Day At The Track

Big efforts in Elegantimage & Wellwood elims

04:38 PM 10 Sep 2016 NZST
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Caprice Hill extended her current win streak to four Flowers N Songs What The Hill Seven And Seven
Caprice Hill extended her current win streak to four
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Flowers N Songs now has nine wins from 23 starts this season
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What The Hill now has three wins in seven starts
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Seven And Seven now has three wins in six starts to begin his career
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CAMPBELLVILLE, September 9 - Elimination weekend continued Friday at Mohawk Racetrack with the harness racing qualifiers for the Elegantimage and William Wellwood Memorial.

Each event required two eliminations with 14 rookie trotters competing in the Wellwood and 16 three-year-old trotting fillies battling in the Elegantimage.

The complexion of the eliminations changed hours before the card began, as drivers John Campbell, David Miller, Brett Miller and Corey Callahan were unable to make it to Mohawk due to a mechanical issue with their plane from New Jersey.

Several driver changes were made to the elimination races.

Caprice Hill extended her current win streak to four with a career-best 1:52.4 victory in the $35,000 first Elegantimage elimination.

The Tony Alagna trained filly got to the lead just after the opening-quarter with driver Randy Waples and it was game over from there. Caprice Hill posted fractions of :56.4 and 1:26, before trotting home in a flashy :26.4 to score the victory.

Celebrity Eventsty, who got a two-hole trip, finished second, while Emoticon Hanover came first up and finished third. Worldclass Hanover and Dewdle All Day rounded out the top five to qualify for the final.

Caprice Hill has been on fire since returning to Ontario after a second place finish in the Hambletonian Oaks on August 6th. The daughter of Kadabra has won four consecutive races, including three Grand Circuit events.

"She's been such a blessing and she comes to work every time," said Alagna post-race. "She wasn't at her best on Hambo Day, she was fighting some sickness before that, and since she came back up to Canada she has been vicious."

Owned by Tom Hill, Caprice Hill now has seven wins in 10 starts this season to bring her career win total to 14. She has never missed the board in 20 career starts for earnings of over $1 million.

Caprice Hill paid $2.60 to win.

Caprice Hill

In the second elimination, Flowers N Songs made a big move to the front in the second-quarter and never looked back for a 1:53.2 victory.

The Paul Reid trained filly got away fifth with driver Yannick Gingras, while Side Bet Hanover cut an opening-quarter of :27.3. As the tempo slowed down in the second-quarter, Gingras sent his filly to the front from fifth to grab command at the half in :57.

Flowers N Songs posted a big third-quarter of :27.3, before finishing off the victory with a :28.4 last-quarter. Dream Child closed in on the winner late to finish second by three-quarters of a length.

The top five finishers were rounded out by Royal Charm, Side Bet Hanover and Tymal Tempest.

Flowers N Songs, who did not race as a two-year-old, now has nine wins from 23 starts this season. The Robert Key homebred by Deweycheatumnhowe filly has earned over $360,000 in 2016.

"It's amazing that a filly that can have a year like this, can keep going week in and week out," said Reid following the victory. "She takes care of herself, she rests a lot, she eats good, we get her turned out all the time and she's just a pleasure to be around."

Flowers N Songs paid $5.10 to win.

Flowers N Songs

The William Wellwood eliminations proved that two-year-old trotters are certainly unpredictable.

What The Hill held off Signal Hill to capture the first $30,000 elimination in 1:55.3.

The Wellwood picture changed before the start of the first elimination, as Jimmy Takter trainee and heavy-favourite, Rubio, made a break and never caught back up with the field.

Signal Hill led the field by the opening-quarter in :28.4 and surrendered the lead just before the half to What The Hill, who was rushed up from fourth by driver Chris Christoforou to post a half-mile clocking of :58.3.

The new leader trotted the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:27.4 to set up a stretch sprint. In the lane, Signal Hill was brought to the outside and did his best to grind down the leader, but What The Hill fought him off with a :27.4 final-quarter to win by a neck.

Jake finished third, while International Moni and Real Luck Day were the final two rookies from the first split to qualify for the final.

David Miller was originally scheduled to drive What The Hill, but Christoforou stepped in and got the job done with the Ron Burke trainee.

"I didn't plan on racing my horse on the front with Rubio in there," said Christoforou, who noted his strategy changed after the favourite broke.

"I talked to Dave Miller this afternoon and he thought he might be better out of a hole...but he was good enough to win up there tonight, so it was nice to get him moved along to the final."

A son of Muscle Hill, What The Hill now has three wins in seven starts, including a victory in the $294,450 Peter Haughton Memorial last month. He was a $65,000 purchase at last year's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.

What The Hill has earned $243,233 for owners Burke Racing LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables, J And T Silva Stables LLC and Deo Volente Farms LLC. He paid $9.30 to win.

What The Hill

The second elimination wasn't the prettiest race, but that doesn't matter to Tom Durand.

Seven And Seven went from a four-hole trip to a two-hole trip in the blink of an eye and took full advantage of it to win in 1:56 for trainer/driver Durand.

Soho Hanover was sent to the front and led the group into the first turn. Meanwhile, Southwind Cobra and Mountain Of Love, who were sitting second and third, both made first turn miscues to give second position to Seven And Seven.

As Soho Hanover led the field to the half, Takter trainee Victor Gio IT, the 3/2 favourite, made a break while trotting along in fourth. There was little movement throughout the middle-half, as Soho Hanover posted fractions of :58.2 and 1:27.3.

In the stretch, Soho Hanover quickly created a little separation on Seven And Seven at the top of the lane, but the Durand trainee was able to grind him down and power by in deep stretch for the victory.

King On The Hill, who got a three-hole trip, finished second in a Place photo over Soho Hanover. Mountain Of Love and Victor Gio IT recovered from their miscues to grab the final two spots in next week's rich final.

A son of Chapter Seven, Seven And Seven now has three wins in six starts to begin his career. He is owned and bred by June and Tom Durand and co-owned by Allan Smith.

Following Friday's victory, Durand noted that Seven And Seven almost missed Friday's race.

"I didn't get him trained in the middle of the week," said Durand. "He had a minor stall injury we think because in the middle of the week he had a little swelling in one leg.

"Fortunately it came down three days later, so he missed his training this week."

Seven And Seven, who won the Define The World Series, has banked $51,768 in six starts. He paid $7.30 to win.

Seven And Seven

Following Friday's eliminations, the $436,000 Elegantimage and $350,000 William Wellwood Memorial finals were drawn. Elimination winners earned their connections the right to select their post for the final.

The finals of both events will be contested next Saturday (September 17) on the Maple Leaf Trot and Canadian Trotting Classic card.

$436,000 Elegantimage

1. Emoticon Hanover

2. Worldclass Hanover

3. Flowers N Songs

4. Caprice Hill

5. Side Bet Hanover

6. Royal Charm

7. Dewdle All Day

8. Celebrity Eventsy

9. Dream Child

10. Tymal Tempest

AE: Double Exposure

$350,000 William Wellwood Memorial

1. Real Lucky Day

2. Seven And Seven

3. What The Hill

4. King On The Hill

5. Victor Gio IT

6. Mountain Of Love

7. International Moni

8. Signal Hill

9. Jake

10. Soho Hanover

AE: Rubio


Mark McKelvie
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