Many of harness racing's brightest two-year-olds converged at Mohawk Racetrack for a stakes-filled Saturday night (Aug. 16) featuring the Eternal Camnation and Nassagaweya Stakes.
Shakai Hanover kicked off the Saturday night stakes setting a Canadian season's record of 1:52.4 for two-year-old pacing fillies in the first of three Eternal Camnation divisions, ranging in purses from $76,245 to $77,745. She paid $9.70 to win as the 7-2 third choice.
Driver Jody Jamieson left with Shakai Hanover from post six, clearing to command around the first turn and hitting the first quarter mark in :28-seconds. But once the field straightened up down the backstretch, second choice Bedroomconfessions and Scott Zeron swept up from an early four-hole and took over the top spot at the half, which was clocked in :56.2.
The new leader raced to three-quarters in 1:24.1 and into the stretch with Shakai Hanover launching from the pocket and edging by in the final strides for a new career mark. Happy Becky, the 3-5 favorite, came flying home from mid-pack to finish just half a length back in third for Dave Miller.
Carl Jamieson of Rockwood, Ont. trains and co-owns the Well Said-Shes A Fan filly with Winnipeg Racing, Concord, Ont. and Vira Hope Johnson of London, Ont. A $45,000 Lexington Select Sale yearling, Shakai Hanover has already banked $83,000 in purses as a Pennsylvania Sires Stakes and Eternal Camnation champion in just four starts.
North America Cup champion JK Endofanera's little sister, JK Shesalady, is making a name for herself as she continued her undefeated win streak with a wide open 1:53.4 victory in the second division in rein to Yannick Gingras. The 2-5 favorite paid $2.90 to win.
Wicked Little Minx and Jamieson were first to a get a call as they established the lead into a :27.2 opening panel and stole a second quarter breather, reaching the midway mark in :57.3. Nearing the half, second choice Cashaway and Tim Tetrick were flushed out from fourth and moved up alongside the leader. Meanwhile, Cowgirl Tough and Jack Moiseyev failed to keep up with their cover, prompting a third over JK Shesalady and Gingras to rally three-wide.
Cashaway overtook Wicked Little Minx as they raced by three-quarters in 1:25.3, but JK Shesalady came charging by entering the stretch and drew off by seven lengths for her fourth straight win. Cowgirl Tough came on for second over Cashaway.
The 3 Brothers Stables owns and bred the Art Major-Presidential Lady filly, who is trained by Nancy Johansson. With the win, JK Shesalady more than doubled her bankroll, which sits just shy of $69,000.
Solar Sister pulled off a 12-1 upset as she prevailed in a three-across finish in the final division of the Eternal Camnation Stakes with Doug McNair in the sulky. She returned $27.50 to her backers at the betting windows.
With the inside post advantage, Palette Tina and Gingras claimed the early lead as a leaving Yes You Can and Jamieson settled into the pocket spot. Palette Tina posted a :27.3 opening quarter, but the lead changed hands into the backstretch as Ideal Nuggets and John Campbell, who were away third, brushed by. Ideal Nuggets continued to lead the field to the half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:24.4 with Solar Sister advancing up alongside from fourth and the Tetrick-driven Float On By following her cover.
Ideal Nuggets maintained a slight lead into the stretch, but was confronted from both sides with Solar Sister to her right and Palette Tina slipping up the inside. Those three fillies battled to the wire with Solar Sister getting up for the career-best 1:54 victory by a neck. Palette Tina finished second, but was placed fourth after judges ruled she went inside one pylon in the stretch and gained an unfair advantage as a result. Ideal Nuggets inherited second and the rallying Float On By was moved into third.
Gregg McNair trains Solar Sister, who earned her second career win in six starts and boosted her earnings to over $55,000. The homebred daughter of Mach Three out of the O'Brien Award winning mare Cabrini Hanover is owned by David Willmot of King City, Ont. and Toronto's Clay Harland Horner. (Standardbred Canada)