Ferrari Sena overcame post 10, went coast to coast and pulled off a 30-1 shocker in her $20,000 opening-round division of the Girls' Night Out Pacing Series on Friday evening at Mohawk.
The Marie Claude Auger-trained Ferrari Sena was one of three Canadian-sired aged pacing mares who took home top honors in the first leg.
With driver Luc Ouellette in the bike, Ferrari Sena cut splits of :26, :55 and 1:23.2 before stopping the teletimer in a new lifetime mark of 1:51.3. The 2-5 favorite, Dont Point At (Jack Moiseyev), was beaten three-quarters of a length for second and Xenia Hanover (Randy Waples) finished third.
"The young lady (Marie Claude Auger) that trains her, she told me, ‘She's never lost in the front,'” said Ouellette after the win. "I said, ‘We'll keep that in mind when we go to the gate.' She is a big, strong mare, long gaited, so when we went to the gate and she had a good hold of the bit, we placed her forward and she felt really good.”
The 4-year-old daughter of Bolero Master-Bye Bye Pippa N has won five races in nine seasonal starts for owner Serge Nadeau. The 13-time career winner now has earnings of $24,430 in 2012 and $49,720 lifetime.
Ferrari Sena paid $63.10 to win.
In another Girls' Night Out dash, the David Byron-trained On The Cusp front-stepped her way to the winner's circle.
From post five, On The Cusp and driver Steve Byron, who owns a piece of the bay with Craig Wallwin, Ian Macintosh and John Van Reenen, got away second behind post 10 starter, Ms Goliath (Sylvain Filion).
Not content with the pocket spot, Byron gave the five-year-old mare marching orders past the :26.4 opening panel. Once On The Cusp got to the lead, that was were she stayed, clocking the half in :56.4 and three-quarters in 1:24.2 before getting under the wire in 1:52.3. The 2-5 favorite, Nina Coleada (Scott Zeron), was beaten by a neck for second and Sans Frontiere (Marie Claude Auger) was third.
"She was good,” said Steve Byron following the victory. "We had a good post, obviously, and she's got great gate speed. Sylvain (Filion driver of Ms Goliath), he had to use his mare hard leaving and I just looped her around. She was pretty strong this week.
"It is very nice when you own a piece of them,” he added. "It's extra special that's for sure.”
The daughter of Camluck-Headline Hanover has won three races in 14 seasonal starts. The 13-time career winner now has earnings of $30,280 in 2012 and $203,470 lifetime.
On The Cusp returned $7.60 to win as the second choice.
Exquisite Alberta survived a first-over trip to deliver as the 9-5 favorite in her division for trainer Wayne Preszcator and driver Doug McNair.
The 8-year-old mare followed behind factions of :26.4 clocked by Signal (Rick Zeron), and :56 and 1:25 put up by the gray mare Jonsie Jones (Randy Waples).
At the half, Exquisite Alberta made her bid for the lead from fourth and was able to track down the tempo-setter in deep stretch, scoring the one and three-quarter length triumph in a new mark of 1:52.2. Jonsie Jones and Keystone Jubilee (Anthony MacDonald) finished second and third, respectively.
"She was sitting in there last week and she couldn't get out so I knew she would be better tonight,” said Preszcator from the winner's circle.
The daughter of Albert Albert-Exquisite Killean has won four races in 12 seasonal starts for owner Shawn Dixon. The 25-time career winner now has earnings of $31,775 in 2012 and $238,138 lifetime.
Exquisite Alberta returned $5.90 to win.
Girls' Night Out is for aged pacing mares, who are non-winners of $30,000 in 2012 as of midnight July 1, with a minimum of five starts this year. Winners of over $100,000 in 2011 are ineligible.
The $30,000 second leg will take place on Friday, August 3, with the $50,000 final set for Friday, August 10.
The final is slated for the same night as the Girls' Night Out extravaganza. Ladies in attendance can win a pair of floor seat tickets to the upcoming Madonna concert at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Also included in the package, the lucky winner will dine at the highly-regarded Turf Lounge, receive a $500 Elmwood Spa certificate, and a one-night stay at the Royal York Hotel.
Each participant will also receive a complimentary $10 cash card to play in the exclusive Girls' Night Out Handicapping Challenge. The Handicapping Challenge winner will walk away with the Madonna prized pack, valued at $2,000.
The contest is open to the first 50 women who register at Trackside Bar & Patio on August 10. Each person will also receive a complimentary Girls' Night Out gift bag. (WEG)