Milton, ON — Ontario’s top 2-year-old pacing fillies were back in action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Tuesday (Aug. 18) and division leader Bet On Becky was back in the winner’s circle.
Starting from post one in the second $79,800 Gold Series division, driver Jody Jamieson settled Bet On Becky in third as Andra Day sprinted out to a :27.1 quarter and then sent the fan favorite to the front. After logging a :56.2 half and 1:24.3 three-quarters, Bet On Becky shifted into a bigger gear in the stretch, drawing away to a two length victory in 1:52. Andra Day finished second and Cyclone Sister was third.
“We got a good tightener in her last week (Aug. 11) in the qualifier when Roger (Mayotte) went with her and he did a super job for us and protected her and that, and she was obviously awesome once again tonight,” said trainer Anthony Beaton, who opted to skip the Battle Of The Belles with his star pupil. “She is just an awesome filly to be associated with.”
Beaton trains the Bettor’s Delight-Western City daughter for Larry Menary, Kenneth Ewen, Alan Alber and Michael Guerriero. The partners have now cheered the filly home to three Gold Series wins and one overnight victory in four career starts for earnings of $112,148. The filly, a $70,000 purchase at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, sits atop the division standings with a perfect 150 points.
Beaton said Bet On Becky continues to be the consummate professional in the barn and on the training track, but noted that she had an extra edge to her when she arrived at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Tuesday.
“She’s still very nice, but I found in the paddock tonight she was nipping at us and just seemed to be right at the end of the crossties and right on her toes. She just seemed sharp, real sharp tonight in the paddock too. Obviously she translated it on the track,” said Beaton. “She just loves her work, that’s one thing with her.”
So long as she remains happy and healthy, Bet On Becky will be aiming for the Aug. 29 Eternal Camnation at Woodbine Mohawk Park. She is also eligible to the Sept. 12 Champlain Stakes and the She’s A Great Lady, with eliminations Sept. 19 and the final Sept. 26, at the Milton oval.
The first $79.800 Gold division saw another daughter of Bettor’s Delight record her first Ontario Sires Stakes victory.
Lining up at post six, the best post the duo had seen so far this season, driver Trevor Henry and Best Head West got away seventh and watched Turning The Table sprint out to a :26.4 opening quarter. City By The Bay took over before the :56 half and Henry had Best Head West rolling up the outer lane behind two other fillies. Game Of Shadows had taken command by the 1:24.4 three-quarters and Best Head West was just over three lengths behind the leader, getting ready to kick into overdrive. A :27 finishing kick propelled the fan’s second choice down the stretch to a 2-1/4 length victory in a personal best 1:52.3. Best Keepsake finished second and Game Of Shadows was third.
“She’s a nice filly who is just starting to catch on,” said Henry. “She’s had bad posts and bad luck, but I think she is away now.”
Henry steers Best Head West for trainer Bob McIntosh and his co-owner/breeders Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. and C S X Stables. Tuesday’s win was the filly’s second of the season and so far she has enjoyed a post six over Grand River Raceway’s half-mile oval, one post seven and a trio of trailing post 10s.
In the July 27 Battle Of The Belles elimination at Grand River Raceway, Henry thought the filly would be able to overcome her post, but she started ducking in on the turns and made a break. That resulted in an equipment change and Best Head West came back with an Aug. 7 win in overnight action at Woodbine Mohawk Park, sprinting home in :26.2 for a 1:53.2 victory from post 10.
The filly’s mother, Lets Head Out West, is a half-sister to both L A Delight, a winner of $1.4 million, and Sunny Dee, who has accumulated $495,534 in her career to date. Henry is the regular reinsman for Sunny Dee and also took a few spins around Woodbine Mohawk Park with L A Delight and says the filly bears some resemblance to her successful aunts.
“I would say L A Delight,” said Henry of which mare the filly most resembles. “Those are big shoes to fill, but she might.”
The 2-year-old pacing fillies will make their fourth Gold Series start at Grand River Raceway on Sept. 4.