Graduate Series opens, Miss Versatility continues at Mohawk Park

To watch a replay of Jiggy Jog S in the Graduate Series, click here.
To watch a replay of Adare Castle in the Miss Versatility, click here.

To watch a replay of Captain Cowboy in the Graduate Series, click here.
To watch a replay of Dreamfair Arnie B in the Graduate Series, click here.

Milton, ON — On a card where many glamour boys got their tightening miles ahead of the $1-million Pepsi North America Cup, aged horses sparred in their own stakes as Woodbine Mohawk Park hosted the kickoff to the Graduate Series and the second leg of the Miss Versatility on Saturday (June 3) night.

Jiggy Jog S did just that on Saturday in the Graduate Series at Woodbine Mohawk Park. New Image Media Photo.

Jiggy Jog S jetted around the Campbellville oval in the lone C$99,750 opening preliminary of the Graduate Series Trot, uncorking a 1:50.3 mile under wraps on her seasonal bow.

Sent off as the 2-5 favorite from post two, Jiggy Jog S (Dexter Dunn) sprinted off the wings and barreled slightly off the pegs through the first turn to land on the lead in :26.2 with Slay (Joe Bongiorno) sitting the pocket. No challengers marched against Jiggy Jog S, so the Ake Svanstedt trainee coasted past a :55.1 half and kept the tempo hot through the final turn to clock three-quarters in 1:22.4. The four-year-old daughter of Walner straightened strongly and plowed down the lane to post a five-length victory on idle. Pretender pushed first over through the final turn to snag second from Slay while Looks Like Moni (James MacDonald) settled for fourth.

Dunn, the regular pilot of Jiggy Jog S through her million-dollar sophomore campaign, guided the Jorgen Sparredal Inc.-owned mare to her 11th victory from 25 starts and padded her bankroll to C$1,300,168.

“She got off the gate real good; nothing else really came – that was a pretty hot first quarter anyway,” said Dunn. “She wandered around a little on the front like she can do, but I asked her at the top of the stretch and she kicked really good. She just sort of cruise controlled the last eighth of the mile.

“She had such an incredible year last year. She’s come back – first time I’ve sat behind her [this year] – but her rear end’s gotten a lot bigger and stronger. She could be in for hopefully another good year.”

Jiggy Jog S paid $2.60 to win.

Canada’s queen, Adare Castle won the Miss Versatility in gate to wire fashion on Saturday. New Image Media Photo.

The single C$53,200 division of the Miss Versatility second leg got stolen by the Canada’s trotting queen Adare Castle (MacDonald), who sneaked soft early fractions to ready for a stretch sprint and deliver as the 3-2 favorite in 1:52.

MacDonald motored Adare Castle from post six to the top with Swans Eye (Doug McNair) landing in the pocket and Raised By Lindy (Yannick Gingras) into third through a :27 first quarter. With no threats looming up the backside, Adare Castle coasted to a :56.3 half and waited for action to come into the final turn.

Raised By Lindy slipped off the pegs and rolled along the rim to come within a length of Adare Castle passing three-quarters in 1:24.4 and drew to equal terms with the pacesetter in the lane. Adare Castle dug her heels in at the cones and reclaimed a narrow lead into the final eighth to hold her ground and keep a half-length advantage at the beam. Swans Eye swerved to the center and snagged second at 61-1 with Raised By Lindy settling for third and Warrawee Xenia (Yannick Gingras) charging from last for fourth.

“She’s a special horse – I think maybe one of the quietest C$1.3 million a horse can make,” winning driver James MacDonald said after the race. “She just goes out there and does her business and finds a way to the winner’s circle almost every time she races. She’s amazing.

“[Raised By Lindy]’s a great horse. I was just hoping my horse could hang on,” MacDonald also said. “I got good fractions and usually when she’s on the front, she’s tough to get all the way by. I was confident when Yannick [Gingras] didn’t head me early that I probably was going to be able to hold them off. Mine’s so iron tough – his raced great; it’s a great field of mares. But Adare Castle is just a special horse.

