MILTON, September 6, 2019 – A quintet of Grand Circuit stakes for rookie and sophomore trotters headlined Friday evening’s card at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
A trio of Simcoe Stakes divisions for three-year-olds and a pair of William Wellwood Memorial eliminations for two-year-olds all took place on a 10-race card.
Green Manalish S dug deep late to reach up for a thrilling victory in the lone $174,503 Simcoe division for three-year-old colts and geldings. The victory gave driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Marcus Melander each a stakes hat-trick on the card.
All Wrapped Up made a second-quarter move from third to first and led the field by the half in :57. Green Manalishi S and Tetrick got away fourth and sat there until the midway point of the mile, angling out to come first-up.
The third-quarter saw All Wrapped Up ramp up the tempo :28.1, while Green Manalishi S grinded up to the leader’s wheel.
In the stretch, All Wrapped Up was all out and kept Green Manalishi S more than a length away with an eighth of a mile to go. The Melander trainee would not be denied a victory, finding more in deep stretch and powering by just in time for a 1:53 victory.
“I thought I was a little messed up there when I let them get over to the half too slow and I was a little far back,” said Tetrick. “I had to come a little early there going to the half, but my horse sat out there and put his nose up when it was time.
“Top of the lane a little bit (worried),” admitted Tetrick. “Half way down the lane he started kicking in and right by the tote board he took off for me and I knew I was going to get him.”
Union Forces finished third, while Smart As Hill was fourth.
A son of Muscle Hill, Green Manalishi S was making his first start at Mohawk Park since capturing last year’s Wellwood Memorial. The Melander trainee improved to four wins and $385,726 earned in eight starts this season.
Green Manalishi S will now head towards next Saturday’s (September 14) Canadian Trotting Classic with nine wins and $945,883 in career earnings for owner Courant Inc.
A $2 win ticket on Green Manalishi S returned $2.80.
The entry box for the Canadian Trotting Classic closes Tuesday morning (September 10) at 10:30 a.m. The top-ten money earners to enter will compete in the rich final.
The Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies saw a group of 13 separated into a pair of divisions.
Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry made her first start since August 3 and got things her own way to win the $85,029 first division
Now racing for trainer Carmen Auciello, When Dovescry and driver Simon Allard trotted out to the lead and got away with soft fractions of :28.3, :58.4 and 1:27.4. Special Honor followed the leader’s every move from the two-hole, while 3/5 favourite Evident Beauty sat third.
The sprint for home saw Evident Beauty trotting up a storm and appearing to have a chance to defeat When Dovescry until she made a break entering the final sixteenth, handing the victory to When Dovescry in 1:54.4. Special Honor finished two-lengths back in second, while Evident Beauty finished third.
“I got lucky,” said Allard about the break made by Evident Beauty. “She didn’t race in a little while and we needed a race and we ended up winning, so that’s great. She’s been good all along and sometimes the good horses do everything right and it works out for them.”
A daughter of Muscle Hill, When Dovescry picked up her third straight win to bring her sophomore record to three wins and $328,054 earned in six starts. She now sports career numbers of eight wins and $618,764 earned for owners Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh and Lawrence Dumain.
A $2 win ticket on When Dovescry returned $4.50.
Sisters Promise went to the top and never looked back to win the $86,028 second Simcoe division in a career-best 1:53.4.
Driven by Tetrick, Sisters Promise trotted out to the lead and set fractions of :28.2, :57.4 and 1:25.3. Race-favourite The Ice Dutchess sat fourth and angled out heading towards three-quarters.
Sisters Promise got away from her rivals after creating separation at three-quarters and trotted home in :28.1 to win by three-quarters of a length. The Ice Dutchess finished second, while Bright Eyes M was third.
“She’s always had enough talent, just hasn’t been able to put it together,” said Tetrick. “I got off the car and got an easy first-eighth and kind of cruised to the half and then I stepped on the gas and she held off The Ice Dutchess late.”
A daughter of Father Patrick, Sisters Promise was winless in 11 starts this season prior to her Simcoe score. The Linda Toscano trainee has now earned over $100,000 this season to bring her career totals to four wins and $192,109 earned for owners Brittany Farms.
Sisters Promise paid $20.20 to win.
The top finishers from Friday’s Simcoe Stakes are all eligible to next Saturday’s (September 14) Elegantimage Stakes. The top-ten money earners to enter by Tuesday morning will line up for the rich event.
A group of 14 two-year-old trotting colts and geldings were split into a pair of $30,000 eliminations for the Wellwood Memorial. The top-five finishers from each division booked their ticket to next Saturday’s $370,000 final.
Back Of The Neck was a coast-to-coast winner in the first elimination for the Team Melander. The Ready Cash colt and driver Mattias Melander set fractions of :28, :58.3 and 1:26.4 before trotting home in :28.1 for a 1:55 victory.
“Every start he races he’s been developing more,” said Mattias Melander about Back Of The Neck. “I was on him a little bit, but I think he had some left.”
Trained by Marcus Melander, Back Of The Neck didn’t face pressure until Beyond Kronos pushed first-up going to three-quarters. The margin of victory was a length and a half with Beyond Kronos finishing second and Port Perry finishing third off a two-hole trip.
Nylander and Hetalkstoangels completed the top-five to advance to next week’s final.
A $150,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Back Of The Neck is now three for five with $56,845 earned for owners Howard Taylor, Order By Stable and Judith Taylor. He paid $5.80 to win.
Marcus Melander completed the sweep of the Wellwood eliminations with Capricornus holding off a push from longshot Hp Royal Theo to win the second split in 1:55.1
Driven by Tetrick, Capricornus angled out from third on the far turn to make a first-up bid against leader and race-favourite Synergy. The public’s choice couldn’t deliver in the lane after a three-quarter clocking of 1:27. Capricornus overtook the lead and dug in to hold off Hp Royal Theo by a neck.
“I really liked what I saw and he really dug in all the way,” said Melander of Capricornus. “He’s got a really good attitude and that’s really important and he’s a really nice gaited-horse and a pleasure to drive.”
Moon Bridge and Blue Cupertino completed the Superfecta. Synergy did make the final by finishing fifth.
A $110,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Capricornus is now three for six with $96,770 earned for owner JJ Stable. The Melander trainee shaved a fifth of a second off his previous career best with the victory.
Capricornus paid $4.10 to win.
The post position draw for next Saturday’s (September 14) $370,000 final took place following the eliminations. The Melander stable had their choice of positions following the victories by Back Of The Neck and Capricornus.
1 – Blue Cupertino
2 – Hetalkstoangels
3 – Back Of The Neck
4 – Capricornus
5 – Hp Royal Theo
6 – Nylander
7 – Moon Bridge
8 – Port Perry
9 – Beyond Kronos
10 – Synergy
AE – Your Still Up
Friday evening’s card also featured a $30,000 Mares Preferred. Youaremycandygirl followed up her stunning victory from a week ago with a 1:48.3 victory over Seaswift Joy N and Kissin In The Sand.
Making her second start from trainer Richard Moreau, Youaremycandygirl brushed to the lead in the second-quarter and never looked back to win. The four-year-old mare and driver Louis Philippe Roy posted fractions of :54.4 and 1:21.4 before firing home in :26.4 for her third win of the season.
Owned by W Donovan, Youaremycandygirl sports career numbers of 21 wins and over $1.5 million earned. She paid $3.50 to win.
Live racing continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park with more Grand Circuit action. Rookie pacers, colts and fillies, will compete in the Champlain, while three-year-old pacing fillies will duel in the Simcoe.
Post time is 7:10 p.m.