MILTON, December 10, 2018 – The conditions were chilly, but the action was hot Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park with Winter Series action launching and Preferred trotters battling.
The Valedictory Series for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings got underway Monday with a pair of $17,000 divisions, while a field of eight clashed in this week’s edition of the $34,000 Preferred.
The first split of the Valedictory saw Phantom Seelster extend his win streak by prevailing in a thrilling stretch battle over Legal Power in a career-best 1:51.4.
Richard Moreau trainee Phantom Seelster, who entered off a sweep of the Harvest Series, left from the rail with driver Trevor Henry and got a two-hole trip behind stablemate Legal Power, who posted fractions of :27.4, :56.1 and 1:23.3.
Phantom Seelster needed nearly the entire stretch to edge Legal Power by a head. Mission Three finished third, while Beachin Lindy was fourth.
A gelded son of Mach Three, Phantom Seelster started his sophomore season winless in 14 starts before capturing a first-leg division of the Harvest en route to a series sweep. The Moreau trainee now has four wins and $63,770 earned in 18 starts this season.
Phantom Seelster increased his career numbers to seven wins and $107,435 earned for owners Gestion Mastel, Conrad Leber and Marcel Barrieau with his career-best victory Monday. He paid $5.30 to win.
Larrys Petrock rallied for a career-best 1:52.4 victory in the evening’s second split.
Driven by Henry, Larrys Petrock got away fifth and stayed in that position for the opening three-quarters of the mile. Rocky J Squirrel cut the mile, posting fractions of :27.1, :56 and 1:24.1. R Bazingga challenged first-up on the far turn being followed by Real Willey and Larrys Petrock.
In the stretch, Larrys Petrock powered by rivals after coming off the turn almost four-wide. The Barry Bird trainee stopped the clock in 1:52.4 to defeat runner-up R Bazingga by a length. Uptown Funk was third, while So Much Bettor was foruth.
A gelded son of Pet Rock, Larrys Petrock picked up his fifth win in 15 starts Monday and has now earned $62,380 in his first season on the track. The sophomore is owned by Gerrie Tucker, David Lumsden and Bird.
A $2 win ticket on Larrys Petrock returned $3.20.
Sophomore pacing colts and geldings, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2018, were eligible for nomination to the Valedictory Series.
Dancer Hall returned to the winner’s circle Monday by rallying from way back to reach up and take the $34,000 Preferred in 1:54.3.
Driver Sylvain Filion gave Dancer Hall a patient steer. The duo got away last in the field of eight and didn’t move until the half to end up situated third-over turning for home. Musical Rhythm led the field into the lane after reaching three-quarters in 1:25.3.
Rivals swallowed up Musical Rhythm in the final-eighth of the mile. Free Willy Hanover came from second-over to take the lead late, but the lead was short-lived. Dancer Hall charged by in the final strides to win by about a head. Cue Hall was third, while Buzz was fourth.
Trained by Rod Boyd, Dancer Hall recorded his 10th win of the season and increased his 2018 earnings to $284,772 for owners 1187422 Ontario Inc. The four-year-old son of Deweycheatumnhowe now has 18 wins and $484,422 in career earnings.
A $2 win ticket on Dancer Hall returned $5.70.
Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m.