Need To Breathe avenged her loss to Western Wish in last week's Fillies & Mares Preferred Pace at Woodbine Mohawk Park as she pounced from the pocket and prevailed in a photo finish on Friday night (Jan. 27).
Western Wish, driven by Austin Sorrie, quickly crossed to command from the outside post six in the $30,000 feature and led the way through fractions of :29, :57.2 and 1:24.3, but Need To Breathe turned the tables on last week's 16-1 upsetter for Travis Cullen, getting by in the final strides to score by a nose in 1:53.1 over a snowy track.
In the race for the minor spoils, Dabarndawgswatchin (Louis-Philippe Roy) edged out the favoured O'Brien Award finalist, So Much More (James MacDonald), who was back in action against the mares off a brief layoff, and the winner's stablemate, Snow Shark (Ed Hensley).
Need To Breathe was sent to post as the 4-1 third choice and paid $10.20 to win.
The four-year-old Riggins-Christie Hanover mare has won four of her last five starts against Preferred company for trainer Jodie Cullen and owners A1stable of Dundas, Ont., Paul Sanders of Surrey, B.C., and Blair Kidd, Miniota, Man.
She now boasts a dozen wins on her lifetime record from 37 starts and $323,125 in purse earnings.
The Snowshoe Pacing Series kicked off on Friday's card with the big favourites sweeping a pair of $18,000 divisions in the first leg. The series is for three and four-year-old male pacers that are non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of Oct. 31, 2022.
After advancing into pocket position once the field straightened up down the backstretch in Friday's opener, 1-5 favourite Emmetts Buddy (Louis-Philippe Roy) shook loose late and collared pacesetter Last Beach (Doug McNair) in the final strides to win in 1:52.3 as the first-up Full Disclosure (Ondrej Gois) faded to third. An judges' inquiry into the favourite's pocket-popping move down the stretch found no violations of the rules of racing and the results stood.
Michael Kwietniowski trains the winning Arthur Rey homebred, a four-year-old In The Irons-Logicallyinclined gelding who won the Manitoba Great Western Stakes last year.
Also winning a division as the 1-5 bettors' choice, Camara Moment (Doug McNair) took command after the first quarter and lasted on the lead despite drifting out in the stretch to score in 1:54.4 over the track that was downgraded to snowy for the second split. Ontop Rainman (Mike Whelan) was on top early and finished three-quarters of a length back, with Dont Poke The Bear (Jonathan Drury) rounding out the top three.
The win was one of three on the 11-race card for trainer Richard Moreau. The four-year-old Control The Moment-Utica Bayama gelding, who won the final of the Valedictory Series on Boxing Day in his first start from the Moreau barn, is owned by Mickey Sudar, Brenton Harris and James Borke.
Both Emmetts Buddy and Camara Moment have now won three of their last four races.
To view Friday's harness racing results, click the following link: Friday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.