MILTON, September 17, 2019 – The $750,000 Metro Pace headlines another $1.7 million-plus card this Saturday (September 21) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Harness racing’s richest race for two-year-olds will see a field of 10 pacing colts and geldings clash to add their name to a long list of memorable Metro champions. The $540,000 Shes A Great Lady for two-year-old pacing fillies and $250,000 Milton Stakes for pacing mares join the Metro Pace as marquee races this Saturday.
Capt Midnight (PP3) is the expected favourite for the Metro Pace. The Tony Alagna trainee has dominated rookie stakes this season at Mohawk Park, winning five in a row at the Milton oval to bring his season record to five wins, a mark of 1:49.4 and $212,819 earned in seven starts.
A son of 2012 Metro winner Captaintreacherous, Capt Midnight won his elimination easily in 1:51.4 for driver Andrew McCarthy to go with his victories in the Dream Maker, Nassagaweya and Champlain. The Alagna student sold for $350,000 at last November’s Harrisburg yearling sale and is owned by Marvin Katz, Kenneth Jacobs, Brad Grant and Capt Midnight Racing.
Capt Midnight is joined by stablemates Captain Kirk (PP5, Bob McClure) and Esai Hanover (PP8, Trevor Henry) to give Alagna a trio of starters in his attempt for a third Metro Pace victory. Artspeak, who is the sire of Esai Hanover, won the 2014 edition to give Alagna his second Metro following Captaintreacherous’ triumph in 2012.
Tall Dark Stranger will look to stop the run of Capt Midnight and continue his own for trainer Nancy Johansson. The son of Bettors Delight is undefeated in five starts and took last Saturday’s other elimination in a career-best 1:50.1 for driver Yannick Gingras.
A $330,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Tall Dark Stranger has won four in a row since arriving at Mohawk Park, including a pair of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions. The only horse with a perfect record in this year’s Metro has earned $124,533 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor.
Trainer Johnasson has already won the Pepsi North America Cup this season and a victory Saturday with Tall Dark Stranger would give her a sweep of the track’s two most-richest races.
Pennsylvania Sires Stakes champion Papi Rob Hanover (PP9, David Miller) dueled with Tall Dark Stranger in last week’s elimination, surrendering the lead in deep stretch to come up just a head short. The Brett Pelling trained son of Somebeachsomewhere is two for six and has hit the board in each start to earn $186,295 for owner David McDuffee. He was a $130,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase.
Blake MacIntosh joins Alagna as the only other trainer with multiple horses in this year’s Metro Pace. Somebeachsomewhere colt Team Best (PP6, James MacDonald) and Sportswriter colt Beach Blanket Book (PP10, Doug McNair) race for Team MacIntosh.
Local hopes will also ride with trainers Richard Moreau and Dustin Jones. Sportswriter colt YS Mathis (PP1, Louis Philippe Roy) goes for Moreau and has victories in the Champlain and an OSS Gold to his name. Jones’ One For Julius (PP7, Chris Christoforou) is a son of Hes Watching and finished second to the aforementioned Ys Mathis in an OSS Gold division on August 31.
Completing the field is Pennsylvania Sires Stakes division winner Seeyou At Thebeach (PP2, Tim Tetrick). The Brian Brown student is the third entrant for sire Somebeachsomewhere.
The $750,000 Metro Pace has been carded as Race 9.
The $540,000 Shes A Great Lady for pacing fillies will have all eyes on the respective stars of the Ontario and Pennsylvania Sires Stakes programs.
Chantal Mitchell trainee Alicorn (PP5, Roy) has rewritten the Ontario Sires Stakes record book multiple times this season and cruised to a career-best equaling 1:50.3 victory in her elimination. The daughter of Bettors Delight is five for eight and is riding a three-race win streak.
Alicorn was a $30,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase by Windermere Stable LLC and Robert Muscara. Her sensational rookie campaign has earned her connections $234,389.
Pennsylvania Sires Stakes champion Lyons Sentinel (PP4, Tetrick) tied the Track and Canadian record with a stunning 1:50.1 victory in her elimination. The Jim King trainee is charted with an insane :52.3 back-half in her dazzling elimination victory.
