Jitterbug and PL Hercules overcame the sloppy racing conditions Tuesday night at Mohawk to capture their respective $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for three-year-old trotting colts.
In the first division it last year's leading money winner among this group, Muscle Matters, making his first 2014 start, who grabbed early control for Mario Baillargeon and marched the field by the opening marker in :28. He continued to set the tempo by the :58.1 half and 1:27.4 three-quarters.
Jitterbug, who left from the trailing post 11, came three wide from his second-over position before the third panel and wore down the leader in the stretch to win in 1:56.4 for Sylvain Filion. Muscle Matters held for second while Ole Jack Magic closed well to take third.
It was the second straight win for Jitterbug who captured an OSS Grassroots test at the Campbellville oval on June 9. Marcel Barrieau trains and co-owns the Kadabra colt with Conrad Leber and Gestion Mastel Inc., all of Quebec.
In the second test it was Alerthemedia taking the field by the first quarter in :28 but he was overtaken just past that point by Entranced but that colt's tenure on top was short lived as he was passed by See The Wind by the :56.2 half. See The Wind reached the three-quarters in 1:26.2 but in deep stretch PL Hercules was in full stride for Baillargeon and went by See The Wind just before the wire reached in 1:56.2. Pasadena Star was third.
It was the first win in three tries this year for PL Hercules, who was second in an OSS Grassroots event at Mohawk in his previous start. Owned and bred by Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, Ontario, the Majestic Son gelding is trained by Matt Dupuis. PL Hercules is the second foal from a daughter of former OSS star Corinas Mission, a winner of $543,000 in her career.
This group's next Gold event is scheduled for August 14 back at Mohawk. (Ontario Sires Stakes)