Milton, ON — Ontario Sires Stakes racing took over the card Thursday night (Aug. 11) at Woodbine Mohawk Park with two Gold trotting and five Grassroots pacing divisions for first-year fillies. The highlight of the night was Righteous Resolve winning her second straight Gold division in impressive fashion.
In race eight, the $78,694 second Gold division, Paul MacDonnell settled the filly into mid-pack early, behind an opening panel of :28.3 set by Stonebridge Bravo. MacDonnell made his move along the backstretch after Tyler Jones sent Winooski to the front and was promptly overtaken by Righteous Resolve as the field passed the half in :59.2.
Stonebridge Bravo tried to track down the John Bax trainee, but she would not be denied, winning in a time of 1:57.1 by more than two lengths.
“I thought Paul did a great job tonight to let them all settle in and then he came with her,” said Bax. “And I was impressed with (Righteous Resolve). She’s a big strong filly and pretty masculine for a filly. I’m hoping that she can handle the big girls and keep on going.”
Bax’s first-year-trotters are off to a strong start across the board. He’s had five 2-year-olds make a combined 12 Gold starts for a record of 4-3-2.
“You have to start with a good horse. We’ve got lucky and picked a few, and this one was given to us to train,” said Bax. “Trainers get too much credit when it goes good, and too much credit when it goes bad, but hopefully we can keep going.”
Righteous Resolve is a Bet Max Stables and Benenati Inc. homebred. The win puts her earnings at $104,354 for her young career. She paid $4.20 to win.
Her two main challengers, Stonebridge Bravo and Winooski, finished second and third.
The Gold action got underway earlier, in race four, with Mass Hysteria leading gate-to-wire to notch her first career win.
Trevor Henry piloted the Muscle Mass filly to an opening fraction of :28.2 and settled into a comfortable pace, leading the field through a :30.1 second panel for a half-mile time of :58.3.
Doug McNair made a first-up move with betting favorite Sweet Determination midway through the backstretch and moved within a half-length rounding the far turn. Henry called on his filly as McNair slid into the pocket and the Kyle Bossence trainee turned on the afterburners. She came home in :28.4 to win by 5-3/4 lengths in a final time of 1:57.
“I couldn’t be happier with the performance. I’ve always really liked her and it’s nice when it pays off,” said Bossence. “Three of us own her, and the other two guys jog horses for me every day. So, it’s nice that the home team gets the win.”
Bossence co-owns the filly with Daniel Culp and William Pendleton. She paid $8.60 for the win.
Sweet Determination finished second and Its Your Choice rounded out the top three with Louis-Phillipe Roy driving.