Milton, ON — Thursday night (Aug. 13) marked the midway point in the 3-year-old trotting filly Gold Series season and it was a pair of first-time Ontario Sires Stakes winners who emerged from the fray at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
In the opening C$108,000 division Trina hustled away from post 10 behind division point leader Warrawee Vicky and followed that filly through the fractions of :26.4, :55.3 and 1:24.3 rung up by pacesetter GP Dreamin. When Doug McNair swung Warrawee Vicky into the outer lane around the final turn, Robert Shepherd and Trina were hot on their heels and soon overtaking the two-time Gold winners.
Down the stretch Trina opened up a 3-3/4 length margin on her peers, trotting under the wire in 1:53.4. Warrawee Vicky finished second and She Rocks Kemp closed well to be third.
“Shep gave her a great drive. He didn’t give up the three-hole and it was just a perfect drive for her,” said trainer Blake MacIntosh. “I was really worried about the 10-hole because she can get real grabby on the gate, and then she wants to leave a thousand miles out of there. That’s why we opened her up a little bit, just to try and keep her a little calmer, and it seemed to help her a lot. And Shep did a great job getting her out right behind Dougie (McNair) and sitting in the three-hole the whole way. Not a lot of guys can get them away well out of the 10-hole, trailing.”
MacIntosh made the switch from a blind bridle to Swedish blinds after Trina delivered a lackluster performance in an Aug. 6 overnight at Woodbine Mohawk Park. That effort came as a surprise to the trainer and his co-owners Stan Klemencic and 30 Plus Stable, because the Muscle Mass daughter had finished second in the track, Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record mile recorded by P L Notsonice in the July 26 Gold leg at Rideau Carleton Raceway.
“She qualified great, both times (July 14 and 21), we took her up to Ottawa and she finished second in that record mile up there and last week we raced her in non-winners of two and she just had no fire, she just had nothing,” said MacIntosh. “I’m not too sure what happened, we pulled her blood, but everything came back good, she just had nothing, so we were really concerned about it.”
Thursday’s victory, a personal best, certainly allayed her owners’ concerns. The win was Trina’s first for the group, who offered up $59,000 for the filly at last fall’s Harrisburg Mixed Sale, her first win of 2020 and her first in Ontario Sires Stakes action.
In the second C$108,000 division driver Louis-Philippe Roy rolled Royalty Deal away from post six and landed in second behind Talahasse Seelster as that filly rang up a :27.4 opening fraction. Roy and Royalty Deal continued to sit behind Talahasse Seelster heading by the :56 half, but had stepped into the outer lane by the 1:24.4 three-quarters. Royalty Deal found another gear in the stretch and was able to keep a neck in front of Magic Cape at the 1:53.4 finish. Modern Mass completed the top three.
“I didn’t know much about how the filly was until Clark (Beelby) told me before the race that she could be aggressive on the track. I just made sure she stayed quiet during the post parade and going on the gate, and then everything developed for her,” said Roy. “She’s a big and fast filly.”
Roy engineered the win for trainer Clark Beelby and owners Coyote Wynd Farms, who purchased the daughter of Royalty For Life and Cha Cha Glide for $50,000 at the 2018 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale from breeder Stan Klemencic, giving him an interest in both division winners.
Thursday’s appearance was Royalty Deal’s first in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. The filly made just one start at two and developed her skills in six starts against conditioned competition at Woodbine Mohawk Park this season before joining the Gold Series fillies for Thursday’s third leg.
The 3-year-old trotting fillies will make their fourth Gold Series start at Flamboro Downs on Sept. 27.