“Jimmy just wanted to win,” was driver Louis-Philippe Roy’s succinct assessment of Jimmy Freight’s performance in tonight’s $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational for older pacers which proved a exciting entertaining race setting up a great undercard for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup tonight at Mohawk.
As the gate sped away there were several of the top pacers in North America looking for the front with Wheels On Fire successful to hit the opening panel in a quick :26. That lead didn’t last as Linedrive Hanover blew passed him but he didn’t keep that spot long either.
Last year’s Gold Cup winner Allywag Hanover with Todd McCarthy at the lines took over before the :53.2 half. His reign wasn’t long either as Jimmy Freight and Roy, winners of the 2019 edition of the race, came calling and had almost paced by Allywag at the 1:20.1 three-quarters.
Jimmy Freight was able to clear through the lane but he had another contender coming in Linedrive Hanover and the pair crossed the wire simultaneously as the timer tripped in 1:48 leading to a photo finish.
“After the wire James asked me ‘would you take a dead heat?’ I said I would because I don’t want to get beat but I was pretty sure I won,” said Roy following the winner’s circle presentations. Allywag Hanover held for third with Warrawee Vital fourth.
This has been a renaissance year for Jimmy Freight, a seven-year-old son of Sportswriter who was retired to stud duty following the 2019 season. When that second career wasn’t as successful as his connections had hoped, the horse returned to the track in late 2021 and has developed into a dominant performer in this division.
Tonight’s effort was his 11th win in 18 trips this year and upped his 2022 bankroll to $348,720 while lifetime he surpassed $1.8 million. Trained by Richard Moreau, he is owned by Adriano Sorella of Guelph who noted how special it’s been to have Jimmy return to the races.
“It’s been pretty special coming back,” Sorella noted. “It was a little slow at the beginning, but he’s big and he’s coming back strong, I’m excited about it.”
As for the horse’s future schedule this year he noted: “He has five or six races in the US, we have some decisions to make. Do we send him down there and leave him there? Do we go back and forth? He’s been a little bit studdy ever since he came back from stud duty. He’s a little bit of a different horse on the trailer so we have to baby him a little bit.”
Woodbine Communications, Heather MacKay Roberts