Winning her 19th race from 28 tries, Adare Castle moves closer to the $1.3 million mark with C$1,264,861 earned for trainer Mark Etsell and co-owners Robert Newton, Graham Hopkins and Peter Porter.

Adare Castle paid $5 to win.

Captain Cowboy made his presence known, lighting up the tote board in his division of the Graduate Series. New Image Media Photo.

Captain Cowboy (Gingras) brought sparks to the tote board with the sea parting at the pylons and providing the Ron Burke pupil a lane to fire and take the first C$66,500 division of the Graduate Series opening pace at 22-1.

Gingras blasted Captain Cowboy to the fore and led through a :26.4 first quarter before soon finding himself shuffled to third. Layton Hanover (MacDonald) pulled pocket to take the lead and then relinquished control to 9-5 co-favorite Energetic Hanover (Scott Zeron) before a :55.3 half, all while the other 9-5 co-favorite Stonebridge Helios (Dunn) got rolling first over.

Energetic Hanover continued rolling around the final turn as Stonebridge Helios crept into third at three-quarters, timed in 1:22.4. Stonebridge Helios soon folded and pocket-sitter Layton Hanover followed, but Energetic Hanover held control on fumes as he veered from the pegs. Captain Cowboy then had open racetrack to charge through and collar Energetic Hanover by a neck at the finish. Rocks Shining Star (David Miller) burst down the center of the track to finish third and Trendy Teen took fourth.

“I really liked him early last year, [things] just didn’t pan out as good as they had hoped for him, but when Ronnie [Burke] bought him I thought it was a great buy,” Yannick Gingras said of Captain Cowboy, whom Ron Burke bought at the end of the stallion’s sophomore season. “He’s had up and down years, where maybe he wasn’t so consistent but he was real good last week at The Meadowlands. I thought if he repeated that effort he had a great chance in here. I wanted to trip him out and be up close to the pace. I wanted to sit second or third if I could and see what was going to happen. Obviously it opened at the inside, we got a little lucky, but the horse responded and raced really well.”

Captain Cowboy collected his ninth win from 36 starts and has now earned C$396,354. The four-year-old son of Captaintreacherous competes for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services Inc. and Beasty LLC. He paid $47.40 to win.

More fireworks burst following the second Graduate Series pace with a 17-1 pylon-skimming stunner supplied by Dreamfair Arnie B for Team Cullen in 1:50.4.

Dreamfair Arnie B gave Team Cullen a victory in the Graduate Series on Saturday night. New Image Media Photo.

Dreamfair Arnie B (Travis Cullen) bolted from post seven to the lead before settling for the pocket after a :26.3 first quarter to 3-2 favorite Birthday (David Miller). Birthday strolled to a :56.1 half and faced pressure to three-quarters in 1:24 as Pleaseletmeknow j(MacDonlad) came calling first over. The pressure mounted and Birthday backtracked through the lane while creating a gap for pocket-sitter Dreamfair Arnie B to power through, and the Jodie Cullen trainee sprinted to seize the lead in the final eighth and hold 1-1/4 lengths at the finish. Cold Creek Queso (Sylvain Filion) kicked off a shuffled trip to take second from Pleaseletmeknow in third and Birthday finished fourth.

“We were struggling with some sickness with the horse, so we asked for Jon [Drury] to leave with him [last week]. He’s always been better when he leaves, but he just wasn’t 100 percent healthy since we started him back,” winning driver Travis Cullen said after the race. “So he’s starting to come back to himself.

“He wanted to leave a lot more tonight,” Cullen also said. “He’s always had a lot of gate speed, but this year he wasn’t really wanting to leave. I think he was just taking a little time to get into shape.

John Lamers owns Dreamfair Arnie B, a four-year-old stallion by Sportswriter who won his seventh race from 32 starts and has now earned C$164,122. He paid $37 to win.

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