Milton, ON — Saying that the 2019 Millar Farms foal crop produced superb pacing fillies is like saying Andre the Giant was a big guy, or the Mariana’s Trench is deep.
Monday night (Sept. 26), at Woodbine Mohawk Park, the Stouffville, Ont., farm’s homebreds continued to prove the class of the division, with Velvet Stinger and Prohibition Legal winning the pair of $74,296 divisions in the fifth and final Gold leg of the 2022 Ontario Sires Stakes calendar, and Silver Label earning a runner-up result.
“These fillies are just a blessing,” said Millar Farms namesake George Millar. “To already have Prohibition Legal and Silver Label, and then have Velvet Stinger come on and race so well as a 3-year-old, it’s hard to know who to root for when they’re in there together.”
Velvet Stinger kicked off the party in race three, pacing a mile in 1:51.4 to best five other sophomores, and earn her third consecutive stakes score. Leaving from post five, James MacDonald hustled his charge to the front, and made the lead in a :27 first quarter.
“I said we got a good post to start, let’s try and take a shot forward and see,” said MacDonald. “Then if I get beat, I get beat, but at least I go down swinging.”
After a :29.1 second panel breather, MacDonald was urged through a :27.4 third quarter by a first over Balance driven by Austin Sorrie, followed by Bob McClure and Goudawon on cover, and pocket sitter Got The Gold and Doug McNair primed for a stretch drive.
The field was four wide heading for home, and Trevor Henry and Speaker Nancy eventually provided the best challenge to Velvet Stinger, but the best she could do was close the gap to a length behind the victorious Nick Gallucci trainee.
“It just seems like every start she gets better and better and likes beating other horses at this point,” said Gallucci. “It doesn’t matter if she’s on the front or off the pace, she just likes crossing the wire first.”
The Bettor’s Delight filly’s record improves to 8-1-0 from 13 starts this season, with her lifetime earnings rising to $205,154, just $8,605 of which came during her rookie campaign. Her sophomore season was kickstarted with a shoe change after a May 27 start at The Raceway at Western Fair District.
“The shoe change was big. She had a hitch behind and was interfering into her knee,” said Gallucci. “Then throughout the year she has gotten more and more confident after the shoeing change, and she started beating horses, racing better horses, and really progressed.”
Velvet Stinger paid $3.10 for the win.
In the race eight second OSS Gold division, 2021 Super Final champion Prohibition Legal made her mark on the division to end the season, earning her first win of 2022 after an over two month lay-off.
MacDonald was in the bike again, and followed the same script, heading to the lead with his daughter of Big Jim through a :28.1 first quarter. Stablemate Silver Label (Bettor’s Delight) had a pocket trip from Doug McNair and made a valiant effort in the lane, but couldn’t close fast enough, and finished second by a half-length as Prohibition Legal paced a mile in 1:51 and paid $3.20 for the win. Intothemysticmoon was third in her OSS debut.
“She was very impressive coming off one qualifier and not racing for so long,” said Gallucci. “(Prohibition Legal) is a filly who’s never lost on the front end, so I was very confident when she got to the lead. The other filly raced great too. It’s just an amazing race by both fillies.”
The Super Final beckons for all three Gallucci trained Millar Farms homebreds.
“It’s going to be an interesting Super Final,” said Millar. “I don’t know if they can catch Legal, but on the same note I think it’s going to be tight, and I think they’ll all race well.”
After the provincial program comes to an end, Silver Label and Prohibition Legal will set their sights on the Breeders Crown at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 28 and 29.