Flamboro Record For Emoticon Hanover
Published: October 2, 2016 9:26 pm ET
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Despite less than perfect conditions, Emoticon Hanover set a new track record for three-year-old filly trotters at Flamboro Downs with her win in Sunday evening's second $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division.
Emoticon Hanover gained sole ownership of the top spot in the divisional point standings with the victory, moving out of a two-way tie for the lead with Caprice Hill, who is undefeated in three Gold legs but skipped Sunday's fifth and final event leading up to the Super Finals.
The second division quickly turned into a three-horse race with half the field breaking stride in the early going. Magical Steph (Steve Byron) established the lead from post one, with 1-5 favourite Emoticon Hanover crossing into second-place from the outside six-hole and Dewdle All Day (James MacDonald) following in third. The top three fillies circled Flamboro Downs through panels of :28.3, :58.3 and 1:27.3 before driver Sylvain Filion pulled Emoticon Hanover from the pocket and she took off in a :28.3 final quarter to score by three lengths in 1:56.3 over the 'good' track with a one second variant. Dewdle All Day also passed Magical Steph in the stretch to take the runner-up role.
The former track record of 1:57 was shared by Condi Lane (2008), Miss Paris (2012) and Riveting Rosie (2014).
While Emoticon Hanover turned in a record-setting performance, the effort was not quite flawless for the filly.
“I was a little concerned going to the first turn; there was a horse that made a break, two horses made a break, and mine got a little bumpy,” said Filion. “I thought maybe mine would jump for a while, but she settled as soon as she hit the backside, so I was real happy with that. I was just being extra careful in the turns, so I moved her down the backside and I knew she had tons of go. I knew if she stayed flat that she was going to win for sure.”
This year, Emoticon Hanover has won half of her dozen starts, with Sunday's victory being her third in the Gold Series to go along with two runner-up finishes behind Caprice Hill.
Luc Blais trains the Kadabra-Emmylou Who filly, who was purchased for $165,000 at the Harrisburg Sale as a yearling by Determination of Montreal, Que. She has won 10 of her 22 career starts while banking nearly $580,000.
“She’s been pretty good throughout the season and she feels like she’s even getting stronger now,” said Filion. “I know she’ll be coming into the Super Finals in top form, because she’s been racing so good and she’s still fresh.”
Earlier in the night, Flowers N Songs earned her second victory in the Gold Series, overpowering Royal Charm in the final quarter.
With the inside post advantage, Major Muscle secured the lead in the first turn and carved out fractions of :29.3, :59 and 1:28.3 before succumbing to the first-over blitz of Elegantimage Stakes upsetter Royal Charm. However, driver Doug McNair had 1-2 favourite Flowers N Songs in striking position second-over and the Deweycheatumnhowe-Pleasures Song filly fanned wide off the final turn then sprinted past Royal Charm in the stretch, closing in :28.3, to win by one and a quarter length in 1:57.3 over the 'good' track. Royal Charm was second and Tymal Tempest finished third off a pocket trip.
Flowers N Songs now has 10 wins from 25 starts in her debut racing season and earnings over $460,000 for trainer Paul Reid and owner/breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania.
“We’ve just been going week by week, basically, and she’s held up to a pretty tough schedule,” said Reid of the Kentucky Filly Futurity-bound Flowers N Songs. “She’s a very nice filly to be around -- always happy, really loves her work, which has made the kind of season she’s had possible. Some of the fillies aren’t quite as cooperative and she’s been very cooperative with everything we’ve wanted to do. She’s a good keeper, she eats good, so she’s been a joy to have.”
In other action, Haydens Little Man pulled off a 36-1 upset in the $11,000 Preferred 2 Pace, closing from third to score in 1:53.4 for trainer/driver Jason Ryan and owner Jeffrey Potok. The four-year-old son of American Ideal paid $75.40 to win, stepping up from a Preferred 3 victory last Sunday at Flamboro.
This week's $7,500 Preferred 3 was won by 6-5 favourite High Flier and Paul MacKenzie in 1:55.3 for trainer Todd Clements and owner Christopher Nicol.
To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Flamboro Downs.
(With quotes from OSS)