Bax finishes 1-2-3 in Peaceful Way

by Mark McKelvie – WEG Communications

Campbellville, ON — The Peaceful Way Stakes Saturday night (Sept 13) at Mohawk Racetrack was ‘As easy as 1-2-3’ for trainer John Bax.

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Stubborn Belle captured the Peaceful Way on Saturday night at Mohawk after heavy favorite Mission Brief went off-stride.

The Bax trainee Stubborn Belle and driver Paul MacDonell captured the C$385,000 final, while Juanitas Fury and Southwind Champane took the place and show spot to make it a ‘Bax Triactor’.

The entire complexion of the rich final changed before the field could even reach the eighth pole when Mission Brief, the 1-5 favorite, made a break.

The costly break by the favorite allowed Stubborn Belle and driver Paul MacDonell to step out to the lead and control the tempo.

After posting fractions of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:26.2, Stubborn Belle dug in down the stretch to hold off a late charge from stablemate Juanitas Fury to win the Peaceful Way Stakes by half a length in 1:56.

The other Bax trainee, Southwind Champane, was able to get up for third to complete the first-ever 1-2-3 finish for a trainer in Peaceful Way Stakes history.

Stubborn Belle’s victory also gives Bax and MacDonell back-to-back Peaceful Way crowns after the duo teamed up to win last year’s edition with Riveting Rosie.

“My hat has to go off to John Bax here,” said MacDonell. “To come in 1-2-3, I know we were up against Mission Brief and we knew we were up against it, but he had these horses prepared and ready to go tonight.”

Bax has now won three Peaceful Way Stakes titles. His first victory came in 2002, when the race was known as the Oakville Stakes, with Aimees Image.

MacDonell praised Bax for his touch with trotters.

“He’s just a perfect guy with a trotter, he’s relaxed, he doesn’t get anxious and worried about how they are coming along at any time of the year. He knows things will fall into place and my hats off to him.”

The costly break by Mission Brief not only stung for her connections, but the horseplayers who bet almost $18,000 of the $26,377 in the Win pool and the $33,581 of the $41,991 in the Show pool on her.

“I didn’t expect it, but you have to think about it because if she was going to get beat she was likely going to beat herself,” said MacDonell of the break by Mission Brief. “I’m upset for those people, she’s still a great filly, but we had to take advantage of it when the time came.”

Stubborn Belle, who finished second to Mission Brief in their elimination, has now won four of her eight career starts.

The daughter of Taurus Dream – Musetta Hanover is owned by Al Libfeld and Parkhill Stud Farm and now has a bankroll of C$308,786.

Stubborn Belle paid $19.50 to win.

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