MILTON, August 26, 2022 – Adare Castle added to her tremendous sophomore season with a 1:54.3 victory in Friday’s Casual Breeze Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
A field of seven three-year-old trotting fillies clashed in the $145,000 Grand Circuit event.
Friday’s contest was supposed to serve as a matchup between local stars Warrawee Xenia and Adare Castle, but an early break by Warrawee Xenia changed that storyline.
Adare Castle was able to maneuver around her breaking rival heading into the first turn and would touch down on the lead shortly after a :27.2 opening-quarter. Driver James MacDonald got full control the front and enjoyed a middle-half :59.3 to take the field by three-quarters in 1:27.
The final-quarter saw Adare Castle step home in :27.3 for the victory. Baby Longstocking, who enjoyed a two-hole trip, did her best to stay right at the leader, finishing second by three-quarters of a length. Mischevious Rose came first up from fourth on the far turn and crossed the line third.
While Adare Castle improved to six for seven on the season, MacDonald admitted that it’s not as sweet without getting the chance to go toe-to-toe with Warrawee Xenia.
“You want to beat them at their best, you don’t’ want to see anyone else make a break or have bad luck,” said MacDonald. “It was unfortunate because I think a lot of people wanted to see them square off, but we’re happy to end up in the winner’s circle.”
Trained by Mark Etsell, Adare Castle has now won 13 of 16 career starts and went over the $900,000 mark in earnings with Friday’s victory.
“She’s the epitome of consistency,” said MacDonald. “She shows up every time she goes behind the gate and just gives you everything she’s got. Lots of times she looks like she might be beat or tired and she just finds more. She’s a real champion.”
The daughter of Muscle Mass will now compete in next Saturday’s Simcoe Stakes. Trainer Etsell confirmed a schedule of the Simcoe and Elegantimage before returning to the Ontario Sires Stakes for his star filly.
Adare Castle is owned by Etsell, Robert Newton, Graham Hopkins and Peter Porter. She paid $4.80 to win.
Friday evening’s card also saw a small preview of next Saturday’s Maple Leaf Trot, as six of the entrants battled in a $50,000 Open Trot.
Atlanta, the 2020 Maple Leaf Trot champion, went coast-to-coast on the front for a 1:52.3 score. The Ron Burke trained superstar got to call the shots with driver Sylvain Filion, posting fractions of :27.2, :56.1 and 1:24.4 before a :27.4 kicker.
Its Academic followed Atlanta throughout and finished second by just over two lengths. Forbidden Trade was able to edge Perfetto for third. Logan Park and Locatelli both made breaks near the start to round out the field of six.
Atlanta now has four wins in nine starts this season to push her career total to 35 wins. The seven-year-old mare surpassed $200,000 in seasonal earnings and currently sits at $3.5 million for her remarkable career.
Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor share ownership of Atlanta. She paid $3.30 to win.
The draw for next Saturday’s Maple Leaf Trot final will take place Saturday night. The full field (listed in alphabetical order) is available below:
Alrajah One IT (Ake Svanstedt)
Atlanta (Ron Burke)
Back Of The Neck (Ake Svanstedt)
Ecurie D DK (Ake Svanstedt)
Fashion Frenzie (Richard Moreau)
Forbidden Trade (Luc Blais)
Its Academic (Ron Burke)
Locatelli (Harry Poulton)
Logan Park (Rob Fellows)
Perfetto (Dagfin Henriksen)
Grand Circuit action continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The 12-race card features the finals of the William Wellwood Memorial and Peaceful Way, plus the eliminations of the Canadian Pacing Derby and divisions of the Nassagaweya and Eternal Camnation.
Post time is 7 p.m.