Grand Circuit action returned to Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening as some of North America's finest 2-year-old trotting fillies sparred in three divisions of the Champlain Stakes.
It turned out to be a productive night at the office for driver Paul MacDonell, who guided Demanding Sam and Riveting Rosie to victory lane in their respective divisions.
Demanding Sam, an $8,000 purchase from last year's Harrisburg Yearling Sale, brushed to the front at the half and never looked back en route to posting a 1:55.2 victory over Chivaree Hanover and Mayberry. The clocking narrowly missed matching the stakes record of 1:55.1 set by Check Me Out.
Sent off as the 1-2 favorite, the daughter of Donato Hanover drew clear to win by 4 1/4 lengths for trainer Scott McEneny, who also campaigned the filly's dam, Whitesand Samantha. She was a multiple New York Sires Stakes winner. Scott co-owns the talented rookie with his wife, Michelle McEneny, and Tony Basile. The win improved the filly's record to 2-1-2 from five starts and the lion's share of the $90,527 purse boosted her bankroll to $83,624.
Riveting Rosie used the same tactical approach to win the second division for MacDonell and trainer John Bax. Sent off as the 4-5 favorite, the daughter of Muscle Mass brushed to the front in the backstretch and after supplying middle splits of :58.1 and 1:27.3 she used a :28 kicker to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Scream And Shout in 1:55.3. I Jasmin rounded out the top three finishers in the $90,527 affair.
Parkhill Stud Farm, Don Allensen, J And T Stable and John Hayes share ownership on the youngster, who now boasts a 4-1-0 record from just five trips to the track. Her share of the purse bumped her lifetime earnings to $178,014. She was a $17,000 purchase from last fall's Lexington Select Yearling Sale.
Danica Hall pulled off a 7-1 upset in the third division for the tandem of driver Trevor Ritchie and trainer Doug McIntosh. The daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe-Debbie Hall popped out of the pocket in the backstretch and cleared to the position of command in a matter of strides. After doling out fractions of :57.1 and 1:26.2 she used a :29.1 closing quarter to seal the deal in 1:55.3 by a half-length over Reflections Hanover. Race favourite Dancing For Money was third.
Walnut Hall Limited of Lexington, KY owns and bred the filly, who was bought back for $14,000 from last year's Lexington Select Yearling Sale. She's put together a 2-0-2 record in five tries, and he she banked $92,924 to date. (SC)