Milton, ON — Sorella set a Canadian record in her Woodbine Mohawk Park debut Friday (Aug. 28) to headline a quartet of stakes events for 3-year-old trotters. A pair of $61,868 Casual Breeze Stakes divisions for 3-year-old trotting fillies and two $22,800 Goodtimes eliminations for 3-year-old trotting colts took place Friday.
Sorella kicked the night off in style in the opening Casual Breeze split, crushing rivals by nine lengths in 1:51.3 for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Nancy Takter. The clocking of 1:51.3 broke the previous Canadian and track mark of 1:51.4 set by Ariana G and Manchego.
A daughter of Muscle Hill, Sorella moved to the lead in the second quarter and posted panels of :55.3 and 1:24.1 before saying goodbye to her competition with a :27.2 kicker. Whose Blues finished second, while Princesspartypants edged out She Rocks Kemp for third.
Sorella is now five for seven on the season after going two for nine as a rookie. The Hambletonian Oaks champion has now made $407,004 this season to bring her career total to $542,317 for owners Elmer Fannin, Crawford Farms Racing and Brent Fannin. The Takter trained Sorella is eligible to the upcoming Simcoe and Elegantimage. She paid $2.20 to win.
McKee’s Angel rebounded from some recent miscues to win the second Casual Breeze division in 1:54.2 for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Ben Baillargeon.
Early action and movement settled down when McKee’s Angel and Filion powered to the top in the second quarter from fifth, clearing just after a :56.4 half. Race favorite Wine Rack Hanover sat in the two-hole, as McKee’s Angel led by three-quarters in 1:25.2.
In the stretch, Wine Rack Hanover took a shot at McKee’s Angel, but the Baillargeon trainee turned her aside and trotted off to a 1:54.2 score. Susie’s Lady rallied from well back to finish a flying second, beaten a length. Modern Mass was third, while Wine Rack Hanover was fourth.
A daughter of Archangel, McKee’s Angel was making just her second start in the Baillargeon barn. She made a break in her debut on Aug. 13 before qualifying on Aug. 18. The Casual Breeze victory was her first in seven starts this season. McKee’s Angel now has three wins and $60,285 earned in 15 career starts for owner/breeders Legendary Standardbred Farm. Trainer Baillargeon confirmed that she’ll now head towards the Simcoe and Elegantimage. A $2 win ticket on McKee’s Angel returned $10.20.
Rescheduled from mid-June, the Goodtimes for 3-year-old trotters had a pair of eliminations contested to determine the field for next Saturday’s (Sept. 5) final and the winners came from the same barn as the Casual Breeze.
Fresh off a win in the Zweig Memorial, Ready For Moni posted a 1:51.4 victory for the team of Gingras and Takter. The son of Ready Cash moved to the lead in the second quarter and hung up panels of :56.1 and 1:24.3 before closing out the victory with a :27.1 final quarter. Play Trix On Me finished up in :26.4 to grab second, beaten three-quarters of a length. Hayek was third, while Jula Trix Treasure and Hollywood Story completed the top five to make next week’s final.
Ready For Moni is now four for five this season with his only loss being a runner-up finish in the Hambletonian. He now sits at $493,970 earned this season and sports career numbers of eight wins and $775,420 earned in 13 starts for owners John Fielding, Lindy Farms of Conn., Herb Liverman and Bud Hatfield. The betting public sent Ready For Moni off at odds of 1-9.
HP Royal Theo made the front in the second quarter and trotted off to a 1:53.1 score in the other elimination for driver Louis-Philippe Roy and trainer Ben Baillargeon. The gelded son of Royalty For Life overcame the outside post nine to score his fourth win in seven starts this season. Capricornus rallied for second, beaten 1-3/4 lengths. Hot Wheelz, Lovedbythemasses and Stravinsky, also from the Baillargeon barn, rounded out the top five.
HP Royal Theo came through last season in the William Wellwood Memorial final and could be set for more Grand Circuit success for owners Claude Hamel and Michel Damphousse. His career numbers now sit at seven wins and $316,742 earned. A $2 win ticket on HP Royal Theo returned $8.90.
The C$215,000 Goodtimes final will take place next Saturday (Sept. 5) as part of a stakes-filled card. The post positions for the final were drawn following the eliminations. Friday’s elimination winners earned the right to select their post for the final.