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Driver David Miller celebrates with the trophy after winning the Mohawk Million.
Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park featured the fourth 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. Conditions were typical for the first Saturday of fall, with clear skies and a race time temperature of 13C (55F) 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.
T C I rallies on the outside in the stretch
At the start, favorite T C I broke stride from post 8 and was immediately moved to the far outside and to the back of the field by driver David Miller as 171-1 longest shot Tactical Strike took over the lead first time, setting fractions of 27 2/5. 57 1/5, and 1:26 1/5 while as many as 5 lengths clear of 164-1 Top Mast and 11-1 fourth choice Security Protected. Turning for home the pacesetters tired as Tennessee Tom, 8th early with Chris Page in the bike, moved up to lead at the 3/16 pole. However, T C I, despite the early break and dropping back as many as 15 lengths off the pace, came out for room and rallied to win going away by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:54 3/5. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to late-running 18-1 Allegiant third. There was lengthy inquiry into the breaks in stride (four different horses broke!) but the judges allowed the result to stand.
T C I wins the Mohawk Million.
Pgm Horse Driver Win Place Show 8 T C I Miller 3.80 2.80 2.60 6 Tennessee Tom Page 6.70 4.80 3 Allegiant Zeron 5.00 Winning Time: 1:54 3/5 $2 Exacta 8-6 18.50 $2 Trifecta 8-6-3 141.70 $1 Superfecta 8-6-3-2 1,197.85
Results chart Race 9
Right: T C I in his winner's blanket.
Left: T C I in the post parade. Winning driver David Miller said, "We added a mini bit to him and scoring down he was fussing with it hanging out of line and I just think that made him mad and he did that. At the quarter, I was like, 'Ah, we've got the Breeders Crown still and then I got him out in the flow, but he was running in so much around the last turn he wasn't making up any ground. As soon as he got into the straightaway, I said, 'Oh, he's going to win.'"
Right: T C I warms up earlier in the evening.
Left: T C I breaking stride shortly after the start. Mickey Burke, assistant trainer for his brother Ron said, "My heart stopped. You just don't expect it, and when it happened, you're like, 'Oh no.' And it's all you can do, watch the race and see what happens. He just put on a phenomenal effort. Fortunately, the race set up for someone coming from behind. With his talent, he was able to do it. I give the colt a lot of credit."
Right: T C I circles during the inquiry.
Left: Second place finisher Tennessee Tom warms up before the race. The Ron Burke trainee improved his record to 5 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 9 starts, earning $539,850 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Hatfield Stables, and Knox Services Inc.
Right: Third place finisher Allegiant warms up earlier in the evening. The Vernon Beachy trainee improved his record to 5 wins, 1 second, and 1 third in 10 starts, earning $335,400 for owner Ryan Smith.
Driver Sylvain Filion sent Clever Cody to the lead first time by through an opening quarter of 27 1/5 before Captains Quarters took over down the backstretch through a half in 55 1/5 and 3/4 in 1:22 1/5. Captains Quarters and driver Jody Jamieson opened a 1 1/2 length lead midstretch and held off late-closing favorite Legendary Hanover to win by 1/2 a length in 1:49 3/5. It was another 3/4 length back to Clever Cody third.
Results chart Race 7
Left: Captains Quarters in the winner's circle. Winning driver Jody Jamieson said, "Herb wanted me to teach the horse to race long before he ever got a chance to stretch his legs," said Jody Jamieson, who won the Metro Pace for a second straight year after a pocket-popping score in 2022 with Stockade Seelster. "And last week [in his elimination], everyone saw him last week – he was in an impossible spot, wasn't a great drive, and got to shake loose in :25.2… horses just don't do that every day. He goes when you ask him; he's an amazing horse."
Right: Captains Quarters heads back to the barn. Winning trainer Herb Holland, celebrating his first Metro Pace win said, "It's pretty awesome [to be here]. I'll probably sleep better tonight than if he didn't hit the board."
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Legendary Hanover in the post parade. The Anthony Beaton trainee improved his record to 6 wins and 1 second in 7 starts, earning $416,100 for owners Eric Good, West Wins Stable, and Mark Dumain.
Right: Third place finisher Clever Cody warms up earlier in the evening. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 1 second, and 2 thirds in 10 starts, earning $427,450 for owner Clever Cody Stable.
The $660,000 Canadian Trotting Classic featured an field of ten 3-year-old trotters. New Jersey Classic third place finisher Up Your Deo was sent off as the 6-5 favorite off his elimination win. In to challenge him include 5-2 second choice Celebrity Bambino,fourth in the New Jersey Classic before winning his elimination heat, and 3-1 third choice Winners Bet, second behind Celebrity Bambino in their elimination heat after disappointing 6th in the Hambletonian and 5th in the Simcoe.
