Milton, ON — Ontario’s top 3-year-old pacing fillies wrapped up their Gold Series regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Tuesday (Sept. 29) and both Alicorn and Rose Run Victoria returned to the winner’s circle after a three-month absence.
Alicorn lined up at post three in the first $79,200 Gold division with regular pilot Louis-Philippe Roy. The fan favorites got away fourth, but soon after the :26.2 quarter they were advancing on leader Betalady. Alicorn got a brief windbreak from Beach Sports as that filly took command heading for the :54 half and then locked horns with the new leader through the 1:21.4 three-quarters. Alicorn got a head in front turning for home and dug in down the stretch for a 2-1/4 length win in 1:50.4. Beach Sports finished second and So Delightful closed for third.
“When she headed around the turn I said, ‘Oh okay we’re good now, she’s good,’ because she hadn’t had that opportunity the last couple times. When she came first-up like that she didn’t get to head the horse on the lead and I think that’s what cost her,” said trainer Chantal Mitchell. “This will be a good confidence booster for everybody involved, for the horse, for the driver, for the owners, for everybody. It’s always good to go into the Super Final off a win.”
The 2-year-old pacing filly division champion, Alicorn won her sophomore debut in the June 29 Gold Series opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park, but had not found the winner’s circle again in six starts. She had finished fourth twice and fifth once against her Gold Series peers, with her best result a second in the Aug. 22 Fan Hanover elimination. In the Sept. 12 Simcoe Stakes the Bettor’s Delight daughter finished fourth, kicking home in :26.1 and Mitchell felt she was finally getting back to her early season form.
“That was her strongest last quarter of the year and she was very much like herself, so going into this week I was fairly confident with her,” said the trainer. “And those races when she did go big trips, she might have finished fourth or wherever she finished, but she went a big trip, probably the biggest trip out of anybody in that race, so I was disappointed, but I was happy because not very many horses would have hung on as tough as she did in those races, under those circumstances.”
Mitchell trains Alicorn for Windermere Stable and Robert Muscara. The filly heads into the Oct. 17 Super Final ranked fifth with 121 points.
Rose Run Victoria gave driver Jody Jamieson a work out in the $78,600 second division, but he put the He’s Watching daughter in a position to win and a :26.3 last quarter did the rest.
“She was good tonight that’s for sure. They put all the good mares in one division it seemed like. Man alive, I didn’t like that, but at least the game plan worked. She seems better chasing, any time she’s raced really well it’s been from behind, so we just kept her that way,” said trainer Rod Boyd. “Jody did a great job, because she was grabbing on a lot and Jody’s probably the strongest driver on this circuit and even he said he was pretty much done at the end of it.”
Starting from post five, Jamieson settled Rose Run Victoria in fifth as Karma Seelster and Sex Appeal tussled to a :26.3 quarter. Sex Appeal carried on to a :55 half and when All Day Sunshine and Laura’s Love started up the outside Jamieson allowed Rose Run Victoria to follow. Sex Appeal reached the three-quarters in 1:23.2, but she was quickly challenged by Karma Seelster to her left and Laura’s Love on her right.
Jamieson kept Rose Run Victoria tucked in behind fan favorite Laura’s Love well into the stretch, but when he gave the filly an open lane she powered home to a 1-3/4 length win in a personal best 1:50.4. Laura’s Love finished second and Sex Appeal stayed game for third.
Boyd trains Rose Run Victoria for Rick Phillips and Mark Harder, who developed the filly before shipping her to Ontario at the end of June.
“Mark, he sent me one message after the race, ‘Good job, she ain’t easy is she.’ She’s pretty bull headed anything you do with her,” said Boyd. “She’s the biggest mare I have in the barn, she’s 16 hands for sure. She’s powerful, plenty powerful.”
Rose Run Victoria won her July 17 Gold Series division at Woodbine Mohawk Park and finished third once and fourth twice in the other three legs. After making breaks in her Fan Hanover elimination and the Sept. 5 Gold leg Rose Run Victoria was forced to requalify, which is when Jamieson joined the team.
“She’s so racy that she wants to do it, but she just puts herself in bad situations I think. A couple starts ago it was my fault, how I had her rigged up,” said Boyd. “Jody has helped me out a bit, because it does take somebody strong to go with her, so Jody helps out a lot.”
The fiery filly heads into the Super Final sitting third in the standings with 128 points and Boyd is hoping Jamieson can craft a similar trip against the division’s top fillies when C$250,000 is on the line.