E.P. Taylor Stakes
Cup & Saucer
Joe Hirsch Turf Classic
Zenyatta Stakes Day
Awesome Again Stakes
Dave Miller celebrates with the trophy after winning the Mohawk Million.
Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park featured the second running of the $1 million Mohawk Million, a 1 mile trot for 2-year-olds around 2 turns of the 7/8 mile oval in Campbellville, Ontario. It was unusually chilly for the first Saturday of fall, with daytime showers giving way to clear skies in the evening and a race time temperature of 10C (50F) Patterned after the Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park, owners can buy starting slots for the race and either use the slot for their own horse or re-sell the slot to another owner.
Venerable leads down the stretch
Driver Paul MacDonell sent 24-1 Duly Resolved to the lead first time by through an opening quarter in 27 1/5 before Dave Miller sent Venerable to the front down the backstretch, opening up a 1 1/2 length lead through a half in 56 3/5 and 3/4 in 1:26 1/5. Turning for home, Venerable continued to lead but Duly Resolved fought back, closing the gap late but Venerable held him off to win by a head in 1:54 2/5. It was another 3 1/2 lengths back to late-running 55-1 Valentina Blu third.
Venerable wins the Mohawk Million.
Pgm Horse Driver Win Place Show 9 Venerable Miller 3.90 3.00 2.90 8 Duly Resolved MacDonell 6.90 4.70 4 Valentina Blu McCarthy 10.30 Winning Time: 1:54 2/5 $2 Exacta 9-8 37.80 $2 Trifecta 9-8-4 375.20 $1 Superfecta 9-8-4-7 1,896.55
Results chart Race 9
Right: Venerable warms up earlier in the evening. Winning trainer Nifty Norman said, ďItís unreal. You donít see that every day, a filly beating the colts like that. She had to do a lot of work and itís a tricky spot, but she survived it. I think Iíll just skip (Lexington) and race her in the Breeders Crown and call it a year. Thatíll be nine or 10 starts, which will be great."
Left: Venerable in the post parade. Winning driver Dave Miller said, "My game plan was to leave and maybe get in the middle somewhere, but it wasn't working out that way. When Dexter (Dunn with Selfie Queen) hadn't made the lead, I kind of pushed her on. It was a big quarter ó :27 ó but she got a pretty soft middle half, and her heart and her guts got her to the wire. I can't really explain how game, how tough she is. Her performance on the track is what shows it."
Right: Venerable returns after the race.
Left: Second place finisher Duly Resolved heads out for the post parade. Trainer John Bax said, ďYou canít race any better than that. Thatís quite a filly and weíre pretty pumped. Paul (MacDonell) gave (Duly Resolved) a great steer and heís as good as he can be. Itís a big check. Do we baby him or do we keep on going? Thatís the question.Ē
Right: Third place finisher Valentina Blu warms up before the race. The Tony Alagna trainee improved her record to 1 win, 4 seconds, and 2 thirds in 8 starts, earning $233,116 for owner Crawford Farms Racing.
Results chart Race 7
Left: Monte Miki in the winner's circle. Winning driver Scott Zeron said, "It did work out [from the trailing tier] but we should never have 12 horses in a final like that with for two-year-olds because there was a lot of banging and clanging going on and a bad breaker in the last turn. I was very fortunate to avoid all that stuff, but it's very hard to have a tactical edge in those races ó you just have to go with the flow."
Right: Monte Miki heads out for the post parade. Zeron added, "I probably moved my horse three times before the half just because there was so much action going on. Yannick (Gingras with Caviart Camden) wasn't able to get into the second tier path there when he was trying to so there was a lot in the middle portions of that race and then obviously when Sylvain (Filion with Bob Loblaw) made his break, it kind of opened the flood gates for me. I knew he'd carry his speed all the way up to to second, but Dexter had a cushion up front and probably just the last eighth of a mile to go I thought I was going to catch him."
Left: Second place finisher Wearinmysixshooter in the post parade. The Mark Evers trainee improved his record to 3 wins and 1 second in 4 starts, earning $222,100 for owner-breeder Velocity Standardbreds.
Right: Third place finisher Fourever Boy in the post parade. He improved his record to 1 win, 0 seconds, and 3 thirds in 8 starts, earning $167,976 for owner-trainer Timothy Twaddle and co-owner Micky Rae Stables.
Ninth place finisher and beaten favorite Caviart Camden first time by. The Tony Alagna trainee has a record of 3 wins, 1 second, and 0 thirds in 7 starts, earning $276,372 for owner-breeder Caviart Farms.
A field of 10 two-year-old pacing fillies contested the $500,500 She's A Great Lady Stakes. Kindergarten Series and Pennsylvania Sires Stakes winner Niki Hill was sent off as the 1-10 favorite over 13-2 Prohibition Legal, winner of the Eternal Camnation, and 19-2 Joyride Hanover, second in her elimination heat after disappointing 5th in the New York Sires Stakes. Joyride Hanover was fastest away through an opening quarter of 26 4/5 before driver Dexter Dunn moved Niki Hill out wide and to the lead through a half in 54 4/5 and 3/4i n 1:22 3/5. Prohibition Legal, 5th early, gained a 3/4 length lead midstretch but Niki Hill dismissed her in the final 1/8 to win going away by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:50 2/5. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to Joyride Hanover third.
