Lifetime Pursuit continued her incredible hot streak Friday night at Mohawk by winning a division of the Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Designed To Be captured the first division. Thirteen 3-year-old trotting fillies were split into two Simcoe Stakes divisions worth more than $103,000.
Lifetime Pursuit picked up her fourth win in a row in the second $105,344 division.
Leaving from post six with driver Brett Miller, Lifetime Pursuit was parked fourth around the first turn and followed Cantabs Fortune to the front in the second quarter. As soon as Cantabs Fortune touched down on the front, Lifetime Pursuit cleared to take control at the half-mile pole in :56.
Lifetime Pursuit trotted by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4 and turned for home without much challenge from her six other rivals. In the stretch, the daughter of Cantab Hall-Queen Of Grace never allowed her rivals to get any closer than a few lengths and strolled home to win by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:53.4.
Sweetie Hearts finished second, while Chivaree Hanover was third and My Inspiration was fourth.
Lifetime Pursuit is trained by Jimmy Takter for the Brittany Farms.
Following the race, Myron Bell, the racing manager for Brittany Farms, noted that Lifetime Pursuit is a third generation filly for the farm.
"We bought a daughter of Me Maggie back about 20 years ago and her name was Prime Mistress and she won about $20,000 on the racetrack and had a record of about :58,” said Bell. "Her daughter is the dam of this filly and three generations later it's paid off.”
Lifetime Pursuit has now won four stake races in a row dating back to the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks on Aug. 2.
The Simcoe Stakes victory was her sixth win in 11 starts this year, the 12th win of her career and pushes her career earnings over $760,000.
She paid $2.10 to win.
In the first $103,845 Simcoe Stakes division, Designed To Be broke her streak of three second-place finishes to win in a stakes record equaling time of 1:52.3.
Scream And Shout was sent hard to the lead by Brett Miller and posted an opening quarter of :27.1, while Designed To Be and Sylvain Filion followed along in fourth. Miller didn't slow down the tempo in the middle half as Scream And Shout opened up a good sized lead on the field trotting by the half in :56.1 and the three-quarter pole in 1:24.2.
In the third quarter, Filion right lined Designed To Be to the outside and she began the first-over journey. Designed To Be would erase Scream And Shout's sizeable lead and trot by her half way down the lane to win by 3 1/4 lengths.
Muscle Babe finished third, while Tosca was fourth.
"Brett (Miller) was trying to give us the slip, but we caught him in the nick of time,” said Designed To Be's trainer Julie Miller in the winner's circle. "The way the races are setting up she needs a target and she's willing to follow and attack.”
Miller trains the daughter of Donato Hanover-Sheer Soul Be for owners Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz.
The Simcoe Stakes victory was Designed To Be's third win in seven starts this season and the eighth win of her career. She now has career earnings of more than $500,000.
Designed To Be paid $2.10 to win.
The 3-year-old trotting fillies will be back in action next Friday at Mohawk for the eliminations of the $365,000 Elegantimage Stakes.
Also on Friday night, two divisions were contested of the Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old trotters.
Habitat and Sylvain Filion took the first $124,621 Champlain division.
A son of Conway Hall-Habits Best, Habitat, who was the 3-5 favorite, was put right on the front by Filion and set fractions of :27.4, :58. and 1:26.3. After opening up a sizable lead on the final turn, Habitat strolled home under wraps in :28.2 to win by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:55.
Muscle Diamond and Rick Zeron trotted a big last quarter of :27. to come from seventh to finish second.
Aldebaran Eagle finish third, while Jetpedia rounded out the superfecta.
"He's not very big, but he's very powerful,” said Filion following the race. "Turning for him he kind of got a little lost out there on the front end on a big track like this and I could hear Ricky (Zeron) coming at me, so I just asked him a bit and he took off right away.”
Trained by Ron Burke, Habitat is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables and Weaver Bruscemi.
Habitat was a $50,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase. He has now won three times in five career starts and has earnings exceeding $94,000.
Habitat paid $3.40 to win.
In the second $124,621 division, another heavy favorite came through as French Laundry and Miller won in 1:55.4.
Sent off as the 3-5 favorite, French Laundry got away in fourth as the field made their way by the opening quarter marker. In the second quarter, French Laundry followed Lookslikeachipndale, who made a first-up move to the lead, right to front to take control at the half in :57.4.
After trotting by the three-quarter pole in 1:27.2, French Laundry quickly opened up a couple lengths at the top of the lane and trotted home under a confident hand drive from Brett Miller to win by 2 3/4 lengths.
Don't Rush, who was first-over around the final turn, trotted a good final clip to finish second, while Lookslikeachipndale and Southwind Stryker were third and fourth respectively.
"I've raced against him (French Laundry) many times and he looks like a Cadillac to drive and he is,” Miller said following the race. "I just kind of waited for the dust to settle and moved him to the front and he was very good.”
A son of Muscles Yankee-Creamy Mimi, French Laundry is conditioned by Jimmy Takter for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.
A $115,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, French Laundry has now won four time in his six career starts. The Champlain Stakes victory pushes his earnings over the $100,000 mark.
He paid $3.40 to win. (WEG)