Milton, ON — Woodbine Mohawk Park is set to resume live racing, without spectators, this weekend beginning with a 10-race card on Friday night (June 5).
Racing was suspended at the Campbellville oval following a card on March 19. After a 78-day hiatus, Mohawk Park will get back down to business with strict COVID-19 protocols in place to ensure the health and safety of participants, officials and staff. Spectators will not be permitted until further notice.
The opening weekend will feature back-to-back 10-race cards (Friday and Saturday), highlighted by a Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout on Saturday’s final race. The feature race on each card will be a Preferred Pace with the ladies in the spotlight Friday and boys on Saturday.
Full fields are the story of the weekend, as the entry box was flooded with eager horsepeople ready to get back to racing.
Woodbine will immediately launch into a five-nights-a-week schedule following opening weekend with live racing every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Here is a breakdown of what to watch for this weekend at Mohawk Park.
Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout (Saturday)
Woodbine Mohawk Park will offer a mandatory payout on the Jackpot Hi-5 during opening weekend. The carryover sits at C$236,338.67 following the last Jackpot Hi-5 on March 19.
The wager will be suspended on Friday night in preparation for Saturday’s mandatory payout.
The Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout race will be race 10 on Saturday with an overflow field of 11 pacers. The most recent Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payouts on Feb. 15, 2020 and Dec. 21, 2019 each saw the ‘new money’ wagered more than double the amount of the carryover. This Saturday’s carryover is the highest for a mandatory payout in more than a year.
For more Jackpot Hi-5 information, click here.
OSS grads ready for older ranks (Friday)
Friday evening’s card will be headlined by a C$32,000 Mares Preferred Pace and last season’s Ontario Sires Stakes stars Boadicea (trained by Bill Budd) and Sunny Dee (trained by Bob McIntosh) are in the mix. The now 4-year-olds clashed many times last season with Boadicea (post two) capturing the OSS Super Final and Sunny Dee (post seven) being named O’Brien Award champion. The OSS grads met up in a qualifier last Friday with Sunny Dee prevailing by a nose.
Another 4-year-old that was making a name for herself prior to the shutdown is So Much More. The Don Beatson trainee has won six of her last 11 starts with four of those coming at the Preferred level. Her last start came against the boys in the Preferred. She is the 3-1 morning line choice.
High hopes for Pepsi North America Cup eligibles (Saturday)
June would normally be Pepsi North America Cup month, but with Canada’s most prestigious harness race pushed back to Aug. 29, several eligibles will start their journey on Saturday night. The evening’s seventh race will feature Ontario’s champion 2-year-old versus one of New York’s finest.
Dr. Ian Moore trainee Tattoo Artist (post one) captured last year’s OSS Super Final as part of a five for eight season with $182,672 earned. The son of He’s Watching qualified on April 17 at Moore’s winter-base Southern Oaks Training Center in Florida, pacing a mile in 1:52.4 (last quarter :28).
Blake MacIntosh trainee Groovy Joe (post six) was a winner during last Thursday’s qualifiers at Mohawk Park, stopping the clock in 1:53 (last quarter :26.2). The son of Roll With Joe won seven of 10 starts as a rookie and never finished outside of the top two. He dominated in New York, ultimately finishing second in the NYSS championship to finish with $230,845 in earnings.
Here are the other Pepsi North America Cup eligible horses racing Saturday:
Race 2: Ys Mathis (post seven, Richard Moreau)
Race 7: Sports Obsession (post one, Carl Jamieson)
Race 7: Beach Blanket Book (post four, Blake MacIntosh)
Race 7: Denali Seelster (post nine, Dr. Ian Moore)
Heavyweights battle in Preferred (Saturday)
Preferred Pace mainstay Easy Lover Hanover (post one) is one of seven older pacers that will line up in Saturday’s C$36,000 feature. The Ben Wallace trained 7-year-old has earned nearly $900,000 in his career and for another winter was a major player in the Preferred. Although he didn’t rack up as many wins this winter, Easy Lover Hanover has been right there, finishing second in each of his last four starts.
The new face to Preferred action is Century Farroh (post four), who makes his 4-year-old debut. The Moore trainee had a tremendous sophomore season, winning 12 of 16 and banking $573,570. He posted multiple Grand Circuit victories with scores in the Somebeachsomewhere, Simcoe and Jenna’s Beach Boy highlighting his campaign.
Top drivers and trainers
Leading Drivers (Wins) at Mohawk Park since Jan. 1, 2020:
Doug McNair – 69 (20.1%)
Jody Jamieson – 42 (16.9%)
Sylvain Filion – 40 (12.2%)
Bob McClure – 38 (13.4%)
Louis Philippe Roy – 37 (14.4%)
Trevor Henry – 37 (12.3%)
Jonathan Drury – 36 (11.7%)
James MacDonald – 27 (9.4%)
Phil Hudon – 19 (7.5%)
Chris Christoforou – 18 (8.6%)
Leading Trainers (Wins) at Mohawk Park since Jan. 1, 2020:
Richard Moreau – 50 (15.1%)
Carmen Auciello – 36 (12.8%)
Ben Baillargeon – 20 (20.8%)
Patrick Shepherd – 13 (23.5%)
Mark Goddard – 12 (10.9%)
Rod Boyd – 11 (14.1%)
Bill Budd – 9 (14.1%)
Shawn Steacy – 9 (16.1%)
Jodie Cullen – 9 (14.8)
Winning Post Positions
Top Post Positions (Pace) since Jan. 1, 2020:
Post 6 – 66 for 309 (21.4%)
Post 5 – 47 for 311 (15.1%)
Post 9 – 18 for 144 (12.5%)
Post 7 – 34 for 291 (11.7%)
Post 1 – 35 for 311 (11.3%)
Top Post Positions (Trot) since Jan. 1, 2020:
Post 6 – 24 for 132 (18.2%)
Post 5 – 22 for 132 (16.7%)
Post 8 – 13 for 105 (12.4%)
Post 4 – 16 for 132 (12.1%)
Post 2 & 3 – 14 for 132 (10.6%)
Available All Races: Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta
Rolling Wagers: Daily Double and Pick-3
Guarantees: $75,000 Early Pick-5 (race one)
Pick-4: Early Pick-4 starts on race four and Late Pick-4 starts on race seven
Pick-5: Early Pick-5 (C$75,000) starts on race one and Late Pick-5 starts on race six
Jackpot Hi-5: No Hi-5 wagering on Friday. Mandatory payout set for Saturday