Brandon CS, driven by Sylvain Filion, cleared to the lead before the half and held off all challengers in the $50,000 Bridger final Thursday night at Mohawk.
In the early going, Leave Your Mark (Scott Zeron) took command before the first station in :29.3 with Back To Peace (Jack Moiseyev) sitting second.Brandon CS moved to the outside from fourth and cleared to the lead before the mid-way point in 1:00. Brandon CS would remain the tempo-setter past three-quarters in 1:30.1. Duke Of Vegas (Travis Henry) came first over around the final turn with Back To Peace tracking his cover.
Down the stretch, Brandon CS was still in control but the backfield was closing in. Brandon CS would prevail in the final strides over a closing Back To Peace with Leave Your Mark finishing third.
“Well first of all, when I saw that we were not going much, I thought I could control the pace and that’s what we did,” Filion said following the race. “He was comfortable on the lead, but he was a little bumpy around the final turn, so I had to baby him. He is very green, but when we got into the stretch he was fine.“
Brandon CS, a son of Chocolatier, now has two victories in three career starts for trainer Frank O’Reilly and owner S S G Stables. The $20,000 Harrisburg Yearling Sale purchase now has freshman earnings of $33,500.
Peach Martini takes the Gold
After scoring the victory in the lone elimination last week, Peach Martini went gate-to-wire in the $130,000 OSS Gold final Thursday evening at Mohawk. By doing so, she extended her lead in her division of the provincial program.
The daughter of Striking Sahbra was sent to immediate command by trainer/driver Rick Zeron to lead past the opening panel in :27.3. Magic Wheel (Karen Hudon) was sitting second with Lukes Sophie (Jody Jamieson) third.
Lukes Sophie, the post time favorite, made a costly break in strideheading towards the mid-way point which allowed Youlneverwalkalone (Trevor Ritchie) to inherit the three-hole. Peach Martini would past the half in a comfortable :58.2. Youlneverwalkalone began the first-over attack around the final turn with Oh Sweet Baby (Mario Baillargeon) tracking her.
Peach Martini led past three-quarters in :1:27.2 and into the stretch. Down the lane, Youlneverwalkalone, Oh Sweet Baby and Magic Wheel were all within striking distance of the tempo-setter, but Peach Martini would prevail in 1:56. Eagle Canada (Doug McNair) saved ground to finish second with Magic Wheel third.
Owned by Zeron along with Stephen Waldman, Michael Katz and Rojan Stables, Peach Martini now has career earnings of $566,927.
Following the race, co-owner Michael Katz offered his appreciation of the bay filly. “This is a dream come true for myself and Stevie (Stephen Waldman),Rojan [Stables], Ricky (Rick Zeron) and the caretakers. I’ve been in this [business] for 25 years and never had a horse like this,” Katz said.
Co-owner Stephen Waldman was also in the winner’s circle and was quick to mention the Ontario Sires Stakes program. “This is a thrill of a lifetime,” he said. “The OSS program is the best. We paid her into a few other races, but Rick said all along that this is an OSS horse and that we should keep her with her company and that’s what were trying to do.”
Peach Martini now has a pair of OSS Gold final victories this season. She paid $7.00 for the win. (WEG)