Dunn sweeps Champlain divisions
MILTON, August 29, 2019 – Rookie trotting fillies stepped into the Grand Circuit spotlight for the $195,597 Champlain Stakes on Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
A group of 18 two-year-old trotting fillies were split into a pair of divisions.
Father Patrick filly Panem broke her maiden with a 1:55.4 score in the first split. The Nancy Johansson trainee and driver Dexter Dunn circled to the top from second going to the half and posted fractions of :57.4 and 1:26.3 before trotting home in :29.1 to secure the victory by a length and a half.
She Rocks Kemp finished second, while Heat Wave Hanover was third.
Panem had been winless in five starts entering the Champlain, but did have a pair of runner-up finishes along with a third-place effort.
“She’s not the easiest to drive, but if you talk to her nicely and just let do her thing, she can punch out a good mile,” said Dunn about Panem. “She was getting a little bit lost on the front…so I just gave her a chirp and got her going. She’s still learning, but the ability is there and she’s got a nice future.”
Panem is a homebred for Diamond Creek Racing and has now earned $62,206. She paid $9.90 to win.
Spoiled Princess spoiled the undefeated record of Whose Blues with a 1:55.2 victory in the second division. Dunn steered the daughter of Trixton to the victory to give the New Zealand native a sweep of Thursday’s stakes.
Race-favourite Whose Blues moved to the lead in the second-quarter from second, but got company quickly in the form of She Must Be Magic, who took the lead at the half in :56.4. Whose Blues angled out nearing three-quarters, which was reached in 1:25.4.
Spoiled Princess and Dunn sat patiently in fourth during the opening-half, before getting underway and sitting three-lengths from the top at three-quarters.
In the stretch, Spoiled Princess tracked down Whose Blues and overtook the undefeated filly to win by a length and half. Sheer Energy finished third.
Spoiled Princess improved her record to three wins in six starts with the Champlain score. She has now earned $89,649 for owner/breeders Robert McNerney and Hauser Bros Rcing Ent LLC.
“To have a homebred and win this is fantastic,” said McNerney. “We went easy with this horse from the beginning and didn’t want to race a lot, we want to take our time and it’s paid off.”
Spoiled Princess paid $10.30 to win.
Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings headlines the 11-race card. Post time is 7:10 p.m.