At this time of year it's common to see the two-year-olds dropping time from week to week as stakes season approaches. Pacing gelding Pearl Snaps wasn't the most notable performer at Woodbine Mohawk Park a week ago but his effort on Saturday certainly turned some heads.
Those watching the baby races from Mohawk on Saturday had to wait until the 14th and final dash of the card for the fireworks to begin. Doug McNair sent Pearl Snaps to the front and ahead of his six rivals in :28.3, then rebuffed a challenge for the lead from fellow second-time starter Century Inspector (Tyler Moore). After those locked horns down the backside, they opened up nearly a double-digit margin on the competition through a :56.2 half and 1:25 third station. Turning for home, Pearl Snaps maintained the advantage and then braced for another attack from the pocket-sitting Century Inspector. With plenty left in reserve, Pearl Snaps paced home in :29 to hit the wire in a sizzling 1:54 for the two-length decision.
The mile time is the second fastest in North America to date, just behind the 1:53.2 mile paced by JMs Finaltreasure at Gaitway on June 7.
A 1:59 performer from a week ago, Pearl Snaps (Fear The Dragon - Twin B Epic) is trained by Blake MacIntosh for owner Steve Heimbecker of Waterloo, Ont. After shelling out $125,000 at Harrisburg / Timonium for the yearling from the Twinbrook Farms consignment, Heimbecker might be watching his share of Ohio Sires Stakes races this season. Another Fear The Dragon yearling he obtained at Harrisburg, two-year-old pacing filly Nicole And Dime, was a 1:58.4 winner for Heimbecker and trainer-driver Aaron Byron during Friday's qualifiers.
After winning four dashes last week, Dr. Ian Moore returned and picked up three wins during this week's session. Two of those rookies -- Ron (Ian Moore; 1:56.4) and Im King Conn (Dale Spence; 1:56.4) were victorious one week ago while Shadowmoon Rising didn't let broken equipment get in the way of a sharp 1:55.3 performance with Tyler Moore aboard.
On the trotting side, stablemates Bar Brawl and Barroom Brawl Boys might be punching their tickets into the 2021 Mohawk Million. The pair of Muscle Mass geldings owned by dual ticket holder Gino Toscani of Mount Hope, Ont. were wire-to-wire winners during the Saturday session. Bar Brawl (Muscle Mass - Baileys Breeze) was the fastest trotter of the day with a 2:00.2 mile, while Barroom Brawl Boys (Muscle Mass - Bar Ballad) scored in 2:03.2.