CAMPBELLVILLE, May 20 – The finals of the S.B.O.A. Stakes for Ontario sired three-year-old fillies highlighted the racing portion of Fireworks and Family Fun Night Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack.
A large crowd flooded Mohawk to celebrate the Victoria Day long weekend. Despite cool and windy conditions, excitement filled both the grandstand and paddock for the evening’s festivities.
The first on-track feature was the $130,130 S.B.O.A. Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies in race-two.
Magic Presto lived up to her 1/5 billing by scoring a 2 ¾ lengths victory in a career-best 1:54.3.
Trevor Henry guided the Richard “Nifty” Norman trainee to the stakes victory. Magic Presto was sent to the front and held a narrow lead at the opening-quarter. Henry allowed post-ten starter Holiday Promise to clear, but quickly circled around to retake the lead heading to the half.
Magic Presto proceeded to post fractions of :57.4 and 1:27.1, before trotting home in :27.2 for the victory. Gravitator finished second, while Royal Witch was third.
“I think she was a little sharper this week,” said Norman after Magic Presto’s triumph. “It was kind of a strange race and a funny night with the wind, but she was very good.”
Owned by Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, David Mc Duffee and Little E LLC, Magic Presto now has two wins in three starts this season to give her six victories overall in her career. The S.B.O.A. victory pushes the Kadabra filly’s career earnings to over $470,000.
Norman noted that Magic Presto will return to Mohawk on June 8th for an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event before returning to the Meadowlands for Grand Circuit action.
Magic Presto paid $2.50 to win.
A pair of Casie Coleman trainees were the story in race-eight’s $132,130 pacing filly final, but it was the underdog of the two that stole the show.
Fade and driver Travis Cullen came through at 10-1 for a 1:53.1 score. The daughter of Shadow Play had won her elimination a week ago, but received little buzz due to her stablemate Windy Sport’s dominating 1:51.3 victory in her preliminary.
Windy Sport, who was 1/5, and driver Louis Philippe Roy cut the mile with Fade following in the two-hole. Dancing Shadows K came first up to battle with the heavy-favourite on the far turn and Windy Sport was feeling pressure at three-quarters in 1:26.1.
In the stretch, Windy Sport couldn’t deliver another large performance and gave way to her rivals. Fade was able to shoot up the rail and Soiree Seelster charged home on the far outside to set up a great finish. At the wire, Fade secured to the victory by a neck.
Windy Sport finished third.
Fade had the driving services of Cullen for the first time Saturday and the duo immediately connected.
“He did a great job,” said Coleman about Cullen. “Obviously Windy Sport was 1/5 and he got the two-hole trip behind her and couldn’t have driven any better. He got the perfect ground saving trip and got her up in time for the money.”
A daughter of Shadow Play, Fade is trained by Coleman for owners West Wins Stable and Calhoun Racing Ltd. Her S.B.O.A. score gives her two wins in four starts this season and three victories in her career.
Fade’s career earnings now sit at $225,752. She paid $22.10 to win.
Also on Saturday, the red-hot seven-year-old pacer Fool Me Once jumped up to the Preferred and scored a strong 1:50.4 victory.
Since moving into the Moreau barn and onto the WEG Circuit, Fool Me Once has now won three starts in a row for owner Brad Grant. His latest victory gives him 35 career visits to the winner’s circle and pushes his career earnings to over $963,000.
Fool Me Once paid $4 to win.
A tremendous fireworks display entertained the fans following the races to cap off a fantastic evening of racing and festivities. Live racing resumes Monday night at 7:30 p.m.