Results chart Race 6
Left: Niki Hill warms up before the race. Winning owner Tom Hill Sr. said, "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." Tom Hill Jr. added, "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."
Right: Niki Hill in the post parade. Winning driver Dexter Dunn said, "James (Macdonald) and his filly (Prohibition Legal) really threw down coming to three-quarters and into the stretch. 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. 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."
Kicking off the stakes action, the $240,000 Milton Stakes featured a field of 9 older pacing fillies and mares. Lady Liberty and Roses are Red winner Lyons Sentinel was sent off as the 1-4 favorite over 5-1 second choice Rocknificent, second in the Roses are Red, and 13-1 third choice JK First Lady, 7th in the Roses are Red after finishing 8th in the Lady Liberty. Driver Scott Zeron sent Rocknificent to the lead first time by through fractions of 26 2/5 and 54 4/5 while pressed by 31-1 Gias Surreal and stalked by Lyons Sentinel. On the far turn, driver Tim Tetrick moved Lyons Sentinel out for room and she swept to the front through 3/4 in 1:22 2/5. Lyons Sentinel gradually extended her lead to win by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:49 2/5. It was another 1 1/2 length back to Gias Surreal third.
Results chart Race 3
Left: Lyons Sentinel in the winner's circle. Winning driver Tim Tetrick said, "There are some great mares in there. I raced her differently than I normally do; I like her better in tracking position but I didn't want to be first up from the three eighth pole and have to go against great mare in Rocknificent. So I took my shot and when she's on the lead she starts looking at butterflies and looking up in the air and stuff but she knows she's a champion, she figures it out, she put her head down and got the job done."
Right: Lyons Sentinel in the post parade. Tetrick, who was celebrating his first Milton win in a Hall of Fame career, added, "She's been super from day one; from two to four. Last year, she just ran into Party Girl Hill, and that just shows you how great that mare was as we were second to her all the time. Anything is special when it says 'stakes race' and the Milton's one of the top races in the sport so to win it's a big honour."
The $157,975 Simcoe Stakes featured a field of seven 3-year-old trotters. Hambletonian last place finisher and Goodtimes 6th place finisher Locatelli was sent off as the 7-5 favorite over 5-2 second choice Spy Booth, 9th in the Canadian Trotting Classic, and 3-1 third choice Ritson, second in the Goodtimes. Driver Louis-Philippe Roy sent 13-1 Inaminute Hanover to the lead first time by through fractions of 27 2/5, 56, and 1:24 1/5 while pressed by Spy Booth and stalked by Ritson. Turning for home Inaminute Hanover left the field behind, opening up a 5 length lead midstretch and cruising to win by 3 1/4 lengths over 10-1 Publicity Seeker in 1:52 4/5. It was another 2 lengths back to Ritson third, and another length back to favorite Locatelli fourth.
Results chart Race 4
Left: Inaminute Hanover in the winner's circle. Winning driver Louis-Philippe Roy said, "Bob [McClure, trainer] told me before the race if he's not involved, it's kind of hard to get his attention. So being behind the car, I think on the gate is the best spot to get well positioned -- that was kind of my plan -- and then after I was going to see how the race goes and he just felt so strong, I was happy to let him do his job on the front."
Right: Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Locatelli first time by. The Nancy Takter trainee has a record of 4 wins, 1 second, and 3 thirds in 22 starts, earning $178,886 for owners John Fielding, Steve Heimbecker, and Black Horse Racing.
Closing out the Saturday stakes sextet was the $155,600 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold for 3-year-old males. North America Cup favorite and 4th place finisher Bulldog Hanover was sent off as the 4-5 favorite in the field of 7 over 2-1 second choice Desperate Man, winner of the North America Cup, and 5-2 third choice Powertrain, an Open winner off his disappointing 6th in the Somebeachsomewhere. 36-1 Bettor Sun was quickest away through an opening quarter of 27 1/5 before Powertrain took over on the backstretch through a half in 54 1/5 and 3/4 in 1:22 2/5. Powertrain opened up a 3 length lead midstretch, as favorite Bulldog Hanover, well off the pace early, came out wide and was quickly closing, however he was left with too much ground to recover as Powertrain held him off to win by 3/4 length in 1:49 3/5. It was another 1 3/4 length back to Desperate Man third.
Results chart Race 10
Left: Powertrain in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Nick Gallucci said, "It seems like every race he's getting a little bit more experience, and he seems to like winning. I think that's five of 10 for him, he knows where the wire is; he was looking for it today, but he got there in time so we'll take it. We're just going to enjoy the moment and the race, and hopefully he comes out of it okay and we can look forward to him racing again in the month of October. It's been a long time coming. We just had to get a couple of things ironed out equipment-wise and mentally with the horse, and he's responded really well his last two races to those (equipment) changes. You're always kind of holding your breath there with him, but anyway it seems like we've got all that sorted out with him now."
Right: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Bulldog Hanover first time by. He improved his record to 10 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 16 starts, earning $690,311 for owner-trainer John Darling and co-owner Bradley Grant.
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