MILTON, August 27, 2022 – Righteous Resolve gave driver Paul MacDonell and trainer John Bax their third Peaceful Way trophy in Saturday’s $362,000 final for rookie trotting fillies at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Sent off as a favourite, Righteous Resolve was content to sit in fourth early while her stablemate Quite Fast and Shesundertheradar battled for early control with the latter prevailing and heading the field past the opener in :27.3.
Warrawee Yes took control before the :57 half but MacDonell brought his talented rookie out from fourth and trotted up quickly to take over the lead before the 1:26.2 third panel and could not be overtaken down the stretch and won well in hand in 1:55.2.
Graceful Patty and Doug McNair took second with Shesundertheradar was third with the other elimination winner from last week Warrawee Yes fourth. Bax’s other starter, Quite Fast, grabbed the final cheque with son Matt at the lines. The race’s other heavy favourite, Heart On Fire, who Righteous Resolve bested in their elimination, was sixth.
It was the fifth win in six starts this year (the other start was a second) for the Resolve daughter owned by breeder Bet Max Stables of Michigan. The victory put her purse earnings over $330,000. The filly is the fourth foal of her dam, the top Ontario Sires Stakes performer Motown Muscle, who won $460,000 in her career.
Bax is quite familiar with the family. He raced his good mare Charmed Life against Motown Muscle during their two- and three-year-old seasons (where they also had to face the formidable Bee A Magician). Since retiring to the broodmare ranks Motown Muscle has had four foals and John has trained three of those including last year’s top two-year-old trotting colt in Canada Duly Resolved.
Bax notes that Righteous Resolve is often compared to Duly Resolved. “She’s pretty masculine, she’s a big, strong filly – I keep comparing her to her brother and she’s bigger and more masculine than he is. I’m hoping down the road that bodes well for her racing. As far as the race went, Paul does what Paul does. Once he gets to know the horse, he’s been around long enough to know what to do with them.”
MacDonell described the trip as follows: “Leaving the gate I just wanted to get her away clean and let them settle. When I moved her she was strong and she was strong all the way, she’s done that every start so far this year and I haven’t reached bottom yet.”
For MacDonell and Bax it was their third Peaceful Way title having also won with Riveting Rosie in 2013 and Stubborn Belle in 2014. “We go back a long time, I’ve driven for John quite a few years now, he’s been in my corner all the way,” Paul added.
It’s a big night for Bax who had two in the Peaceful Way and another three in the upcoming William Wellwood final. When asked what the week was like knowing he had five starters in the rich finals, the amiable trainer answered with a smile.
“It’s just day to day, you just put one foot in front of the other. It’s pretty exciting to have that many in the big races. A lot of years you’re wishing you were there but you don’t have the stock. To get five like we have this year it’s pretty gratifying.”
When asked what’s next for Righteous Resolve he responded: “Talk to the owners, maybe the Mohawk Million. I’d like to see them do it. You want to make sure she’s healthy and you’re wanting to make as much as you can with her without jeopardizing next year.”
The Peaceful Way is named in honour of one of the most talented trotting mares every produced in Canada. Inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame shortly after the conclusion of her incredible racing career, Peaceful Way earned in excess of $3.2 million in purses and returned to the winners’ circle 33 times in 52 tries.
Angie Stiller of Stonebridge Farms of Arva, Ontario, bred the daughter of Angus Hall and co-owned her throughout her racing career with Joe Myers and trainer Dave Tingley. A winner of four O’Brien Awards throughout her career, Peaceful Way was inducted into the US Harness Racing Living Hall of Fame last year.
Woodbine Entertainment honoured the incredible performer with a trackside retirement ceremony in 2007 renamed the Oakville Stakes, which Peaceful Way won in 2003, to the Peaceful Way in her honour.
Heather MacKay for Woodbine Communications