MILTON, August 24, 2019 – Rookie pacers got their first taste of Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday night for the Nassagaweya and Eternal Camnation.
A field of 11 colts and geldings clashed in the $228,100 Nassagaweya, while a pair of $112,239 Eternal Camnation divisions for fillies also took place.
The Nassagaweya Stakes saw trainer Tony Alagna sweep the trifecta with his sons of Captaintreacherous.
Capt Midnight and driver Andrew McCarthy, who started from the second-tier, took over the top spot racing to the half and finished things off with a :27 final-quarter to defeat Captain Nemo by half a length in 1:51. Captain Kirk sat third behind his stablemates for most of the mile and maintained that position at the finish.
Alagna’s trio started from posts one, two and eleven. Captain Kirk shot out to the early lead to post a :28 opener, while ‘Nemo’ and ‘Midnight were out and moving from third and fourth going to the quarter. ‘Nemo’ cleared entering the backstretch before ‘Midnight’ cleared to take the field by the half in :55.2.
Captain Nemo angled out to take a shot at the leader in the stretch, but Capt Midnight would not be denied.
“It took me almost over until the five-eighths to get him stopped after the race,” said McCarthy, who put Capt Midnight on the front for the first time. “I knew he’d be good on the front, but I had to tell him what to do at the head of the stretch and he responded well like a good horse does.”
A $350,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Capt Midnight’s victory extends his win streak to three and improves his record to three wins in five starts with $147,850 earned for owners Marvin Katz, Kenneth Jacobs, Brad Grant and Captain Kirk Racing.
Capt Midnight is three for three at Mohawk Park and heading towards further Grand Circuit action in the Champlain and Metro Pace.
A $2 win ticket on Capt Midnight returned $4.50.
Alicorn made an emphatic return to the win column in the first Eternal Camnation division for driver Louis Philippe Roy and trainer Chantal Mitchell.
A daughter of Bettors Delight, Alicorn cleared to the top entering the backstretch and got a soft away with a soft second-quarter to reach the half in :56.4. Lady Lou attacked the leader first-up in the third-quarter to force a :27.4 split.
Alicorn was ready to roll when pressured and put away her rival at the top of the lane, powering home impressively in :26.3 for a 1:51 blowout victory of 5 ¾ lengths. The clocking matches her career-best, an Ontario Sires Stakes record she set three starts back.
“She just does it so easily and is an amazing filly,” said Mitchell following the race. “As long as she comes out of this good, we’re going to comeback next Friday in the (OSS) Gold and then go onto the Shes A Great Lady, but we’ll take it one week at a time and see how she progresses.”
Lady Lou finished second, while Off The Press was third.
Alicorn is now three for six with $163,289 earned for owners Windermere Stable LLC and Robert Muscara. The $30,000 Harrisburg yearling has now won three of her last four, with her only defeat being runner-up finish in the Battle of Belles after making an early break.
A $2 win ticket on Alicorn returned $3.30.
Reflect With Me dug in to hold off Karma Seelster and capture the second Eternal Camnation division in 1:52 for the McCarthy and Alagna duo.
Sent off at odds of 1/9, Reflect With Me got away fourth in the early-stages, while Kat cut out an opening-quarter of :27. Somebeachsometime made a second-quarter brush to the lead from fifth and hit the half in :55.3.
McCarthy finally gave Reflect With Me her cue at the half and she marched first-up after the leader going to three-quarters, which was reached in 1:24.1.
Reflect With Me powered by at the head of the lane, but wasn’t home cool. Karma Seelster angled out to clear racetrack after a two-hole trip and challenged the 1/9 choice right to the wire, ultimately falling short by half a length. Kat finished third.
“It was a horse race tonight and I had to come first-over tonight,” said McCarthy following the victory. “She dealt with it and she fought right to the wire.
“She’s a very good filly and she’s got so much speed it’s probably not ideal coming first-up with her. She showed last week that she can go on the front and is definitely good with cover, but you got to do what you got to do sometimes.”
A $120,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Reflect With Me improved to three wins and $91,919 earned in five starts to begin her career. She is owned by Brittany Farms and Brad Grant.
Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m.