Day At The Track

Johansson's stakes ladies ready to go

01:18 AM 16 Jun 2018 NZST
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Nancy Johannson, harness racing
Nancy Johannson's ladies are ready to go on Saturday
USHWA photo

Trainer Nancy Johansson is happy with Fan Hanover favorite Kissin In The Sand and Roses Are Red contender L A Delight as those female pacers prepare for their races Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Kissin In The Sand enters the Fan Hanover, for 3-year-old filly pacers, off a 1-1/4 length win over I'm Trigger Happy and Shower Play in her elimination last week. She is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the field of 10. L A Delight heads to the Roses Are Red, for pacing mares, off a second-place finish to Blazin Britches in her elimination. She is 8-1 in the final.

"They're doing good," Johansson said. "It should be all system's go."

Kissin In The Sand won seven of 14 races last year and earned $231,175. She won the Kindergarten Classic Series championship and also divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. This year, she finished second in her seasonal debut before getting a second-over trip to win her Fan Hanover elimination in 1:51.1 with driver Scott Zeron.

"She had the ideal race last week," Johansson said. "I told Scott before the race that if he got her a second-over trip he would be golden. It was the perfect race for her. I think it sets her up good for the final."

Kissin In The Sand, who will start from post No. 3 in the final, is a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of Kiss Me Kate. She was purchased for $130,000 at the 2016 Standardbred Horse Sale. She is owned by Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables. Her family includes Dan Patch Award winner Kikikatie, who finished second in the 2004 Fan Hanover, and O'Brien Award winner Camluck.

"If she gets a similar trip to last week, or even if she was in a situation where she had to (set the pace) I think she would be fine," Johansson said. "I think she can do it either way. She's actually gotten a lot more confident in herself. She's quieter than she was last year and I think that helps her a lot too."

After last week's win Zeron said, "She can do it all. She can go to the front. She holds speed. It takes her a little bit to get up to that top, top speed, but she holds it well."

Sudden Passing, trained by Gregg McNair and driven by Jody Jamieson, won the other Fan Hanover elimination, defeating favorite Alexis Faith by a neck in 1:51.1. Alexis Faith, with Doug McNair driving for Casie Coleman, is the 3-1 second choice in the final while Sudden Passing is 4-1.

In the Roses Are Red final, L A Delight will start from post nine, but Johansson is hopeful she can be a factor from the unfavorable spot on the gate.

"It's a little harder from an outside post, but I still think she can be close," Johansson said. "These big races at Mohawk, closers seem to do well. The fractions may be a little hot. We'll see what happens."

L A Delight, who was based in Canada before being purchased by Diamond Creek Racing in January, finished 3-1/2 lengths behind Dan Patch Award-winner Blazin Britches in their elimination, which saw Blazin Britches reach the midpoint in :56.1 and three-quarters in 1:24.1. L A Delight was nearly eight lengths behind at the half.

"I was really happy with her," Johansson said. "Blazin Britches got away with some cheap fractions. There was a group coming down the stretch behind her and (L A Delight) came out on top out of that group. She was super. I think she's coming into pretty good form. And it's her home track. Of all the money she's made the majority of it has been made at Mohawk. She knows that track pretty well."

The three top choices on the Roses Are Red morning line all came out of L A Delight's elimination. Shartin N, who went off stride but rallied to be fourth-placed-fifth and get the last spot from the group to advance to the final, is the 9-5 favorite. Blazin Britches is 7-2 followed by Blue Moon Stride, who was fifth-placed-fourth, at 4-1.

Tequila Monday, who won the other elimination in 1:50.1 with Brett Miller driving for Hunter Oakes, is 9-2.

The past six editions of the Roses Are Red were won by only two horses, with Androvette claiming three consecutive titles from 2012-14 followed by Lady Shadow's three-year run from 2015-17. Yannick Gingras, who drives L A Delight, is looking for his third consecutive victory in the event.

The Fan Hanover and Roses Are Red are part of a stakes-rich card at Woodbine Mohawk Park that also includes the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers. The North America Cup is scheduled for 10:40 p.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast live from 10-11 p.m. on TSN2.

First race post time is 6:30 p.m. for the 15-race card. The Fan Hanover is race nine and the Roses Are Red is race 11, with the Goodtimes Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters sandwiched between.

Following are the fields for the Fan Hanover and Roses Are Red. For complete entries for Saturday, click here.

Fan Hanover
PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line
1-Just Her Luck-Chris Christoforou-Paul Reid-10/1
2-Sudden Passing-Jody Jamieson-Gregg McNair-4/1
3-Kissin In The Sand-Scott Zeron-Nancy Johansson-5/2
4-Shower Play-Louis Roy-Rene Dion-8/1
5-Kendall Seelster-Randy Waples-Paul Reid-6/1
6-Alexis Faith-Doug McNair-Casie Coleman-3/1
7-Reign On Me-Brett Miller-R. Nifty Norman-12/1
8-I'm Trigger Happy-David Miller-Tony O'Sullivan-12/1
9-Ubettergo Go-Tim Tetrick-Blake MacIntosh-10/1
10-Big Thong-James MacDonald-Scott McEneny-20/1

Roses Are Red
PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line
1-Nike Franco N-Doug McNair-Jim King Jr.-12/1
2-Lyons River Pride-Jody Jamieson-Bruce Goit-20/1
3-Tequila Monday-Brett Miller-Hunter Oakes-9/2
4-Blazin Britches-David Miller-Brian Brown-7/2
5-Blue Moon Stride-Corey Callahan-Mark Harder-4/1
6-Artistic Madison-Jonathan Drury-Carmen Auciello-20/1
7-Shartin N-Tim Tetrick-Jim King Jr.-9/5
8-Firebby A-Louis Roy-Ron Adams-6/1
9-L A Delight-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson-8/1
10-The Joy Luck Club-Chris Christoforou-Gregg McNair-15/1

by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA


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