MILTON, August 28, 2021 – Rookie pacing colts and geldings clashed in a pair Nassagaweya Stakes divisions on Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Bob Loblaw cashed in with a thrilling victory in the $140,300 second division, nailing Betterhavemymoney at the line to win by the narrowest of margins in 1:52.4. The victory was a special moment for track announcer Ken Middleton Jr., as the long-time voice of Woodbine Standardbred racing bred, co-owns and trains the gelded son of Sunshine Beach.
“I wasn’t quite sure, it was real close at the wire,” said Filion of the photo finish.
Sylvain Filion worked out a two-hole trip for Bob Loblaw behind Atlas Hanover, who cut out fractions of :26.4, :57 and 1:26.2. Race-favourite Betterhavemymoney came first-up and powered to the lead with an eighth of a mile remaining. Meanwhile, Filion angled out with Bob Loblaw to give him a clear shot and the Middleton trainee reached up for a photo finish, prevailing by a small nose for the thrilling score.
Atlas Hanover finished third, while Rockaway Bay was fourth.
Bob Loblaw is now two for seven with $107,927 earned for owners Middleton Jr., Dave Walls, James Grant and Starting Centre Stables. Middleton bred Bob Loblaw along with the late Bill Galvin, a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. The Ontario sired rookie is eligible to all of Mohawk Park’s upcoming Grand Circuit races, including the Metro Pace.
Filion, who has driven Bob Loblaw in all his races and qualifiers, has seen great growth in the youngster all summer.
“He was kind of a spooky two-year-old that needed to learn how to race, but I have to give credit to our man up there (Ken Middleton). He’s done a great job with him and he’s come a long way.”
A $2 win ticket on Bob Loblaw returned $15.70.
The $139,300 first Nassagaweya division saw Magical Arthur sweep from third to first on the far turn and power home to win for Filion and trainer Anthony Beaton in 1:52. The gelded son of Artspeak was coming in off a maiden breaking victory in an Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots event.
“I think it gave him a lot of confidence moving forward,” said Beaton of Magical Arthur’s last start. “We always thought he was a relatively nice colt training down, but obviously we didn’t quite have him tip top shape to go in the Gold.
“I was hoping Sylvain would pull him because I thought he had some ability to go with this bunch of horses…obviously he showed us he can go with them”
Century Inspector went to his usual spot on the lead, cutting out fractions of :26.1 and :55.2 before being overtaken by Magical Arthur and ultimately finishing third. Aviator rallied to grab second.
Magical Arthur is a homebred for David Lumsden and now has two wins in five starts and $84,825 earned. A $2 win ticket returned $23.40.