Milton, ON — The C$560,000 Canadian Trotting Classic and C$350,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old trotters headline another rich Saturday evening (Sept. 19) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Woodbine’s signature races for sophomore trotters are the lead events on a nearly C$1.4 million card that also features a C$158,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings, as well as the eliminations for the Metro Pace, She’s A Great Lady and Milton Stakes.
Goodtimes winner Ready For Moni is the likely favorite for the 45th edition of the Canadian Trotting Classic. The Nancy Takter trainee is five-for-six on the season with his lone defeat a runner-up finish in the Hambletonian.
Ready For Moni, a son of European stallion Ready Cash, is the richest horse in the field with $575,670 earned this season and $857,120 lifetime.
Trainer Ben Baillargeon will look to protect home turf with a pair of starters in the Trotting Classic: HP Royal Theo and Hayek.
HP Royal Theo was third in the Goodtimes and currently sits at four-for-eight with $119,595 earned this season. The gelded son of Royalty For Life won last year’s William Wellwood Memorial and could follow last year’s Trotting Classic winner Green Manalishi S, who also pulled off the Wellwood-Trotting Classic double.
Hayek is putting together a strong sophomore campaign, with four wins and $135,622 earned in nine starts. The gelded son of E L Titan established a Canadian record of 1:53.3 last month over the Grand River Raceway half-mile oval.
The Canadian Trotting Classic field also includes Simcoe Stakes winner Jula Trix Treasure for Åke Svanstedt, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes consolation winner Chestnut Hill for Richard ‘Nifty’ Norman.
The C$560,000 Canadian Trotting Classic has been carded as race five (8:40 p.m.).
The C$350,000 Elegantimage is the latest showdown between Hambletonian champion Ramona Hill and Hambletonian Oaks champion Sorella. Both fillies have posted Grand Circuit wins in recent weeks at Mohawk Park.
Tony Alagna trainee Ramona Hill cruised to a 1:53.2 victory in last Friday’s (Sept. 11) Simcoe Stakes. The daughter of Muscle Hill is five-for-six on the season with $765,315 earned. Her rookie season was also nearly flawless, posting a record of six-for-seven and earning $405,400.
Ramona Hill capped off her rookie season with a Breeders Crown victory at Mohawk Park.
Takter trainee Sorella is in search of a third straight win at Mohawk Park. The Muscle Hill filly arrived in late August to win a division of the Casual Breeze and then last week defeated older male rivals in an overnight event.
Sorella is six-for-eight on the season with $418,404 earned after going two-for-nine as a rookie.
The only meeting to date between Ramona Hill and Sorella following the Hambletonian was in the Zweig Filly Trot on August 21 at Vernon. Ramona Hill won while Sorella made an early break.
The next highest earner in the field is Sister Sledge, who, just like Ramona Hill, competed against the boys in the Hambletonian. The Ron Burke trainee is five-for-nine this season and is approaching $750,000 in career earnings.
Ontario Sires Stakes Gold winners Princesspartypants, Trina and Warrawee Vicky will look to pull the upset in the C$350,000 race.
The Elegantimage has been carded as race nine (10:20 p.m.).
Saturday’s card continues the trend of stakes-filled programs at Mohawk Park.
Rookie trotters continue to receive the added spotlight approaching the Mohawk Million. Macho Martini will look to rebound from a third-place finish in last Saturday’s William Wellwood Memorial when he takes on nine rivals in a C$158,000 OSS Gold event.
Tokyo Seelster, who was fourth, and Logan Park, who was eighth, join Macho Martini in the Gold division after racing in the Wellwood.
The OSS Gold for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters is carded as Race 3.
The Metro Pace is harness racing’s richest race for 2-year-old pacers. A group of 12 rookies have been split into two C$40,000 eliminations.
Grand Circuit winners Lawless Shadow and Abuckabett Hanover will square off in the second elimination. The Dr. Ian Moore-trained Lawless Shadow has won two in a row, including a division of the Nassagaweya on Aug. 29. Alagna trainee Abuckabett Hanover turned heads with a seven-length 1:50.3 score in last Saturday’s Champlain.
The Metro Pace eliminations have been carded as races one and two.
The She’s A Great Lady, for 2-year-old pacing fillies, saw 14 fillies entered and split into two C$35,000 eliminations.
Takter trainee Caviart Audrey is the horse to beat entering the eliminations. The two-time Grand Circuit winner will headline the field for the second elimination and is in search of her fourth win in five starts.
The first elimination features the return of Whenuwishuponastar Series winner Notorious Pink for the Alagna barn and last week’s Champlain division winner Scarlett Hanover for Ashleigh Hensley.
The She’s A Great Lady eliminations go as races 11 and 12.
Older pacing mares will also be in action Saturday for a pair of C$35,000 Milton Stakes eliminations.
Roses Are Red champion Warrawee Ubeaut returns to Mohawk Park in the first elimination for trainer Burke. She will take on the more-than-established likes of Kissin In The Sand, Treacherous Reign and the rising star Lit De Rose, who comes in off a victory in her Mohawk Park Preferred debut.
The second elimination sees Caviart Ally return to Mohawk Park in search of a Milton Stakes three-peat. The 6-year-old has won the event in each of the last two years, but is just one-for-six in 2020.
The Milton Stakes eliminations are carded as races six and eight.
Early program pages for Saturday’s rich card are available on the Woodbine Mohawk Park website. Post time is 7 p.m.
The full fields for the Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage (with nominated drivers and trainers) are listed below:
C$560,000 Canadian Trotting Classic
1. Sky Castles (Louis-Philippe Roy/Andrew Harris)
2. Threefiftytwo (Bob McClure/Luc Blais)
3. Chestnut Hill (Andy McCarthy/Nifty Norman)
4. Shadrack Hanover (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke)
5. Play Trix On Me (Jody Jamieson/Linda Toscano)
6. Ready For Moni (Yannick Gingras/Nancy Takter)
7. HP Royal Theo (Louis-Philippe Roy/Ben Baillargeon)
8. Beyond Kronos (Louis-Philippe Roy/Susie Kerwood)
9. Hayek (Sylvain Filion/Ben Baillargeon)
10. Jula Trix Treasure (Sylvain Filion/Åke Svanstedt)
1. Ramona Hill (Andy McCarthy/Tony Alagna)
2. Princesspartypants (Roger Mayotte/Roger Mayotte)
3. Sorella (Yannick Gingras/Nancy Takter)
4. Fortune Starlet (Louis-Philippe Roy/Meg Crone)
5. Tricky Sister (James MacDonald/Andrew Harris)
6. Sister Sledge (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke)
7. Trina (Robert Shepherd/Blake MacIntosh)
8. Warrawee Vicky (Doug McNair/Scott McEneny)
9. She Rocks Kemp (Trevor Henry/Tony O’Sullivan)
10. Whose Blues (Bob McClure/Luc Blais)
AE. Solsbury Hill (Rick Zeron/Rick Zeron)