Lady Laker lowered the stakes record by a full second in Monday's (August 6) $50,000 final of the In Free Trotting Series at mohawk, and completed her sweep of the series for two-year-old fillies.
The Allen Tomlinson trainee and driver Trevor Ritchie went coast-to-coast to stop the clock in a career-best performance of 1:57.1.
Lady Laker powered off the gate to take command before putting up fractions of :28.3, :58.2 and 1:27.3. A pocket-sitting Antsy Dancey (Anthony MacDonald) was tipped off the rail into the final turn and then battled for the lead with the 3-5 favourite into the stretch. Lady Laker was able to fend off Antsy Dancey to score the victory by one and a quarter lengths. Bostonz Credit (Rick Zeron) finished third.
“We were pretty happy with her,” said Ritchie from the winner’s circle. “She was a little more aggressive tonight with the side rolls on, which usually goes against what normally would happen, but, anyways, it worked.
“It is a worry (that Lady Laker might make a break) to be honest with you, because two of the three times I’ve raced her, she made breaks on me in the post parade,” he added. “Tonight she rolled out of there a little stronger than I would have liked so I was a little nervous going into that first turn.”
The homebred daughter of-Hyercast remains undefeated with a perfect four-for-four record in her debut season. With the win, the rookie lifts her earnings to $51,850 for owner/breeder David Vanderhyde of Cedar Springs, MI.
Lady Laker paid $3.40 to win.
The Harald Lunde-trained Prada Hall, who was also driven by Ritchie, held the previous In Free stakes record of 1:58.1, which was set back in 2007.
Also on Monday, Emily Hughes went behind the starting gate for the first time in her life and she was able to find the winner’s circle with As Yall Like It in Mohawk’s second edition of the Under Saddle Exhibition Trot.
The front-stepping four-year-old mare scored the open length victory in 1:58.2. Ive Got It All (Marielle Enberg) finished second and Youlneverwalkalone (Jenni Judin) was third.
“She was awesome,” said Hughes. “This is her first time behind the gate with someone riding her. This is actually her fifth time being ridden so she was really good. I couldn’t have asked her to be any better, really.”
Hughes shares ownership of As Yall Like It with her husband, Rod, who also trains the daughter of, and Venture K Stable.
“Rod has driven her so he kind of gave me a little bit of the ins and outs about how to maybe ride her behind the gate and just sit, sit, sit,” she said. “She flew out of there so easily and I just waited for the turn and dropped her down to the rail. She was great the rest of the mile. Coming home I just growled at her a little and she just kept on going.”
Six trotters contested the non-wagering, one-mile dash, which went to post following the fifth race.
Live racing returns to the Campbellville oval Thursday night with a $130,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final for two-year-old filly trotters and the second leg of the Bridger Trotting Series. First race post time is 7:10 p.m.
by Ashley MAYOTTE
Lady Laker and Trevor Ritchie - 1:57.1:
The Under Saddle Trot: