MILTON, September 14, 2018 – Caviart Ally stole the show Friday with a career-best 1:48.3 victory in one of two Milton Stakes eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
A group of 12 older pacing mares and a three-year-old filly were split into a pair of $35,000 eliminations to determine the field for next Saturday’s (September 22) $255,000 final.
The term ‘easy-looking’ isn’t used often to describe a 1:48.3 mile, but Caviart Ally did exactly that in the second Milton split.
Driven by Andrew McCarthy for trainer Noel Daley, Caviart Ally rushed out to the lead and posted a :27.2 opening-quarter. The four-year-old rolled right along in the second-quarter to reach the half in :55 and then proceeded to post a :26.4 third-quarter to reach that marker in 1:21.4.
McCarthy sat motionless in the bike as Caviart Ally left her rivals behind and cruised home in :27.4 for the career-best 1:48.3 victory.
“Extremely easy, it was surprising,” said McCarthy of Caviart Ally’s performance. “I was watching the half come up in :55 and I was hoping it was going to be a tick or two slower.
“In the last turn she started to rev up and I couldn’t really get her down there any slower than 1:21.4. Even finishing up, still had the bits up in her mouth. It was a huge mile, but she did it so easy.”
Bettors Up finished 4 ¾ lengths behind the winner in second, while Ella Christina was third. L A Delight and three-year-old filly Kendall Seelster completed the top-five.
A daughter of Bettors Delight, Caviart Ally recorded her fifth win of the season and 14th overall. She now has $134,011 earned in 13 starts this season to bring her career earnings to $956,264 for owners Caviart Farms.
Friday’s victory also earned Caviart Ally’s connections the opportunity to select her post, which comes as a big help after drawing the nine-hole in her last two stakes finals.
Caviart Ally paid $3.80 to win and enters next week’s final with two wins and two runner-up finishes in her last four starts.
Chris Oakes trainee Tequila Monday held off Pure Country to win the first-elimination by the slimmest of margins in 1:50.1.
Driver Louis Philippe Roy fired Tequila Monday out to the lead and got to call the shots, posting fractions of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:24. Pure Country and driver Yannick Gingras enjoyed a two-hole trip behind the leader and came to the outside turning for home.
In the stretch, Tequila Monday and Pure Country sprinted home with powerful strides with the finish line coming just in time for Tequila Monday to hold off Pure Country by a nose. Twinkle finished third, while Nike Franco N and Frost Damage Blues were fourth and fifth, respectively.
“Even after the wire I was a little disappointed because I thought Yannick (Gingras) beat me by a nose and even he thought he won too,” said Roy following the victory. “She got easy fractions and we were both sprinting at the end. I think both mares will be good for next week because they didn’t have to be used much in the first-half.”
A four-year-old daughter of American Ideal, Tequila Monday is now five for 15 this season with $158,720 earned this season. Her elimination victory improves her career numbers to 17 wins and $771,922 earned for owners Northfork Racing Stable and Chuck Pompey.
Tequila Monday paid $5.10 to win.
The post-positions for next week’s $255,000 final were drawn immediately following the eliminations. The Milton Stakes final is part of the September 22 Metro Pace card.
2. Tequila Monday
3. Nike Franco N
4. LA Delight
5. Caviart Ally
6. Bettors Up
7. Frost Damage Blues
8. Ella Christina
9. Kendall Seelster
10. Pure Country
AE: Artistic Madison