Racing Returning To Mohawk

Published: June 2, 2020 10:42 pm EDT

One night after harness racing returns to Canada in Prince Edward Island, Ontario's top circuit will spring into action as Woodbine Mohawk Park hosts its first cards of racing since Mid-March on Friday and Saturday.

Woodbine Mohawk Park will host a pair of 10-race cards this weekend, with Friday’s entry box drawing 200 horses and Saturday’s drawing 134. However, due to social distancing measures implemented in accordance with the return to racing, the number of horses that can compete on a program is limited at the moment. Friday’s card drew 98 horses, offering $206,000 in purses while Saturday’s drew 93 starters, offering $244,000 in purses.

A $32,000 Filly and Mares Preferred Pace headlines the Friday card, with a field of seven going to the gate. Entries in the Friday feature include last year’s sophomore Ontario Sires Stakes stars Boadicea and Sunny Dee as well as 2018 Fan Hanover winner Shower Play.

Last year Boadicea and Sunny Dee faced one another on five occasions in Ontario Sires Stakes competition. Thrice the pair contested in provincial action at Woodbine Mohawk Park, with Boadicea emerging victorious, including in the $225,000 Super Final. O'Brien Award winner Sunny Dee upended her foe once, winning a single $158,000 dash Ontario Sires Stakes division at Flamboro Downs in late September. The two renew their rivalry with Boadicea starting from post 2 with Doug McNair listed to drive and Sunny Dee from post 7 with Trevor Henry in the bike.

Shower Play will also make her first start since finishing ninth in the $250,000 Milton Stakes last fall. The now five-year-old daughter of Shadow Play also caught eyes last year with a third-place effort—behind Shartin N’s 1:46.4 mile in the $183,500 Lady Liberty at the Meadowlands, when she kicked to the finish with a :25.4 final quarter to finish just over four lengths off the winner. She enters off a 1:53.3 qualifying mile last Friday (May 29) and will start from post 5 with Scott Young listed to drive.

Several other Mohawk mainstays wills compete on the Friday card. The evening’s seventh race — a $26,000 conditioned pace — features Kendall Seelster, the now five-year-old Shadow Play mare known for setting the previous stakes record in 2018 when winning a division of Ontario Sires Stakes in 1:49.4 (Boadicea last year lowered the record to 1:49). The Rod Boyd trainee sits under $8,000 away from passing the million-dollar plateau.

Shipping to Mohawk early in the year, Reclamation will compete against Kendall Seelster from post 6 in the field of 10. The five-year-old mare by A Rocknroll Dance attracted attention back in 2019 for her winning streak against mid-level competition down in Pennsylvania and New Jersey after starting her career racing in Ireland. Louis-Philippe Roy is scheduled to drive the Richard Moreau trainee.

The following race — a $24,000 conditioned pace — features London favourite Sporty Tori, who in 2019 ran an eight-win streak into the City Of London Series but finished second in the final as the odds-on favourite. The four-year-old Sportswriter mare since then had tested the waters racing at Mohawk, winning a $16,000 conditioned pace back on Feb. 14 to then win in the next class up two weeks later. She enters the toughest class she’s faced to date, which includes Fraser shipper Rockin Mystery, Jeff Williamson trainee Catch An Ace and Windsun Glory, who competed against Hoosier’s top pacers before shifting tack to compete against Preferred mares at Mohawk last summer.

A field of seven also aligns Saturday for the featured $36,000 Preferred Pace. Easy Lover Hanover, a perennial fixture in Mohawk’s top class, will start from post 1 for trainer Ben Wallace and regular driver Doug McNair as the now seven-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere tries for his first win at the top of the conditions sheet this year.

From post 4 starts Century Farroh, who makes his four-year-old debut following an O'Brien Award-winning sophomore campaign that racked nearly $750,000 in earnings. The son of Mach Three collected 12 victories from 16 starts last year, many of which came in divisions of the Ontario Sires Stakes while he also scored wins in the $75,000 North America Cup Consolation and $170,000 Jennas Beach Boy at Hoosier Park. Sylvain Filion is slated to again drive the Dr. Ian Moore trainee.

Shipping from the Alberta-California circuit towards the end of February, Icy Blue Scooter will visit the Preferred ranks for the first time. The seven-year-old Blue Burner gelding amassed over $200,000 in earnings after years grinding against the top stock in the west. The former Nate Sobey trainee collected his biggest victory to date in early December last year when he wired his rivals in the $50,000 Jim Vinnell Memorial at Fraser Downs. Now in the Shawn Steacy barn, Icy Blue Scooter will make his third start over the Mohawk oval and is slated to have James MacDonald drive.

Aside from the Preferred Pace, many of Mohawk’s other top pacers will compete earlier on the card in a $30,000 conditioned pace. Physicallyinclined, an eight-year-old son of Mach Three who won the North America Cup Consolation back in 2015 and has since raced among the Preferred ranks and banked just over $800,000, will start from post 2 alongside Isitfridayyet, who rose from the conditioned claiming ranks in 2018 to become a competitor on the top half of the class ladder for trainer Rob Fellows. Matticulous Gb, shipping from England last summer to climb the class ladder in Pennsylvania and New Jersey before moving to Mohawk in February, also competes and will start from post 4.

A field of 11 caps the weekend of racing with a conditioned event going for a heightened purse of $30,000. The Jackpot Hi-5 race features Nirvana Seelster, who competes regularly at Mohawk’s top class and also passed $1,000,000 in earnings back in September 2018, as well as Pointomygranson, another consistent competitor in Mohawk’s Preferred ranks who nears $500,000 in earnings.

Racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park gets underway on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:00 p.m. (EDT).

To view Friday's harness racing entries, click on the following link: Friday Entries - Woodbine Mohawk Park.

To access free, printable program pages of Mohawk’s Friday races, courtesy of TrackIT, click here.

To view Saturday's harness racing entries, click on the following link: Saturday Entries - Woodbine Mohawk Park.

To access free, printable program pages of Mohawk’s Saturday races, courtesy of TrackIT, click here.