A trio of $30,000 eliminations of the Peaceful Way highlighted the Thursday program at Mohawk. The top three finishers plus one fourth-place finisher, drawn by lot, advance to next week's $374,000 final, a part of the Canadian Trotting Classic undercard.
Grammas Girl, I Jasmin and Danica Hall found the wire first and earned the right to pick their post positions for next week's rich final.
It was a quick turn of events in the first eliminations as heavily favorite Shake It Cerry and second choice Riveting Rosie made breaks. The result allowed Grammas Girl and Randy Waples to post the 35-1 upset.
Shake It Cerry (Ron Pierce) quickly established command with Riveting Rosie (Paul MacDonell) sitting in the pocket before the opening station in :28.1. Heading towards the half, Riveting Rosie made a miscue, which allowed Serendipitious (Jody Jamieson) to inherit the pocket with Grammas Girl third at the half in 1:00.
Shake It Cerry would continue to lead her six rivals, but the talented filly broke stride before three-quarters in 1:30, which made Serendipitious the new leader. Waples angled Grammas Girl first-over around the final turn and was strides apart with Serendipitious at the top of the stretch.
In the end, Grammas Girl wore down Serendipitious down the stretch and fended off all challengers en route to victory in 1:58. Game On Hanover (Sylvain Filion) finished second with Riveting Rosie regrouping to finish third.
"We got some really good fortune,” said Waples following the win. "We had a good post, she got away good then Riveting Rosie made a break then Pierce's filly (Shake It Cerry). That completely changed the outcome and we were only at three-quarters in 1:30, so that turned into a sprint and she's got a good spring to her.”
Trained by Brad Maxwell for owners Doug Millard and P G Van Camp, Grammas Girl celebrated her maiden-breaking victory. Her earnings now sit at $19,526. She paid a handsome $73.50.
In the second elimination, I Jasmin prevailed as the 7-5 favorite.
The trotting miss was in no hurry off the gate as Margie (John Campbell) was the first leader before the opening station in :28.3. Margie would continue to lead past the half in :58.1 and three-quarters in 1:28.1. Reflection Hanover (Jody Jamieson) began the first-over attack around the final turn. I Jasmin was found sitting third-over, 6 1/4 lengths off the leader at three-quarters.
Turning for home, Reflection Hanover took over command from Margie, but couldn't fend off a late rally from I Jasmin, who closed in :27.4 to win by one length. White Becomes Her (Mario Baillargeon) finished third.
"She's pretty versatile and I could have just easily spoken to her to leave, but I wanted to take my time,” Zeron said following the win. "I got to watch her last week when she got locked in and she was climbing over them at the wire in a (1):56 mile, so tonight wasn't too tough on her.”
Trained by Zeron's father, Rick, I Jasmin is owned by Ming Siu. The daughter of Muscle Mass celebrated her first career win as her earnings increased to $30,863. She paid $4.80.
In the final elimination, Danica Hall and Trevor Ritchie posted the 5-1 upset in 1:57.3.
The daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe rushed to command at the quarter in :28.3, before enjoying a pocket trip as favorite Demanding Sam (Paul MacDonell) made her way to the front. Demanding Sam would continue to lead her six rivals past the half in :58.1.
Ritchie and Danica Hall were in the pocket, but Ritchie elected to angle the trotting miss to the outside and was the new leader at three-quarters in 1:28.4. Down the stretch, Ritchie asked the three-time winner for more trot and Danica Hall responded with a :28.4 final quarter to win by 1 1/4 lengths over Scream And Shout (Jimmy Takter).Demanding Sam finished third, but was placed sixth due to interference. That allowed Toughs Legacy (Ron Pierce) to complete the triactor.
"She was just as impressive tonight as she was last week in the Champlain,” Ritchie said following the win. "She's two fingers to drive and there's really nothing not to like about her. She's really progressed since I first baby raced her.”
Trained by Doug McIntosh for owner/breeder Walnut Hall Limited, Danica Hall increased her bankroll to $98,623. She paid $13.50 to win.
The field will line up as follows for the $374,000 final.
1) Game On Hanover
2) I Jasmin
3) Danica Hall
4) Grammas Girl
5) Riveting Rosie
6) Reflection Hanover
7) Scream And Shout
9) Toughs Legacy
10) White Becomes Her