Day At The Track

Big Jim filly stuns in a career-best 1:50 victory

03:51 PM 29 May 2016 NZST
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Good Will Hanover Flowers N Songs trotted up a storm
Good Will Hanover steals the show in $173,329 Final
New Image Media Photo
Flowers N Songs trotted up a storm
New Image Media Photo

Ontario sired sophomore fillies were the main attraction Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack and harness racing upsets was the theme of the night.

The Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association (S.B.O.A) Stakes for Ontario sired three-year-old fillies featured award winners in both the pacing and trotting divisions.

O'Brien Award winner L A Delight was seeking her 13th consecutive victory in the $173,329 S.B.O.A Filly Pace Final, but Good Will Hanover stole the show.

Driven by Chris Christoforou, Good Will Hanover went to the front and never looked back en route to a career-best 1:50 victory. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee posted fractions of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:22.4.

L A Delight got away fourth from post-four for driver Randy Waples, but was forced to come first up entering the final turn. The heavy 2/5 favourite never really got close to Good Will Hanover and had to settle for a fourth-place finish.

Mayhem Seelster, who blasted out from the nine-hole to get away third, finished three-quarters of a length behind the winner in second, while Lay Lady Lay was third.

Good Will Hanover won her elimination last week in 1:51.1, which was over a second faster than L A Delight's 1:52.2 victory last Saturday. The Dr. Moore trainee went off at odds of 6/1.

"Our filly had a lot of speed last year and again this year, but she has a little bit of a mental type issue and it takes a lot to calm her down," said Moore, who noted he has two caretakers looking after his filly.

"They've done a heck of a job with her keeping her calm, we had to walk her a lot and that of sort of thing, but she did very well and it's certainly worth it."

A daughter of Big Jim, Good Will Hanover won four of seven starts last year and now has two wins in three starts as a sophomore. Moore didn't have any instructions for Christoforou, but the race didn't play out the way he envisioned.

"When (Christoforou) drives them once, he pretty well gets a feel for them and knows what he wants to do," Moore said. "I thought maybe (L A Delight) might go to the front and we may be in the two-hole is what I was thinking, but it didn't shape up that way."

Owned by Glb Stable of Lakeview, Nova Scotia, Good Will Hanover now has career-earnings of $263,759. Dr. Moore noted that the S.B.O.A Stakes champion will be pointed towards the upcoming Fan Hanover stakes.

Good Will Hanover paid $14.10 to win.

Flowers N Songs trotted up a storm to split the favourites late and win the $174,329 S.B.O.A Filly Trot Final.

Most eyes were focused heavily on O'Brien Award winner Caprice Hill, who entered the Filly Trot final off a 1:53.1 elimination victory and was made the heavy 1/5 favourite. The Tony Alagna trainee got away fourth for driver Waples, but was almost 10 lengths behind the leader at the opening-quarter.

Major Muscle posted a snappy :26.4 first-quarter, but the lead was short-lived. Celebrity Eventsy, the other elimination winner, trotted up from third to first moving to the half for driver Sylvain Filion.

After a :55.3 half, Waples sent Caprice Hill first up to challenge Celebrity Eventsy, who reached the third-marker in 1:24.2.

In the stretch, Caprice Hill closed in Celebrity Eventsy searching for the victory, but neither filly had nearly as much trot as Flowers N Songs. The Paul Reid trainee stayed along the pylons in mid-pack until the stretch, when driver Doug McNair found clear room and the 23-1 longshot blasted through to trot a tremendous final-eighth for the victory in 1:53.

Caprice Hill finished 2¾ lengths back in second, while Celebrity Eventsy was third.

A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Flowers N Songs finished second in her elimination, 3½ lengths behind Celebrity Eventsy. The Robert Key homebred has been tremendous this season with six victories and five runner-up finishes from 12 starts.

Unraced at two, Flowers N Songs now has career earnings of over $147,000. Her clocking of 1:53 knocked more than three-seconds off her previous career-best.

A $2 win ticket on the Reid trainee returned $48.90.

Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m.

Mark McKelvie
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