Dundas, ON — Scoring her second straight Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series victory on Wednesday evening (Oct. 2) at Flamboro Downs, Wine Rack Hanover has established herself as one of the 2-year-old trotting fillies to watch heading into the post season.
Starting from the advantageous post one, driver Sylvain Filion wanted to control the tempo and on her best behavior Wine Rack Hanover complied. The filly laid down fractions of :30, 1:00.2 and 1:31.1 and without facing a challenge sailed home a 1-3/4 length winner in 2:00.1. Princesspartypants finished second and Alpina was third. Fan favorite Jula Shes Magic made an early break and finished well back in fifth.
“When you’ve got the rail on a half-mile you’ve got to try and hold your position and hope for the best, but I knew from the start when she left the gate that she felt solid and I was pretty confident,” said Filion. “She did it pretty easy, well in hand. She’s still learning, but I mean she’s come a long way from how she started off to how she is now.”
Wine Rack Hanover started her Ontario Sires Stakes on a strong note, winning her July 14 Grassroots division at Georgian Downs, but struggled mid-season with breaks. Filion first sat behind the Kadabra-Winbak Maya daughter when trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman re-qualified her on Sept. 17. Wine Rack Hanover won that qualifier with a 1:56.1 effort and then earned her first Gold Series win at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 24. Regular reinsman Trevor Henry was in the bike for that start but is currently in Lexington, Ky., so Filion was happy to fill in for Wednesday’s outing.
“I had a chance to qualify her a few weeks ago and I really liked her,” said Filion. “She had a tendency to make breaks, so they kind of changed the gear and she qualified real good, and then she raced good and tonight, well Trevor’s gone away, so they asked me to come and drive her and I said, ‘Sure, absolutely.’”
Norman trains Wine Rack Hanover for Pinske Stables and Bridgette Jablonsky. In nine starts the filly now boasts a record of three wins and two thirds for earnings of $100,249 and heads into the Oct. 12 Super Final in fourth spot in the division standings.
Warrawee Vicky will lead the 2-year-old trotting fillies into the post season after scoring her third Gold Series win Wednesday. Starting from post four, the fan favorite tucked in third early as Trina led the field of seven to a :30 quarter and a 1:00.2 half. Heading for the 1:30.4 three-quarters driver Doug McNair sent Warrawee Vicky up the outside to the lead and although Trina went off-stride McNair kept the pedal down and Warrawee Vicky powered home to a 6-1/4 length victory in 1:59.3. Pocket-sitter She Rocks Kemp finished second and Ride To Justice recovered from an early break to be third.
“She raced good last week and real good again tonight,” said McNair, who was making his second appearance in Warrawee Vicky’s race bike. “She’s flawlessly gaited and absolutely perfect to drive. It gives you lots of options.”
McNair crafted the win for trainer Scott McEneny and owner Brad Grant. In addition to Wednesday’s win Warrawee Vicky was also victorious in the July 11 Gold event at Woodbine Mohawk Park and the July 24 Gold event at Grand River Raceway. In nine lifetime starts the Royalty For Life-The Tall Poppy daughter boasts a record of five wins and one second for earnings of $131,375.
The top 10 point earners from the regular season will now advance to the Oct. 12 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park.