Driver Andy Miller sent 101-1 longest shot Little Expensive to the lead first time by through fractions of 26 3/5, 56 1/5, and 1:24 while pressed by favorite Up Your Deo and stalked by 36-1 Hasty Bid. Turning for home Little Expensive tired allowing Up Your Deo to gain the lead, but Celebrity Bambino, 4th early with Yannick Gingras, rallied on the outside and held off fellow closer Winners Bet to prevail by a neck in 1:51 4/5, It was a length back to Hasty Bid third, and another 1 1/2 to tiring favorite Up Your Deo fourth.
Results chart Race 9
Left: Celebrity Bambino in the winner's circle. Winning driver Yannick Gingras said, "At the start of the race, it wasn't going right again. He felt so good warming up in the post parade – he was right on the bit the way that I wanted him. The gate opened up, but his footing wasn't right; he wasn't trotting good."
Right: Celebrity Bambino returns after the race. Gingras added,"Looked like I was going to get away in a bad spot there, but the race change when Louis [Roy with Tuscan Prince] made a break and the other horses grabbed up. I got him through the first turn, and after that it went right. I knew Ake [Svanstedt with Up Your Deo] would pull the two hole and [my colt] did the rest."
Left: Second place finisher Winners Bet first time by. The Domenico Cecere trainee improved his record to 5 wins, 5 seconds, and 1 third in 17 starts, earning $720,290 for owners Lindy Farms and Robert Rudolph.
Right: Third place finisher Hasty Bid warms up earlier in the post parade. He improved his record to 3 wins, 8 seconds, and 2 thirds in 18 starts, earning $438,781 for owner-trainer Paige Austin.
Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Up Your Deo heads out for the post parade. He has a record of 5 wins, 3 seconds, and 4 thirds in 19 starts, earning $623,037 for owner-trainer Ake Svanstedt.
A field of 9 two-year-old pacing fillies contested the $540,000 She's A Great Lady Stakes. Champlain Stakes winner Its A Love Thing was sent off as the 7-5 favorite over 3-2 second choice Caviart Belle, winner of the Eternal Camnation, and 3-1 third choice My Girl EJ, second in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes. My Girl EJ was quickest away through an opening quarter of 26 4/5 before Caviart Belle took over through a half in 55 1/5 and 3/4 in 1:23 1/5. Turning for home Caviart Belle held the led but favorite Its a Love Thing, 4th early with James MacDonald, came out for room and rallied to win by a length over 13-1 Odds On Platinum in 1:50 3/5. It was another 1/2 length back to My Girl EJ third.
Results chart Race 5
Left: Its A Love Thing in the winners circle. Winning driver James MacDonald said, "She raced huge [in the Eternal Camnation] – you just can't give away those kinds of lengths to great horses. She's just a great filly and she proved again tonight [that] if I put her in an okay spot she can do some damage."
Right: Its A Love Thing heads back to the barn. Winning trainer Dave Menary said, "I've had a lot of nice fillies, but I've never been standing here. When you race in Ontario, especially with Ontario-breds, you dream of being in the She's A Great Lady or the Metro and getting the job done. I'm happy to be standing here."
Kicking off the Saturday night stakes quintet, the $381,000 Elegantimage Stakes featured a overflow field of 3-year-old trotting fillies. Hambletonian Oaks runner-up and Delmonica Stakes winner Bond was sent off as the 4-5 favorite over 8-5 second choice Rose Run Yolanda, winner of the Ohio Sires Stakes, and 9-1 third choice Righteous Resolve, third in the Hambletonian Oaks before finishing second in the Simcoe Stakes. Righteous Resolve led first time by through an opening quarter of 26 4/5 before Rose Run Yolanda took over through a half in 55 3/5 and 3/4 in 1:24 while pressed by Righteous Resolve and stalked by favorite Bond. Into the lane, driver-trainer Ake Svanstedt moved Bond out for room and she took over the lead at the 3/16. Righteous Resolve tried to rally late but Bond held her off to win by a head in 1:51 3/5. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to 12-1 Tactical Mounds third.
Results chart Race 7
Left: Bond in the winner's circle. Winning driver-trainer and majority owner Ake Svanstedt said, "I didn't think (Righteous Resolve) was going to come on the inside, but it was her coming and it's a good horse, but she fought, and she wanted to win."
Right: Bond gets a pat before heading back to the barn. Svanstedt added, "I think it had been too many races in the front, but she can race anywhere now. She feels good, and she can leave fast. She's nice to drive, nice to handle."
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