Odds-on choice Rose Run Victory swept to the front past the half and kept going, cruising to a 1:53.2 victory in the $17,000 first division for the opening preliminary of the Niagara Series on Saturday (Dec. 12) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Starting from the pylon post, driver Ed Hensley settled Rose Run Victory into third while Mas Dontforget Me motored to the top through a :27.3 opening quarter with Tipperary Hill in the pocket. Hensley then hustled his three-year-old Shadow Play filly off the pegs for the lead into the backstretch, crossing over to the cones to control the terms by a :56 half.
Rose Run Victory remained unchallenged around the final turn, passing three-quarters in 1:24.3. From there the Ashleigh Hensley trainee held a firm length-and-a-quarter advantage over Tipperary Hill to the finish, while Docs Harmony rallied from near-last for third.
Owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phillip Collura, Rose Run Victory won her sixth race from 31 starts, earning $120,601. She paid $2.50 to win.
Filter Hanover fired first over to score in the other division of the Niagara Series, stopping the clock in 1:55. The daughter of Bettors Delight raced fifth to a :27.3 opening quarter set by Laila Blue, who soon lost the lead into the backstretch from pocket-popping Big Myrtle. Driver Jonathan Drury then angled Filter Hanover off the pylons as the tempo slowed to a :57.2 half and rushed towards the front to press the pacesetter into the final turn. Past three-quarters in 1:26, Filter Hanover inched closer to Big Myrtle and eventually downed the tiring pacesetter to win by one-and-a-half lengths at the beam. Classylaneprecious finished third with Patricia Mae taking fourth.
Owned by 9228 2599 Quebec Inc., Roger Bourgeois, Serge Leonard and Jean Dessureault, Filter Hanover won her third race from 15 starts this season and her fifth from 23 overall, earning $51,014. Corey Johnson trains the $11.40 winner.
On the undercard, Mohawk mainstay Easy Lover Hanover ($16.50) notched his 50th career win, using a first-over attack through the far turn to seize command in upper stretch and then evade 3-5 favourite Indictable Hanover by two lengths in 1:52.3.
Doug McNair drove the seven-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding for trainer Ben Wallace and owner Brad Grant. The winner's share of the $24,000 purse in the high-level conditioned event lifted Easy Lover Hanover's career earnings to $1,150,448.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.