San Pail made harness racing history on Saturday night winning his third consecutive Maple Leaf Trot title at Mohawk Racetrack and becoming only the
second trotter to accomplish the feat.
San Pail and driver Randy Waples brushed to command from fourth down the backstretch and kicked away to capture the $730,000 Maple Leaf Trot in a career-best 1:51.1, setting a new stakes record and matching Enough Talk's track record and the Canadian record, held by Enough Talk and Mr Muscleman. He also surpassed the $2 million mark in career earnings with the triumph.
Enough Talk (Mark MacDonald), Define The World (Paul MacDonell) and 2008 Maple Leaf Trot champion Arch Madness (Brian Sears) flashed early gate speed with Define The World winning the battle for the top spot. His lead was short lived though as the parked out Arch Madness pressed on and cleared at the :27.1 opening quarter.
As the field headed down the backstretch, San Pail blasted to the top from fourth and reached the half in :55, followed by three-quarters in 1:23.4. Meanwhile, Il Villaggio (Jody Jamieson) moved underway from fifth and Maple Leaf Trot Prep winner Lucky Jim (Andy Miller) rolled off stride from the backfield into the final turn.
Heading into the stretch, San Pail began to pour it on and opened up three lengths on the field to score the historical win. Arch Madness (Brian Sears) finished second and Hot Shot Blue Chip (Dave Miller) was third. Define The World and Il Villaggio were fourth and fifth respectively.
San Pail joined the Robert Farrington-trained Grampa Jim as the only two trotters to win three consecutive Maple Leaf Trot titles in harness racing history. Grampa Jim won the 1969, 1970 and 1971 editions.
The seven-year-old San Pellegrino-Village Beauty gelding, who was named Canada’s 2009 and 2010 Older Trotting Horse of the Year, is owned by trainer Rod Hughes of Dunsford, Ont. and breeder Glenn Van Camp of Port Perry, Ont.
“It took me such a long time to pull him up because I was actually getting teary eyed,” said Waples after the victory. “He’s just such an awesome horse and he gives it his all all the time. I just can’t be more happy for the horse and for Rod and his family. The fact that I get to drive him, it’s amazing. As great of a horse he is, it takes a great trainer to make a great horse and Rod’s done everything the way he’s wanted to do it whether it goes against the grain or doesn’t go against the grain, and you can’t argue with this success. My hat is off to Rod Hughes. Thanks a lot buddy.”
“It takes a lot to make me cry,” said a thrilled Hughes. “This is what harness racing is all about right here. If you don’t get excited here tonight then something’s wrong with you. This is what everyone should feel right here.
“I said in an interview before that this horse is probably going to come up with a mile of his life coming out of the nine-hole and to go up against the likes of Lucky Jim, Enough Talk and Arch Madness – they’re on top of their game -- this horse raced large tonight.”
Hughes indicated that San Pail would return next year to defend his title if he stays healthy and sound.
San Pail paid $8.70 to win. He has recorded eight wins and two seconds in 10 seasonal starts to earn $583,750 so far in 2011. The winner of 43 races in 101 lifetime starts now boasts a $2,295,215 bankroll.
Dreamfair Eternal Doubles In Roses Are Red
Waples enjoyed another special victory aboard Dreamfair Eternal, who got her nose to the wire first in thrilling three-horse photo finish to claim her second Roses Are Red Stakes trophy and also surpass $2 million in career earnings earlier on the card.
After getting away fourth from Post 9, Waples sent the reigning Horse of the Year first over and was caught up in a three-horse photo finish at the wire.
Warrawee Koine and Andy Miller blasted to command off the gate ahead of Ultimate Velocity (Rick Zeron), who then looped the leader at the :26.2 opening quarter pole.
The 4-5 favourite, Anndrovette (Tim Tetrick), then launched her attack from third and took over past the :54.3 half-mile marker while Waples angled the Pat Fletcher-trained Dreamfair Eternal off the pylons.
Dreamfair Eternal began to inch closer past three-quarters in 1:22.3 and eventually collared Anndrovette in mid-stretch while elimination winner Laughandbehappy (Jody Jamieson) rallied hard from ninth to get up into the win photo. In the end it was Dreamfair Eternal who prevailed by a nose in 1:50 flat with Laughandbehappy second and Anndrovette third.
“I thought Jody got me by a nose,” said Waples in the winner’s circle. “I knew it was really close, but usually you can match them up by the wheels and I thought his wheels were a little bit further ahead than mine so I thought that he got me. I never really realized it because I hadn’t gone up to the starting car -– they usually tell you who won the race -- until I saw Pat heading out on the track.”
Dreamfair Eternal paid $15.60 to win at odds of 6-1.
