Favourites First In ‘Great Lady’ Eliminations

The public’s dollars proved fruitful when favourites Prohibition Legal and Niki Hill delivered with dominant efforts to win their respective $35,000 eliminations for the Shes A Great Lady on Saturday (Sept. 18) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Prohibition Legal overcame the outermost post of the octet in the first elimination to post a 1:52 victory as the 6-5 choice.

Joyride Hanover hustled to the top with I Love Ongait landing in second to a :26.3 first quarter. Queen Of Success raced third and promptly lunged off the pegs into the backstretch with Prohibition Legal in tow. Once forging to the front, Queen Of Success yielded control to Prohibition Legal approaching a :55.4 half and raced locked into the final turn as American Ticket tried to tackle the leader first over.

By three-quarters in 1:25.1, Prohibition Legal spun for home as Queen Of Success angled from the pocket but strode evenly for the finish. Joyride Hanover found room late and flew after Prohibition Legal to cut her margin of victory to a half length. Queen Of Success took third with Treacherous Kiss nabbing fourth from I Love Ongait.

“She’s just a beautiful horse,” driver James MacDonald said after the race. “You move her to the front and you think she’s just gone, and then she’ll come right back to you. That’s kind of the key. That’s a pretty good half, :55 and change, but then she just relaxed. She’ll go wherever you want. I call on her at the top of the stretch and she just opens up. She’ll always wait on them, but I asked her at the wire and she’s got more in the tank. Hopefully next week we get a good trip and Kentucky again after.”

Undefeated in six starts, Prohibition Legal has banked $260,491 for owner-breeder Millar Farms. Nick Gallucci trains the Big Jim filly, who paid $4.50 to win.

Niki Hill toyed with her competition to post a 1:50.2 victory in the second elimination for the Shes A Great Lady.

Balance bolted off the car slightly rough gaited but nonetheless took the lead to a :28 first quarter with Boudoir Hanover sitting in the pocket briefly. Off the first turn, Boudoir Hanover bounded to the front with her stablemate Niki Hill soon following suit to a :56.3 half.

Niki Hill led the field to the final turn with Boudoir Hanover following closely from second and Balance giving chase in third. Just Divine angled off the pylons from fourth coming to three-quarters in 1:23.4, but the final-quarter sprint to the finish left the order of the top four unchanged. Niki Hill rolled to the finish under wraps with a :26.3 final quarter to best Boudoir Hanover by 1-1/2 lengths, with Balance another five lengths behind in third. Just Divine finished fourth with Smuggle Tina securing the last final berth.

“She’s putting every foot forward in the right place at the moment,” driver Dexter Dunn said after the race. “It’s only her fourth race-day start – first time here as well. She’s just got some horse and power there. I probably got away a little closer than I thought I was going too – Bobby [McClure and Big Bettor Hanover] made a break there and not too much left from out wide there a part from a couple. The rest of the trip I was a passenger really. She was doing it very easily.”

Winning in all four of her starts, Niki Hill has banked $64,791 for owner Tom Hill. Chris Ryder conditions the Always B Miki filly, who paid $2.50 to win.

The eliminations for the Shes A Great Lady were part of a stakes-packed program at Woodbine Mohawk Park headlined by the Canadian Trotting Classic. Read all the recaps in the Mohawk Saturday Stakes News Centre.