MILTON, July 1, 2019 – Trotters provided fireworks of a different kind on Monday’s Canada Day card at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
A trio of sub-1:52 trotting miles stole the show on the 10-race card, including a pair from trainer Ben Baillargeon.
Four-year-old Run Director returned to Mohawk Park to capture the $34,000 Preferred Trot in a career-best 1:51.2. The Baillargeon trainee was one for three on the season and coming in off a fourth-place finish in a leg of the Graduate at The Meadowlands.
Hemi Seelster cut the mile and opened a lead of 3 ½ lengths with a :27.3 third-quarter to reach the marker in 1:22.4. Run Director and Sylvain Filion got away fourth, avoided a second-quarter breaker and moved to the outside into second at three-quarters.
In the stretch, Hemi Seelster drifted out badly to hurt his chances at maintaining the lead. Run Director trotted home straight with a :28 final-quarter to win by three-quarters of a length over O Narutac Perfetto. Hemi Seelster finished third, while Dancer Hall was fourth.
A homebred for Tom and Elizabeth Rankin, Run Director’s career-best performance gives him eight wins and bumps his career earnings to $469,505. The Baillargeon trainee was last year’s Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final champion.
Run Director paid $3.20 to win.
The fastest trotting mile of the evening came from Baillargeon trainee Royal Witch in the $22,000 fourth-race.
A five-year-old mare, Royal Witch and driver Trevor Henry stormed out to the lead and never looked back to win in a career-best 1:51, equaling Canada’s third-fastest trotting mile ever by a mare.
The daughter of Kadabra posted fractions of :27.1, :55.1 and 1:22.4 to lead by just over four-lengths turning for home. A :28.1 final-quarter completed the lifetime best mile for a victory of 2 ¼ lengths.
Royal Witch is also owned by Tom and Elizabeth Rankin and now has two wins in five starts this season to bring her career numbers to 13 wins and $252,863 earned.
The clocking of 1:51 would’ve matched the Track Record a month ago, but that mark has recently been broken twice by Hannelore Hanover (1:50.3) and most recently Atlanta (1:50.2).
Royal Witch paid $6.70 to win.
Four-year-old Treasured Tee set the tone for the evening by trotting to a career-best 1:51.3 victory in the $20,000 first-race.
The John Cecchin trained son of Yankee Glide was also driven by Henry, who owns the trotter, and rallied from fourth at three-quarters to win by three-quarters of a length over four-year-old mare Kadabra Queen.
Treasured Tee had just one win in seven starts this season entering Monday and now sports career numbers of seven-wins and $110,596 earned. He paid $21.80 to win.
Live racing continues Tuesday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m.