Woodbine Mohawk Park hosted the Ontario Sires Stakes season opener on Thursday, July 1 and for the first time in 2021, fans were on hand to cheer the province’s top three-year-old trotters home.
Trainer Richard Moreau captured the first $100,600 trotting colt Gold Series division and the Puslinch resident was as excited about the presence of fans as he was about Fashion Frenzie’s 1:55.1 victory.
“It was such a big relief to see the fans on the grandstand outside. Back to life, you can’t even imagine. When I came in with my car there was a line up at the front door, which we haven’t seen this year,” said Moreau. “We’ve been working in a ghost town — for a good reason — but it’s kind of a step in the right direction and a big relief to see them. I know everybody’s been watching on TV and on their phone and this and that, but on Canada Day people enjoy sitting outside watching here.”
Fans had to wait through a long inquiry for the final results of the first trotting colt division as racing officials examined the start, which saw fan favourite Fashion Frenzie hook wheels with Buckys Angel, and the finish, where Dealin With Dewey made a break in stride. After examining all the video angles, officials ruled that Fashion Frenzie and driver Sylvain Filion did not commit any infractions and that Dealin With Dewey had failed to lose ground while on the break. As a result Lexus Kody, Royal Tyrone and Harry were elevated one spot each into second, third and fourth, while Dealin With Dewey was demoted to fifth.
“It was a very long wait, five minutes for the inquiry. The horse showed lots of go, but it was like nothing went his way,” said a relieved Moreau. “But the main thing is he won. He made $50,000 in his first start, and he won last week.”
Moreau trains Archangel son Fashion Frenzie, who was the two-year-old trotting colt Super Final champion last fall, for Ecurie Francis Richard Inc., Pierre Guillemette and Sylvain Richard of Becancour, QC and Mario Bourgea of Stanbridge East, QC.
The second $100,600 trotting colt division went to Logan Park, who got a picture perfect pocket steer from driver Jody Jamieson, rolling out around pacesetter Publicity Seeker to a 1:53.4 personal best. Publicity Seeker settled for second and HP Running Mass was six lengths back in third. Fan favourite Macho Martini was fourth.
Another son of Archangel, Logan Park is trained by Rockwood resident Rob Fellows and owned by Outofthepark Stable of Rockwood, Reg Higgs of Strathroy and Arpad Szabo of Bradford, ON.
The $102,200 trotting filly Gold Series divisions saw fan favourites HP Mama B and Up And Ready kick off their sophomore campaigns with personal best efforts.
HP Mama B laid down the quickest mile of the four Gold divisions, filly or colt, going gate-to-wire in 1:53.3 for driver Sylvain Filion. Imextraspecial finished two and one half lengths back in second and Hawaii was four more lengths behind in third.
“She looked good. I was a little worried when I saw the half in :55.3, but she was well in hand. I was very pleased with the race, every start she is getting a little bit better,” said trainer Ben Baillargeon of Guelph, ON. “That mare is a big mare. It looks like she’s getting stronger all the time so she might be a good mare to have in the barn for the next couple years too.”
Baillargeon’s wife Guylaine Picard shares ownership of HP Mama B, who was the Grassroots champion at two, with Celine Paquin of Ayers Cliff, QC. The win was the Royalty For Life daughter’s second in three sophomore starts.
Unlike HP Mama B, Up And Ready and driver Doug McNair used a late kick to reel in the leaders, powering down the stretch to a three length victory in 1:54.3. Dicentra and Stormont Barbecue also closed well to be second and third.
“I think she’s a lot better that way, I think she likes to run a horse down. I don’t think she’s as good on the front end,” said trainer John Bax. “Her attitude isn’t the best, but she will fight another horse. I think she’ll wait on them too if she gets on the front. She’s a very talented filly I think.”
The win was the first of the sophomore season for the Kadabra miss, who is owned by Al Libfeld of Pickering, Marvin and Lynn Katz and Sam Goldband of Toronto, ON.
Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday, July 2 with two $100,600 Gold Series divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies.