Milton, ON — Rounding out the string of 2-year-old season openers at Woodbine Mohawk Park in recent weeks, the trotting fillies kicked off their Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series campaign on Thursday evening (July 11) in a trio of divisions.
After two victories in overnight action at the Woodbine Mohawk oval, Warrawee Vicky was the heavy favorite in the first $56,139 division and the youngster did not disappoint, cruising to a 3-1/2 length victory in 1:55.4.
Starting from post five with Sylvain Filion in the race bike, Warrawee Vicky was challenged early by a trio of fillies looking to gain an advantageous position. With Warrawee Vicky under full steam, Filion opted to maintain control and the favorites rolled through fractions of :28.1, :57 and 1:26 before sailing down the stretch to the win over Intense Justice and She Must Be Magic.
“She looked like she’s getting a little hot,” said trainer Scott McEneny of the mile, the fastest by a 2-year-old trotter in Canada this season. “He didn’t want to fight with her too much because she gets jolting her head a little bit, so he kind of just let her roll and thought she might settle down once they got in a hole, but she got a little wound up.”
McEneny trains Warrawee Vicky for Brad Grant, who purchased the filly from owner-trainer Robert Robinson after she won her June 25 debut. Both men were impressed with that effort, a 1:59.3 mile, and the Royalty For Life-The Tall Poppy miss has done nothing to dispel their positive first impression.
“She’s a very nice filly, she’s not too big, she’s not too small. Clean-legged and everything,” said McEneny. “She’s just a little sweetheart in the barn. Robbie did a great job with her.”
Warrawee Vicky made her first start for Grant and McEneny in a July 4 overnight which she won by four lengths in 1:58.2, resulting in her favored status for Thursday’s Gold division. Her next start will come in the second Gold event at Grand River Raceway on July 24 and McEneny expects her to handle the transition to the half-mile track as easily as she has handled everything else in her brief career.
“I don’t think she’ll have a problem, like I say she’s just an average sized filly and really clean gaited, she only wears a pair of brace bandages,” said McEneny. “I don’t think there’s going to be a problem, touch wood. We’ll be a little more careful and we won’t have to go that speed over that track I don’t think.”
In the $56,139 second division Massive Flirt also lined up behind post five and was sent off as a heavy favorite after winning her first lifetime start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 28 with a 1:57.3 effort.
Unlike Warrawee Vicky however, Massive Flirt eased away from the starting gate and was sitting fifth when Instant Karma reached the :29 quarter. Driver Jody Jamieson tipped Massive Flirt off the rail heading for the 1:00.3 half and the favorite was matching strides with pacesetter She Started It at the 1:29.4 three-quarters when that filly skipped off stride. Left all alone at the front, Massive Flirt cruised home a 3-1/4 length winner in 1:58.1. She Rocks Kemp and Shape Shifter picked up the second and third-place shares of the purse.
“So far, so good. I’m very pleased with her,” said trainer Jeff Gillis, who bred and owns Massive Flirt with Mac Nichol. “She seems to be very honest and really enjoys her work, and those are pretty good attributes when you’ve got some ability to go along with it.”
After being trained in Florida all winter by Steve Elliott, Massive Flirt arrived in Gillis’ barn in early May and the trainer has been delighted by her development.
“She progressed very nicely. She was always a big filly, but didn’t always just reek of athleticism the way she does now, so I am very happy with the way she’s developed,” said Gillis. “I think on top of being well prepared by Steve, she’s got a lot of intelligence about her too, and that goes a long way in the early going with early trotters.”
The daughter of Muscle Mass-Frosty Flirt was the first of two fillies guided to the Gold Series winner’s circle by Jamieson. He also drove lightly rated P L Nikita to a 1:59 score in the $56,746 final division.
Starting from post one the pair watched from third as Validation and Alakazam Angel tussled over the lead through the :29.2 quarter and :58.3 half. As the pacesetters continued to battle by the 1:28.1 three-quarters, Jamieson edged P L Nikita off the rail and out behind Alakazam Angel and then circled around the tiring combatants and romped home to a 1-1/4 length win in 1:59. Talahasse Seelster and Alexa Blue Chip finished second and third, respectively.
“Massive Flirt is pretty damn flawless. She went about her business like an aged horse tonight and really didn’t get stressed throughout. P L Nikita was a nice surprise. I picked her up at scratch time and got a great trip,” said Jamieson of his Gold Series winners. “It’s nice when you pick a horse up like her that trots so nice and has a great attitude.”
Jamieson piloted P L Nikita to the win for owner-breeder Prince Lee Acres. Thursday’s outing was the E L Titan-P L Blue Opal daughter’s first lifetime start following a pair of qualifiers at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Woodbine Mohawk Park welcomes back the 2-year-old pacing colts on Monday, (July 15) for their second Gold Series leg. The evening gets underway at 7:10 p.m. and the colts will compete in races five and seven.