A scramble to the finish spurred by the break of 1-5 favourite Ready For Moni saw Chestnut Hill emerge through an opening at the pylons to pull a 60-1 shocker in the $560,000 Canadian Trotting Classic on Saturday (Sept. 19) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
“I’ve been watching this horse down there and he has been sneaky good,” winning driver Andrew McCarthy said after the race. “I ended up in a spot that I wasn’t too happy about heading into the last turn there, but it worked out where I got to shake him out and sneak him up the inside there.”
Away fifth from post 3 to a :27.4 first quarter, Chestnut Hill stuck to the pylons while Ready For Moni rolled uncovered to take the lead from Threefiftytwo. Ready For Moni then led the field to a :56.4 half while Play Trix On Me towed the two-wide flow into the final turn. Heading to three-quarters in 1:25, Ready For Moni slightly widened his lead but began to drift through the stretch as the backfield fanned out and chased.
By the eighth pole, Ready For Moni jumped as Chestnut Hill veered through traffic to then dive inside of the breaker and surge fastest to the finish of a 1:53.2 mile, lunging past Play Trix On Me taking second. HP Royal Theo finished third but also lost stride in the stretch and to the finish, disqualifying him from third for making a lapped-on break and placing Jula Trix Treasure third and Threefiftytwo fourth.
“I kind of yelled out to let Yannick [Gingras on Ready For Moni] know there was someone on the inside of him,” McCarthy said after the race, “so it worked out where he heard me and didn’t want to crash into me. He did a good job to get that horse out of the way safely.
“When I first moved him heading into the homestretch he had a ton of trot; he really wanted to go places,” McCarthy also said, “but it was just a matter of finding a way through. Once I had to kind of check him there midstretch and had to get him going again, but he did and he took off.”
Returning $122.90 to win, Chestnut Hill collected his third win from 11 starts this season and his fifth from 22 overall, earning $614,713 for owners Melvin Hartman, David Mc Duffee and Little E LLC. Richard “Nifty” Norman trains the Muscle Hill colt.
The Canadian Trotting Classic was one of the handful of major stakes events on the Saturday card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Recaps from the other races are available at the following links:
To view the results from Saturday's card of harness racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park, click the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.