Before the star-studded lineup on Saturday, the ladies will take centre stage on Friday (Sept. 17) at Woodbine Mohawk Park with the $233,000 Armbro Flight final and eliminations for the 2021 Milton Stakes.
The final of the Armbro Flight goes as the evening’s ninth race, with many of the division’s top mares landing outside starting spots. The quintet of When Dovescry, Hypnotic AM, Sorella, Atlanta and Manchego all start from post four to the outermost spot on the gate, with their three rivals securing posts closer to the pylons. Between the five are more than $10 million won in purses, one Hambletonian and three Hambletonian Oaks.
When Dovescry starts innermost of the star-studded sect from post four. David Miller is slated to drive the Brett Pelling trainee off a 1:51.4 victory in a Miss Versatility preliminary at The Meadowlands on September 3, where she bested Sorella by 2-3/4 lengths. Sorella will start in the Armbro Flight from post six with Andrew McCarthy nabbing the drive of the Nancy Takter trainee.
Hypnotic AM, Atlanta and Manchego all return to mares competition following a try at open company in the $546,000 Maple Leaf Trot. Of the three, Hypnotic AM enters off the best finish – a fourth while beating Atlanta by a length – and gets an improved draw from post 10 in the Maple Leaf Trot to post five on Friday. Atlanta scores from post seven with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Ron Burke, and Manchego will have to rebound from post eight following an off-the-speed effort where she then broke stride and finished seventh. Dexter Dunn sticks with that Nancy Takter trainee.
At the inside of the car start several local talents fronted by the return of Hey Livvy, last year’s O’Brien Trotting Mare of the Year. The Jeff Gillis trainee makes her first start since the $60,000 Vincennes Invitational on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands, where she broke stride before the start and finished seventh. Prior to that, she campaigned at Yonkers Raceway against their top class, recording two victories and a second. Trevor Henry is reunited with his star mare, whom he co-owns, from post two.
Other local starters in the Armbro Flight include Teddys Littleangel from post one for trainer Ted MacDonnell and Royalty Deal from post three for Clark Beelby.
Co-featured to the mares on the trot are the mares on the pace, with 13 total aged pacing mares contesting in two $35,000 eliminations for the Milton Stakes earlier on the card.
Elimination one, carded as Race 3, gathers a group of six topped by Lyons Sentinel, a facile 1:49.1 winner in the $316,000 Roses Are Red on September 4. Tim Tetrick pilots the Jim King Jr.-trained mare from the pylon post in a field including world champion Warrawee Ubeaut, who appears on the brink of rebound following a 1:48.4 coast-to-coast victory at The Meadowlands, and local star Lit De Rose, who draws the outermost post of the sextet. Yannick Gingras pilots Warrawee Ubeaut from post three for trainer Ron Burke while Louis-Philippe Roy retains the call on Richard Moreau trainee Lit De Rose.
The second elimination goes as the sixth race with a seven-horse dash aligning. Linda Toscano trainee Rocknificent escapes Lyons Sentinel, to whom she has finished runner-up on numerous occasions this season, and starts from post three with Scott Zeron listed to drive. She matches up again with So Much More, last season’s O’Brien Pacing Mare of the Year who also finished second to Rocknificent in the Roses Are Red prep on August 28 before finishing behind her with a third-place effort in the final. James MacDonald sticks with the Don Beatson-trained Preferred juggernaut who starts from the pylon post.
Friday’s prelude to Saturday’s stakes serenade also includes four divisions of Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots for three-year-old pacing fillies, going for $87,900 in total purses.
Entries for Friday’s card, along with complimentary past performances, are available at the following links: Friday Entries -- Program Pages (courtesy TrackIT).