Test Of Faith, last year’s Horse of the Year in the US, was very impressive in tonight’s $315,000 Roses Are Red Final for older pacing mares at Mohawk as she closed a ton to win in 1:50.1.
As the race got underway Gias Surreal left hard from post nine to take the early lead and hit the opener in :26.3. Test Of Faith got underway in the outside lane from sixth before the :55 half where she had picked up the cover of Lit De Rose. That mare was at the leader’s wheel at the 1:22.4 third quarter and as they headed down the stretch Test Of Faith came off her cover.
Gias Surreal didn’t slow down though, and other mares were also challenging but Test Of Faith and David Miller came flying on the outside late to win impressively in 1:50.1. Fire Start Hanover took second while Gias Surreal held on for third. Kobes Gigi and last year’s Roses Are Red winner Lyons Sentinel grabbed the last cheques.
Although many watching didn’t think Test Of Faith was going to get to the wire in time, that wasn’t what her driver was thinking. “I felt pretty good. I know her so well; she was going up with her cover nice and easy. I felt pretty confident. Going into that last turn I felt pretty good,” Miller noted.
When asked if Test Of Faith is the best distaffer he’s driven, he replied: “I’d have to say she’s probably the best mare I’ve ever sat behind. I always liked Glowing Report, Shebestingin was always one of my favourites, and obviously this mare.”
Trained by Brett Pelling, who two races earlier saw his sophomore fillies finish 1-2 in the Fan Hanover final, Test Of Faith was notching her third win in five tries this season. This year she has just under $200,000 earned with $1.2 million on her card lifetime.
Bred by Fred Hertrich, the four-year-old daughter of Art Major is owned by Melvin Segal, Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Eddie Gran. She is the fourth foal of the top race mare Cannae Cammie, who earned well over half a million dollars in her career.
The Roses Are Red’s namesake was a very talented daughter of Meadow Skipper campaigned by the late great Jack Kopas. She set a world record winning the Jugette in 1979. Jack’s son John, a top horseman himself, was on hand to present the trophy.
Woodbine Communications, Heather MacKay Roberts