Quite possibly the best horse in harness racing at the moment, Lyons Sentinel captured the $240,000 Milton Stakes for fillies & mares on Saturday (Sept. 25) at Woodbine Mohawk Park as part of Canada's richest card of harness racing this year.
Sent off unsurprisingly as the 1/5 choice in the field of nine, Lyons Sentinel got away fourth from post three behind second choice Rocknificent (Scott Zeron), Gias Surreal (Bob McClure) and Marloe Hanover (David Miller). Rocknificent fronted the field through a sharp :26.2 opening quarter. Not content to sit in fourth for long, Tetrick right-lined Lyons Sentinel from fourth and forged to the front. The favourite landed on the lead just after a :54.4 half, but couldn't catch too much of a breather as Gias Surreal came back out to challenge through that third quarter.
With Gias Surreal starting to cut into the lead of Lyons Sentinel around the far turn with the third quarter reached in 1:22.2, Tetrick popped the plugs and asked his mare for another gear turning for home. Like the champion she is, Lyons Sentinel responded with a :27 final stanza to repel her rivals and trip the timer in 1:49.2. Rocknificent was a length and a half back with longshot Gias Surreal racing outstanding to take the show spot.
"There are some great mares in there," said Tetrick after the win. "I raced her differently than I normally do; I like her better in tracking position but I didn't want to be first up from the three eighth pole and have to go against great mare in Rocknificent. So I took my shot and when she's on the lead she starts looking at butterflies and looking up in the air and stuff but she knows she's a champion, she figures it out, she put her head down and got the job done."
Lyons Sentinel (Captaintreacherous - Tutu Hanover) picked up her sixth straight win and eighth of the campaign for trainer Jim King Jr. and owner Threelyonsracing of Brantford, Ont. to lift her career earnings over the $1.93 million mark. Tetrick noted that the mare's form has always been stellar, but another mare just happened to have her number in 2020 as evidenced by eight second-place finishes.
"She's been super from day one; from two to four. Last year, she just ran into Party Girl Hill, and that just shows you how great that mare was as we were second to her all the time."
The win in the Milton is the first for the connections, and even though he's now a Hall of Famer with a resume the envy of many the first Milton win means a lot to Tetrick.
"Anything is special when it says stakes race and the Milton's one of the top races in the sport so to win it's a big honour."
The Milton Stakes is part of Canada's richest card of harness racing, headlined by the 2021 Mohawk Million. Read about all the stakes from the card in the Mohawk Million News Centre.