A daughter of Captaintreachrous, Lyons Sentinel enters Saturday’s rich final on a four-race win streak to sport a record of five wins and three runner-up finishes in eight starts. The $55,000 Harrisburg yearling grad has banked $292,330 for owners Threelyonsracing.
Alagna trainee Reflect With Me (PP2, McCarthy) had a four-race win streak snapped by Lyons Sentinel in their elimination, but the daughter of Captaintreacherous will be ready for a shot at redemption in the event her connections have had their eyes set on.
A $120,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Reflect With Me captured the Whenuwishuponastar, Eternal Camnation and Champlain during her win streak. She currently sits at four wins, a pair of runner-up finishes and $147,818 earned in eight starts for owners Brittany Farms and Brad Grant.
Trainer Johansson will have a pair of chances in the $540,000 event. She sends out Western Ideal filly JK First Lady (PP6, Gingras), who is the first-foal out of 2014 ‘Great Lady’ winner JK Shesalady, and Bettors Delight filly Peaky Sneaky (PP7, McNair).
The field for the Shes A Great Lady is completed by Paul Reid trainee Off The Press (PP1, Sylvain Filion), Bill Budd trainee Saulsbrook Raven (PP3, MacDonald), Dr. Ian Moore trainee Alexa Skye (PP8, Dexter Dunn), Dave Menary trainee Somebeachsometime (PP9, Jody Jamieson) and Susie Kerwood trainee Betalady (PP10, Miller).
The $540,000 Shes A Great Lady has been carded as Race 5.
Moving away from the rookies, older pacing mares will also have a chance to shine in the $250,000 Milton Stakes.
The dominant Shartin N was the expected heavy-favourite for the Milton, but sickness has forced her connections to scratch from Saturday’s race. The removal of harness racing’s leading candidate for Horse of the Year opens the door for a competitive contest.
Youaremycandygirl (PP1, Roy) has been the talk of the town in recent weeks at Mohawk Park. The four-year-old is two for two since moving into the barn of trainer Moreau, posting dazzling victories of 1:49.1 and 1:48.3 in back-to-back Mares Preferred events.
Owned by W J Donovan, Youaremycandygirl won the 2017 ‘Great Lady’ and went on to earn more than $1.4 million during her first two seasons on the track. This year she is three for 11 to bring her career numbers to 21 wins and $1.5 million earned in 39 starts.
Trainer Moreau will also send out Double A Mint (PP8, Bob McClure) in Saturday’s contest. The four-year-old has raced in every month this year, winning 12 of 25 starts and earning $225,400.
Caviart Ally (PP9, McCarthy) returns to Mohawk Park to defend her Milton Stakes title. The five-year-old won last year’s Milton by three-lengths and has put together another strong campaign in 2019, racing in the shadow of division leader Shartin N.
Trained by Pelling, Caviart Ally has hit the board in all 14 of her starts this season, including five wins and seven runner-up finishes. She has earned $1.5 million during her racing career for owners Caviart Farms.
Nick Surick trainee Bettors Up (PP4, Tetrick) rolls into the Milton with confidence after edging Caviart Ally by a head in last week’s Great Northeast Series final at Pocono. The five-year-old joins Double A Mint as the mares with most starts this season, winning six of 25 outings and earning $167,205.
It wouldn’t be a major stake this season at Mohawk Park without representation from the Johansson barn. Not to overlooked, Kissin In The Sand (PP2, Gingras) has earned her only two victories this season over the last month at Mohawk Park. The winner of $1.1 million is two for 12 this year with $62,630 earned.
Local connections are all over the Milton Stakes final, with three other mares joining Double A Mint as regular competitors in the Mares Preferred. Rene Dion trainee Shower Play (PP6, Jamieson), Alagna trainee Seaswift Joy N (PP7, Tetrick) and Rod Boyd trainee Kendall Seelster (PP10, MacDonald) will look for home-track success.
Completing the field is Dylan Davis trainee Apple Bottom Jeans (PP3, Callahan). The six-year-old will be making her Mohawk Park debut and most recently was third in the Great Northeast Series final.
The $250,000 Milton Stakes has been carded as Race 7.
Post time for Saturday’s $1.7 million card is 7:10 p.m. For full event details, visit www.WoodbineMohawkPark.com.
Click here to view the early program pages for Saturday’s card.