Trotting Mares Ready To Take 'Flight'
Fourteen trotting mares battled in a pair of $50,000 Armbro Flight eliminations Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Two aged beauties stole the spotlight and earned the right to select their post position for next week’s
In an off-the-pace performance, Buck I St Pat and driver Sylvain Filion captured the first elimination, as well as her first victory of the season in eight starts for trainer Ron Burke.
Cross Of Lorraine (Jody Jamieson) was the early leader and remained the tempo setter through fractions of :28, :56.4 and 1:25.1.
Into the final turn, Kandor Hanover (Randy Waples) launched a first-over attack from third with the 1-5 favourite, Buck I St Pat, catching cover.
The mares fanned out across the track as they entered the stretch and showing some late speed was Buck I St Pat, who trotted home in :26.4 to prevail in 1:52.4, one length ahead of pocket-sitter Action Broadway (Rick Zeron). Cross Of Lorraine faded to third and Kandor Hanover finished fourth. Also advancing to the final was fifth-place finisher Rose Run Keepsake (Paul MacDonell).
"She knows what to do with that kind of a trip," Filion commented after the win. "I was waiting for cover. The connections told me that they would appreciate it if I could race her off the pace. I think this sort of a mile will make her brave for the final and I'm sure she will be ready for next week."
Buck I St Pat holds the Canadian and track record for older trotting mares of 1:52, which she set in the 2010 Armbro Flight final.
The eight-year-old daughter of Jailhouse Jesse-Name It Something has a lifetime record of 50-16-11 in 100 starts and boasts career earnings of $2,272,565 for owners Howard Taylor, Edwin Gold, Abraham Basen and Ronald Fuller.
Buck I St Pat paid $2.70 to win.
The Rick Zeron-trained and driven Miss Dangles pulled off a 16-1 upset in the second Armbro Flight elimination, also notching her first win of the season.
Jersey As (Jason Brewer) parked Friendly Amigo (Trevor Ritchie) going into the first turn and held the lead, cutting the opening panel in :26.2.
Past the half in :55.2, Pembroke Heat Wave (Sylvain Filion) made a bid for the front from third and dueled with Jersey As, who hit three-quarters in 1:24.1.
Pembroke Heat Wave made a costly break down the stretch, which gave longshot Miss Dangles room to take the lead. Zeron and his trainee got under the wire in a lifetime best clocking of 1:53.1, winning by half a length.
The even-money favourite, Frosty Flirt (Jody Jamieson), got up for second, Southwind Wasabi (Scott Zeron) finished third and Autumn Escapade (Mark MacDonald) was fourth. Also advancing to the final was Friendly Amigo, who was fifth.
"This mare is a whole lot better chasing than she is on the front end and she has a lot of gate speed too, but she comes off-the-pace real good," said Zeron following the win. "Jack Moiseyev drove her for me last week and she trotted a mile in :54 and a piece and come :27.1 in the end and Jack said she was full of herself and I knew tonight we had her prepped up and ready to go."
The veteran conditioner was confident that his four-year-old mare would dig in and hold on for the win.
"She doesn’t stop," he explained. "She sees, like Jody [Jamieson with Frosty Flirt] coming behind me and she keeps right on trotting. She really doesn’t like a horse going by her down the lane. She wants to be the dominator."
The daughter of Ken Warkentin-Kimberly Coe has a lifetime record of 8-3-3 in 25 starts and career earnings of $146,410 for owners Bowl Stables and Daniel Pallay.
Miss Dangles paid $34.20 to win as the upsetter.
The top five finishers from Friday’s eliminations advance to the rich Armbro Flight final slated for Saturday, July 23 as one of the undercard races on Maple Leaf Trot night.
Here’s how the mares will line up behind the gate for the final:
1. Autumn Escapade
2. Southwind Wasabi
3. Miss Dangles
4. Buck I St Pat
5. Kandor Hanover
6. Frosty Flirt
7. Action Broadway
8. Cross Of Lorraine
9. Rose Run Keepsake
10. Friendly Amigo
AE. Mystical Starlight
For results from Friday's harness racing card, click on the following link: Friday Results - Mohawk Racetrack.
(With files from WEG)