“I was kind of hoping to duck in on Sylvain’s back and then a hole opened up in front of him and I had to go there,” said Waples. “But I kind of got lucky a bit too because I didn’t really have to commit first over until past the half and when I first came I came as slow as I could just trying to keep those top three in my sight and it worked out.
“She’s obviously got a really big heart and for some reason there’s horses out there that seem to thrive first over and she’s one of them. She always gives me a good race. She gave me a great race last week and she just was a little bit better again tonight. Pat and Karen, they just did an unbelievable job with her. They keep her so good and they always have her sharp and ready. It was great to win that race out of the nine-hole. She deserved that."
John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ont. owns and bred the seven-year-old daughter of Camluck-J Cs Nathalie, who won the 2009 edition of the Roses Are Red and was second to Tug River Princess in 2010.
She has now won half of her eight starts this year and has banked over $356,000. The lion’s share of the purse from her 49th career win boosted her overall bankroll past the $2 million mark to $2,065,475.
Action Broadway Pulls Off Armbro Flight Shocker
Action Broadway pulled off a 25-1 shocker in the $349,000 Armbro Flight Stakes for aged trotting mares on Maple Leaf Trot night providing driver Mark MacDonald with his first major stakes victory since returning to action after being sidelined from injuries sustained in an accident in May.
Cross Of Lorraine (Jody Jamieson) took control of the field from Post 8, but gave way to defending champion and heavy favourite Buck I St Pat (Tim Tetrick) after the :27.3 opening quarter.
The new leader carved out middle splits of :56.2 and 1:25.1 while Kandor Hanover (Randy Waples) advanced first over from fourth with Action Broadway and Mark MacDonald following her cover.
Kandor Hanover collared Buck I St Pat as she appeared to stop up at the head of the lane, but Action Broadway rallied home off cover to prevail in 1:53.3. At odds of 45-1, Kandor Hanover finished second while Frosty Flirt (Scott Zeron) rounded out the top three.
“The way I read it was there was lots of speed on the outside of the gate and I was hoping I was going to be able to get in behind Buck I St Pat and I did," said MacDonald after the win. "And then of course she quarter-pole moved to the front, which I really wasn’t happy with. but it worked out to be the winning move because she had no trot today. I just got lucky, she [Action Broadway] got a nice trip and trotted hard to the wire.
“No, I absolutely was not [sure I’d get there]. I was praying I would, but it was really close right to the wire. Jody was loaded with Cross Of Lorraine and [Scott] was on my back. I was hoping she would get there first. I thought I deserved it.”
Action Broadway paid $57.60 for the upset. The four-year-old daughter of Broadway Hall-Photo With Molly, who was second to Buck I St Pat in her elimination, notched her eighth win in 18 seasonal starts and 17th lifetime for owner and breeder Kenneth Sommer of Sheffield, Ohio. Her earnings climbed to $324,775 for 2011 and $622,300 lifetime.
Voelz Hanover Surpasses $1 Million
Voelz Hanover surpassed the million-dollar mark in career earnings with a wire-to-wire career-best victory in the $32,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred Pace to kick off Maple Leaf Trot night at Mohawk Racetrack.
Voelz Hanover sprinted to command from Post 8 and carved out fractions of :27.1, :54.4 and 1:21.4 without facing any challengers en route to a two length victory in 1:50 flat. Sweet Hedge (Luc Ouellette) and Lady Latte (Jody Jamieson) followed for second and third.
Sylvain Filion drove the six-year-old Astreos-Vassar Hanover mare to her second victory in 14 seasonal starts for trainer Ben Baillargeon and owner Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, Que. She now boasts a record reading 21-16-12 in 81 career starts with earnings totalling $1,000,144.
Voelz Hanover paid $26.30 for the upset.
Older pacing horses faced off in a $45,000 Open event in which Art Professor ($3.70), an Art Major-Allamerican Toffee four-year-old, converted from the pocket to score a dazzling 1:47.4 triumph for driver Jody Jamieson, trainer Ben Wallace and owners Bradley Grant of Milton, Ont. and Holland Racing Stable Inc. of Aurora, Ont. The time of the mile set a new track and Canadian record for aged horses, eclipsing Lis Mara's mark by one-fifth of a second, and was two-fifths of a second off the overall record for male pacers, held by geldings Primetime Bobcat (Canadian record holder) and Won The West (track and Canadian record holder).
All Tiger N ($4.60) front-stepped his way to a career-best 1:49.1 score in the $28,000 Preferred 2 Pace. Mark MacDonald drove the seven-year-old gelded son of Christian Cullen-Tiger Turner to victory for trainer Isaac Waxman and owner Brenda Selwyn Waxman of Dundas, Ont.
For recaps and replays of the Canadian Breeders Championships for three-year-olds also featured on the Saturday harness racing card, click here.
For results from Saturday's harness racing card, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Mohawk Racetrack.