Milton, ON — The inaugural Mohawk Million headlines Canada’s richest night of racing — with over C$2.8 million on the line — this Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
The $1 million (U.S.) Mohawk Million, C$720,000 Metro Pace, C$455,000 She’s A Great Lady and C$215,000 Milton Stakes are the marquee races on a 12-race card.
The Mohawk Million will see a field of 10 2-year-old trotters under the bright lights for harness racing’s newest million-dollar race. The event is the first million-dollar “buy-in” race in harness racing history. A total of nine slots in the race were available for purchase at a cost of $110,000 (U.S.). The 10th and final slot was awarded to the winner of the William Wellwood Memorial.
Serge Godin’s Determination will send out a powerful one-two punch in the Mohawk Million. Undefeated filly Donna Soprano races in Determination’s purchased slot, while On A Streak won the Wellwood Memorial to secure a second starter for Godin. Both horses are trained by Luc Blais.
Donna Soprano is a perfect five-for-five and most recently won the Peaceful Way in dominant fashion. The regallybred daughter of millionaires Donato Hanover and Windsong Soprano holds a mark of 1:53.3. She will be driven by Woodbine’s leading driver, Bob McClure.
On A Streak was winless in five starts prior to upsetting in the William Wellwood Memorial. The son of Cantab Hall is five-for-six in the top three. Scott Young will make his million-dollar race debut when he sits behind On A Streak.
Woodbine’s leading owner, Brad Grant, has negotiated with the connections of Kentucky Sire Stakes champion Venerate to race in his slot. The Julie Miller-trained son of French stallion Love You won the state final at The Red Mile last Sunday (Sep. 20) in a dazzling 1:51.4. He is now three-for-six for owners Pinske Stables and Andy Miller Stable. Andy McCarthy, who recently won both the Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantinage, will steer.
Donna Soprano will be joined by two other fillies in the race: Insta Glam, racing in John Fielding’s slot, and Altar for Diamond Creek Racing will take their shot in a year that has seen fillies have big success against the boys.
Insta Glam is trained by Nancy Takter for Goran Falk and Christina Takter. The daughter of Father Patrick is four-for-seven and earlier this season set a new track record of 1:54 at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
Diamond Creek Racing kept it all in the family with their Mohawk Million entry of Altar. The daughter of Muscle Hill is a homebred for Adam Bowden’s Diamond Creek. She sits with a record of two wins in five starts and was this season’s New Jersey Sire Stakes champion.
Anders Ström’s Courant Inc. entered their own Muscle Hill colt Iznogoud AM S. The Marcus Melander trainee is winless in six starts but has been knocking on the door with runner-up finishes in legs of the New Jersey and Kentucky Sire Stakes.
Jules Siegel’s Fashion Farms will send out Bravado Fashion from the Jim Campbell barn. The son of Bar Hopping is looking to build off a maiden-breaking victory in his most recent start at The Red Mile.
The remainder of the field saw slot owners do some private negotiating to secure their Mohawk Million starter.
Warrawee Whisper from the Shawn Steacy barn will race in the slot of Jim Bullock’s Glengate Farms. The son of Trixton is winless in six with three runner-up finishes, including second-place finishes in the Wellwood Memorial elimination and Champlain.
Brad Maxwell trainee Full Of Muscles has been secured to race in the slot of Gina Ghent’s Dreamland Farms. The son of Muscle Mass just missed a victory in last Saturday’s Ontario Sires Stakes Gold at Mohawk Park and has four runner-up finishes in six starts.
Tokyo Seelster from the Richard Moreau barn is an OSS Gold winner with three wins in nine career starts. The son of Kadabra has been secured to race in the slot of Jeffrey Snyder.
The Mohawk Million is race 10 on Saturday’s card. Post time is approximately 10:45 p.m.
The full field for the Mohawk Million is listed below:
1. Iznogoud AM S (Doug McNair/Marcus Melander) – Courant Inc.
2. Warrawee Whisper (Jonathan Drury/Shawn Steacy) – Glengate Farms
3. Donna Soprano (Bob McClure/Luc Blais) – Determination
4. Full Of Muscles (Trevor Henry/Brad Maxwell) – Dreamland Farms
5. Altar (Jody Jamieson/Per Engblom) – Diamond Creek Racing
6. Tokyo Seelster (Sylvain Filion/Richard Moreau) – Jeffrey Snyder
7. On A Streak (Scott Young/Luc Blais) – Wellwood Winner
8. Bravado Fashion (Louis-Philippe Roy/Jim Campbell) – Fashion Farms
9. Insta Glam (Yannick Gingras/Nancy Takter) – John Fielding
10. Venerate (Andrew McCarthy/Julie Miller) – Brad Grant
Rookie pacers ready for Metro Pace and She’s A Great Lady
The spotlight will be bright Saturday for 2-year-olds, with the Metro Pace and She’s A Great Lady joining the Mohawk Million.
Abuckabett Hanover will have all eyes on him in the C$720,000 Metro Pace. The Tony Alagna trainee is on a four-race win streak and posted a strong 1:51 elimination score for driver McCarthy.
A son of Betting Line, Abuckabett Hanover is a perfect three-for-three at Mohawk Park with all three wins coming in Grand Circuit races. The rookie has displayed tremendous speed, finishing off each of his last two wins in :26.1.
Amanda Fine trainee Highlandbeachsbest is the other elimination winner in the field. The Somebeachsomewhere colt pulled off a 14-1 upset in his elimination, stopping the clock in 1:51.4 for driver Trevor Henry.
Highlandbeachsbest is finding his best stride at the right time, as he’s won two of his last starts after going winless in his first five outings.
The Metro Pace is carded as race eight (9:55 p.m.).
The C$455,000 She’s A Great Lady is headlined by star pacing filly Caviart Audrey for Caviart Farms, trainer Takter and driver Gingras. The Somebeachsomewhere filly is four-for-five and would be undefeated if not for a disqualification in her second lifetime start.
Caviart Audrey has dazzled in three starts at Mohawk Park, most impressively winning the Eternal Camnation on August 29 in 1:51.2. She won her elimination last Saturday in 1:52.4.
Scarlett Hanover is red hot going into the She’s A Great Lady. The daughter of Bettor’s Delight has won three in a row and is five-for-nine overall. Ashleigh Hensley trains the rookie pacing filly in Ontario for Ron Burke.
McCarthy lands the drive behind Scarlett Hanover after Gingras opted to remain with Caviart Audrey.
The She’s A Great Lady is carded as race five (8:40 p.m.).
Pacing mares meet in wide-open Milton
The Milton Stakes has the ability to be the race of the night if the final is anything like last Saturday’s eliminations. Both eliminations saw thrilling, three-across finishes.
Kissin In The Sand and Trillions Hanover prevailed in the eliminations and earned the right to select their posts for the final, choosing posts three and four, respectively.
Six-year-old Caviart Ally is looking for a three-peat in the Milton after winning the last two editions. The Brett Pelling trainee was third by a head in her elimination, which was her first in seven weeks. She starts from the second tier Saturday.
Roses Are Red winner Warrawee Ubeaut will look to rebound after hitting a wall late and getting picked off by Kissin In The Sand in her elimination. The Burke-trained 4-year-old has had an up and down year, but has enjoyed major victories in the past at Mohawk Park.
Local stars Boadicea, So Much More and Lit De Rose are also part of the 10-horse field.
The C$215,000 Milton Stakes is carded as race seven (9:30 p.m.).
Post time for Saturday’s rich card is 7 p.m.
Fans and horseplayers can watch and wager on the Mohawk Million card through HPIbet.com and the Dark Horse App. The marquee stakes events will also be broadcast live on COSA TV through their YouTube channel and various social media accounts.