TORONTO, December 19 - Fifteen harness racing sophomore pacing fillies made their way to Woodbine Racetrack on Thursday ev ening to contest two divisions of the $15,000 second leg of the Niagara Series.
The Niagara Series is for three-year-old fillies, who are non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31.
After skipping the opening round of the series, U.S. invaderguided Solid Queen to victory in 1:53.3. In doing so, Bongiorno celebrated his first career win on Canadian soil.
Bongiorno elected to use off-the-pace tactics as race favourite Wonderful Charm () was first to the opening quarter in a quick :26.4.
Wonderful Charm would continue to lead past the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:26.2.
Dance Hall Girl () began the first-over attack heading to three-quarters giving live cover to Solid Queen.
As the fillies turned for home, Wonderful Charm was still the leader, but Bongiorno showed Solid Queen open racetrack and the daughter ofresponded with a :27 final quarter en route to a three and three quarter length victory. Wonderful Charm stayed for second, over D Gs Pesquero ( ) third.
Trained by Mike Russo for owner Scott Irwin, Solid Queen enjoyed her sixth career victory as her bankroll now sits at $60,667. She paid $7.70 to win.
In the other split, Hands Off Hanover pulled off the 3-1 minor upset for.
Putmeintogo () was quickest to the front, but allowed Lyonssweetie to command at the quarter in :26.2.
Heading towards the half, Putmeintogo retook command and laid down middle-half speed of :56.2 and 1:25.1.
Turning for home, Putmeintogo was still in command, but the backfield was quickly closing in on the tempo-setter. Hands Off Hanover, who was fourth along the rail turning for home, found open racetrack in deep stretch and was able to pick up all the pieces to score the narrow victory in 1:54.1. Both Miss Poppycock and Lyonssweetie finished second in a dead heat, while Bad Girl Vegas () finished fourth.
Trained by Victory Puddy for owner Percy Elkins, Hands Off Hanover earned her fifth career victory as her lifetime earnings increased to $60,865. The daughter ofpaid $8.80 to win.
The $30,000 (added) final will take place on Boxing Day (December 26), which holds a special 1:00 p.m. first-race post time.
by Greg Gangle for WEG