After surfacing for the first time since October with a 1:55.2 qualifying win last week, Jack Darling's Bulldog Hanover delivered a ferocious 1:53 effort to lead Thursday morning's (June 3) 14-race qualifying session for three-year-old pacers at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
In line once again to Jody Jamieson, the son of Shadow Play controlled comfortable early sectionals of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:26.1 before unleashing :26.4 stretch speed to finish 3-1/2 lengths in front of Rau Ru (Paul MacDonell) and Twin B Heart Throb (Chris Christoforou).
Last season, Bulldog Hanover won four of his six races, capped by a nine-length knockout blow to Lawless Shadow in the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final.
Another major player on the OSS circuit last year, Desperate Man emerged from a winter layoff, posting a 1:54.3 win in his first appearance since he finished fourth behind Bulldog Hanover in last October's Super Final. Phil Hudon swept from last to first the Shadow Play colt through the middle half, taking over from early pacesetter Big Chic Magnet before reaching three-quarters in 1:27.2. Once on the lead, Desperate Man's mettle was tested by Cantstoplying (Louis-Philippe Roy), who offered sustained pressure the length of the stretch. Ultimately, Desperate Man prevailed by a nose, sprinting home in :27.1 to keep Cantstoplying just at bay for trainer Kathy Cecchin and her co-owners, John Cecchin, Nicole Davies and Paul Davies.
Cyclone Sister and Good Night Moon shared top speed honours among sophomore fillies with matching 1:55 miles.
Cyclone Sister rode a clear pocket behind Voelz Delight before angling off the pegs in upper stretch and using a :27 closing kick to nab the pacesetter by a half length. Jonathan Drury drove the Millar Farms-homebred daughter of Shadow Play, who capped her three-win rookie season with a 1:53.2 triumph in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots final, for trainer Nick Gallucci.
Good Night Moon equalled Cyclone Sister's time, but took a different path to the winning post altogether. Trainer-driver Jason Ryan took his time with the daughter of Big Jim, allowing her to stalk patiently from sixth while Chiefs Dream Girl (Jamieson) did the bulk of the heavy lifting through the first six furlongs in 1:26.2. Good Night Moon was in motion off the home turn, and she charged through the stretch in :27.1 to steadily pick off rivals, outkicking a late push from runner-up Spittin Chicklets (Hudon) to win by a widening 1-1/4 lengths for 1187422 Ontario Inc.