Day At The Track

Percy Bluechip sets Canadian record

03:23 PM 10 Jul 2017 NZST
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Percy Bluechip
Percy Bluechip seen here selling for $110,000 as a yearling

JULY 9, 2017 - Percy Bluechip was the top selling yearling at last fall's Forest City Yearling Sale and on Sunday evening the daughter of Shadow Play and Advantest set a Canadian record for harness racing two-year-old pacing fillies at Georgian Downs.

Starting from Post 2 in the first of two $96,400 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series divisions, Percy Bluechip got away from the starting gate in second, allowing Kendall Seelster to take the field of eight fillies to a :27.2 opening quarter. Kendall Seelster's tenure on the front end was brief however, as driver Trevor Henry quickly had Percy Bluechip on the move. In control before the :56 half, Percy Bluechip sailed through a 1:23.2 three-quarters and then powered home to a four and three-quarter length victory in 1:51.2. Kendall Seelster finished second and Sudden Passing completed the top three.

The 1:51.2 clocking established a Georgian Downs track record and a Canadian record for a two-year-old pacing filly on a five-eighths mile oval. The former Canadian record of 1:51.3 had been set by Ontario Sired Voelz Hanover at Hiawatha Horse Park in 2007 while the 1:53.2 Georgian Downs track record had been shared by Idyllic (2010), Thisorthat Hanover and L A Delight (2015).

"It's kind of fast for this time of year, but she did it all on her own according to Trevor," said the filly's trainer, Dr. Ian Moore. "Trevor calls her a natural, says she just sprung the gate on her own and he didn't have to ask her very much, if any really."

Moore, who shares ownership of Percy Bluechip with his partners in the Shadow Two Stable of Puslinch, ON, James and Wilma Mackenzie of Ennismore, ON and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC, said the filly was a pleasure to work with all season, and that she had really come into her own in recent weeks. Prior to Sunday's Gold Series opener the filly had qualified twice at Mohawk Racetrack, winning in 1:57.2 on June 15 and 1:54.3 on June 26. Moore also noted that filly reminds him a great deal of her full-brother Arthur Blue Chip, who he trained to earnings of $552,759 between 2013 and 2016.

"So many things she does remind me of him, and the most particular is the gait. She's got a kind of a real, long lope-y, very light-footed gait to her and he did too. He was a big horse, but he didn't hit the ground very hard," explained the Puslinch, ON resident. "It just seemed like while I was training him, and she was the same, that they cover so much ground you don't think you're going as fast as you go, you look at your watch at the quarter and say, oh did I go that fast."

While Percy Bluechip is well staked, befitting her $110,000 purchase price, Moore said he and his partners will take each start one at a time.

"With all two-year-olds it's week-to-week, so we'll see what tomorrow brings and what the week after brings, but we're planning on the Gold at Mohawk (July 24) and then we'll go from there I guess."

Big Thong captured the other two-year-old pacing filly Gold division with a sharp late sprint that saw her reach the wire two lengths on top in 1:54.2. Fan favourite and pacesetter Lady Ella finished second and Machnhope was third.

Guelph resident James MacDonald crafted the win for trainer Scott McEneny and his wife Michelle McEneny of Waterdown and their partners Teresa Davidson of Milton, Martwest Racing Stable of Mississauga and Cora Marshall of Jarvis, ON. In contrast to Percy Bluechip, Big Thong was a modest $20,000 purchase from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale.

"She wasn't a flashy filly, she kind of had a little bit of her winter hair on her already at the sale and, you know, she was just a plain Jane," recalled McEneny. "But she was put together well, and I liked her."

McEneny says the filly showed a tendency to be aggressive, so he asked MacDonald to handle her carefully through the June 10 qualifier where she finished fifth and her June 22 debut where she finished second. MacDonald eased her off the gate again Sunday, sitting mid-pack through the early going.

"We're just kind of making sure we don't get her close to the front right off the bat, we don't want to get her too hot," noted the trainer. "She was a little bit warm there when we got her trained down, so I just made sure James was being a little careful with her."

Fordham Road won the sole two-year-old trotting colt Gold division, sailing to his second lifetime victory in 1:57.1. Winning American finished one and one-quarter lengths behind the fan favourite with pacesetter Levitation three more lengths back in third.

Trainer Richard Beinhauer piloted the Holiday Road colt to the win for his wife Regina Beinhauer of Venetia, PA and the colt's breeder T L P Stable of Kearny, NJ. Prior to Sunday's $124,200 Gold Series test Fordham Road had posted a pair of qualifying wins, in 2:01.3 on June 2 and 1:58.3 on June 8, at The Meadows in Pennsylvania and a 1:59.1 overnight victory at Mohawk Racetrack on June 29.

The wo-year-old trotting colts will make their second Gold Series start on August 1 at Mohawk Racetrack.

Next up on Georgian Downs Ontario Sires Stakes calendar is the Grassroots opener for the two-year-old pacing fillies on Tuesday, July 11. The fillies will compete in Races 3, 5, 7, 8, and 9. Post time for Tuesday's program is 7:15 pm.

OSS Program Information

For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com

Ontario Racing

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