Gracie Montana overcame a trailing post 12 to score the 5-1 upset in the inaugural edition of the Girls' Night Out Pacing Series final on Friday night at Mohawk.
With driver Jody Jamieson in the bike, the five-year-old mare emerged in a blanket finish to score the lion's share of the $50,000 purse for trainer Bill Davis.
Gracie Montana got away 10th, well behind a 26-second first quarter carved out by Ferrari Sena (Luc Ouellette). As they approached the backstretch, Scott Zeron moved Nina Coleada to the front, reaching the half in :54.4 as Ferrari Sena yielded to a tracking position with Gracie Montana still far back.
Around the final turn, 2-1 favorite Dont Point At (Jack Moiseyev) applied first-up pressure to the pacesetter, forcing a 1:22.4 three-quarter split. Sans Frontiere (Marie Claude Auger) caught a second-over trip, with Gracie Montana third-over and set to vault off her cover.
As the field of 12 entered the stretch, the mares fanned out across the track. Unleashing a :27.3 final frame, Gracie Montana got up in the final strides to prevail in 1:51.1 by one length over Exquisite Alberta (Doug McNair). Dont Point At faded to third.
"With the 12 hole, honestly, I changed my mind about three times,” said Jamieson of his race strategy. "Once when I looked at the program, once when I post paraded and then when I went to the gate I thought I'd follow the two (Keystone Jubilee).
"It didn't set up how I thought or hoped,” he continued. "It ended up I had to be out the whole way. I knew Jack's mare (Dont Point At) would take us a long way and Marie Claude's mare (Sans Frontiere) was charging hard last week. I just wasn't sure how close we were going to get to them in three-quarters in 1:22.4. We were all smoking, the leaders and the outside flow. My little mare tries her heart out. Time doesn't mean anything, but she keeps going, putting up these big numbers so you got to be happy with her.”
The daughter of Camluck-Sportstalk, who won her second leg division of the Girls' Night Out, is owned by Jeffrey and Debbie Elchuk of Surrey, BC. The win was Gracie Montana's eighth of the season in 22 starts and 28th lifetime pushing her career earnings to $210,383
The brown miss returned $13 to win. (WEG)