MILTON, September 11, 2021 – Venerable was dominant in Saturday’s $392,000 Peaceful Way final, earning redemption for her dam in the event for two-year-old trotting fillies, the first major stake on the stakes laden Pepsi North America Cup undercard at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Two of the rookie fillies came into the contest undefeated. Venerable was six for six while Adare Castle, one of two Ontario-sired fillies in the final, was five for five. The latter filly certainly held her own though as that pair trotted away from the field down the stretch.
As the race got underway it was American Beauty and Yannick Gingras on top by the opening panel in :28.1. Just past that point Dave Miller pulled the right line on Venerable, sitting in fourth, and she responded with an easy take over to settle on top by the half in :57.3.
Adare Castle, who got away mid field, grabbed cover from Delilah Hanover and came calling second over as they trotted by the three-quarters in 1:26. Down the lane it was a two horse contest with the undefeated duo pulling away from their rivals. Adare Castle gave a valiant effort but Venerable was not to be denied this night, crossing the wire in 1:54.3 with the ear plugs still in.
Adare Castle, a daughter of Muscle Mass driven by James MacDonald, was second with Peyton Hanover (Muscle Hill) seven lengths back in third for Doug McNair. American Beauty and Missy Trix picked up the final two cheques. A $2 win ticket on Venerable, who upped her earnings to over half a million dollars with the win, paid $2.40
Understandably Miller had nothing but praise for his charge. “She’s a professional, she’s really easy to get along with. She does her job and she’s been doing it very well. I got her away from the gate and when I moved her she got to the lead and relaxed. I spoke to her halfway around the last turn and as soon as I did, she just picked it right up. Into the stretch, I just kept talking to her.
“She was a bit excited (in the post parade) she knows what she’s here to do. I got her to the outside and got her settled down tonight, but she sees the starting gate, she’s ready to go, and she’s all business,” added Miller who has driven Venerable in all of her starts this year.
Richard ‘Nifty’ Norman trains the winner, a daughter of Walner, for owners Mel Hartman of Ontario, David McDuffee, Paul Bordogna and Steve Arnold of New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York, respectively. Norman, McDuffee and Hartman had posed in the Peaceful Way winner’s circle previously in 2012 with their great trotting mare Bee A Magician.
A $210,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Select Sale, Venerable’s dam is Jolene Jolene who was an outstanding rookie in the 2014 season. She came into the Peaceful Way final that year riding a three race winning streak but unfortunately broke stride. Venerable is her third foal, the first being $525,000 winner Crucial.
The Peaceful Way is named for one of the most talented trotting fillies ever bred in Ontario who earned more than $3.2 million during her stellar career and was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2008. One year earlier, shortly after Peaceful Way’s retirement, Woodbine Entertainment announced they had renamed the Oakville Stakes (an event she won handily in her two-year-old career) in her honour.