By Ray Cotolo for Woodbine.com
MILTON, July 27, 2021 — I Love Ongait emerged on top of a stablemate Exacta for trainer Dr. Ian Moore to take the opening round of the Whenuwishuponastar on Tuesday (July 27) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Driver Bob McClure motored his part of the Dr. Moore tandem to lead stablemate Flo to a :28.4 opening quarter. Flo circled from the pocket up the backstretch to take over control all while Nancy Takter trainee Balance, shipping north from two qualifiers at The Meadowlands, raced unhurried in fourth as the public’s top choice. With no pressure on the new pacesetter to the half, Flo clipped the beam in :59.
Balance got underway out of fourth rounding the final turn and made subtle gains to three-quarters, where McClure launched his charge out of second. Past three-quarters in 1:28.2, I Love Ongait slid past Flo and opened her lead as Balance raced rough gaited to the centre of the track. McClure wrapped up his filly in the final sixteenth to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:55 chased home by Balance, with Flo finishing third, B My Sunshine fourth and Beyond The Sea rounding the payees.
A homebred filly by Sunshine Beach for Let It Ride Stables LLC co-owned by Bottom Line Racing LLC and Mac Nichol, I Love Ongait collected her first victory follow consecutive runner-up finishes against Gold competition. Her maiden-breaking score pumps her earnings to $52,583 and paid $11.90 to win in the minor upset.
The two-year-old pacing fillies will compete again in the second preliminary of the Whenuwishuponastar next Tuesday, Aug. 3. Racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park resumes on Thursday (July 29) with first-race post time set for 7:00 p.m. (EDT).