MILTON, November 16, 2018 – The inaugural Harvest Series wrapped up Friday with sensational performances from Ontario sired sophomores Phantom Seelster and Johnny Bravo.
A pair of series finales for colts and geldings took place on Friday’s 10-race card with a full field of 10 clashing on the pacing side and a field of six battling on the trot.
Phantom Seelster completed the sweep of the Harvest Series with a strong 2 ¾ lengths victory in the $47,500 final for pacing colts and geldings.
Driven by Louis Philippe Roy, Phantom Seelster got away second and enjoyed a two-hole ride behind Westslucky Terror, who cut out fractions of :27.3, :57.1 and 1:26.
Shadow Moon made a first-up bid in the middle-half to apply some pressure, but began to fade nearing three-quarters, which forced a cover-riding Mission Three and Foot Solider three-wide.
Phantom Seelster and Roy had room to slide out of the two-hole at the top of the lane, surged by Westslucky Terror to claim the lead and pulled away from his rivals for a 1:54.2 victory. Mission Three finished second, while Foot Solider was third and Westslucky Terror fourth.
Trained by Richard Moreau, Phantom Seelster entered the Harvest Series winless in 14 starts this season and now exits with three wins in 17 outings. The gelded son of Mach Three teamed up with a different driver in each of the three Harvest Series legs, partnering with Bob McClure and Trevor Henry in the preliminary legs.
Phantom Seelster has now earned $55,270 this season following the series sweep, while his career numbers now sit at six wins and $98,935 earned for owners Gestion Mastel Inc, Conrad Leber and Marcel Barrieau.
A $2 win ticket on Phantom Seelster returned $3.
Johnny Bravo continued his winning ways with a 1:58.2 victory in the $43,900 final for trotting colts and geldings.
Driven by Jean Bernard Renaud, Johnny Bravo was parked around the first turn and had to be pushed to clear Charlie Ona Harley for the top spot. Once in command, Johnny Bravo posted fractions of :57 and 1:27.4.
In the stretch, Johnny Bravo was able to seal the deal by holding off a late push from Draft Year, who sat fourth for most of the mile, for a length victory. Charlie Ona Harley finished third, while Master Switch was fourth.
A gelded son of Johnny William, Johnny Bravo entered Friday’s final off a victory in the second leg and a runner-up finish in the first leg. The Paul Walker trainee has now won three of his last four starts to improve his record to four wins in 12 starts.
Unraced as a two-year-old, Johnny Bravo has now earned $59,400 for owner/breeders Paul Walker and Julie Walker. He paid $4.20 to win.
The Harvest Series was open to Ontario three-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 in 2018 as of September 30.
Friday evening’s card also saw another edition of the $30,000 Fillies and Mares Preferred Pace. Seven-year-old Exhilarated put an end to Kendall Seeslster’s winning streak by muscling by in the final strides for a thrilling victory.
Kendall Seelster got things her own way, posting fractions of :28, :57.1 and 1:24.2. Exhilarated enjoyed a two-hole ride behind the heavy-favourite and took her shot in the lane along with the other four mares in the field.
A six-across finish developed with Exhilarated just getting by in the final stride for a 1:53.3 victory. Kendall Seelster finished second, beat a head, while P L Hurricane was third.
Trained by Carmen Auciello, Exhilarated and driver Jonathan Drury went off at odds of 12-1 and were entering Friday’s contest off back-to-back fourth-place finishes. The veteran mare now has 11 wins and $198,620 earned in 41 starts this season for owner Auciello Stables.
Exhilarated pushed her career numbers to 36 wins and $589,130 earned with the upset victory. She paid $27 to win.
Live racing continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m.