raced me that night,” Zeron said. “Tonight she stepped up and I’m happy she won.”

Trained by Casie Coleman for New York owners Lawrence Dumain and Carlo Lattinelli, L Dees Lioness increased her freshman earnings to $382,655. She paid $6.20 to win.

In the $261,829 division for colts and geldings, Captive Audience, driven by Andy Miller, posted the 44-1 upset in 1:50.2.

The son of Art Major led his 10 rivals past the opening station in :27.2. As the youngsters marched down the backstretch, Rockin Amadeus (Yannick Gingras) angled out from third and took over command to lead past the half in :55.2 and three-quarters in 1:22.2. Turning for home, post time favourite Odds On Equuleus (John Campbell) angled three-wide off second over cover, but Miller was able show his charge clear racetrack. Captive Audience wore down the tempo-setter to score the narrow win over Rockin Amadeus with Odds On Equuleus third.

“He’s a nice horse with a lot of speed to him,” Miller said after the race. “He was great in the hole and was waiting for me to pull him. Once we made it to the front, he got sort of lost because he’s green, but overall he raced very well.”

Corey Johnson trains the first-time winner for his father, Colin, and Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ont. The bay increased his rookie earnings to $163,789. He paid $90 to win.

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

(With files from WEG)

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