Grand Circuit week continued Friday night (Aug. 31) at Woodbine Mohawk Park with four events for trotters. A trio of Champlain divisions for 2-year-old colts and geldings and a single Simcoe division for 3-year-old fillies were contested.
The Muscle Hill-Brooklyn colt Kings County kicked off the evening’s stakes action with a stunning 1:54.4 victory in the C$69,107 first Champlain division.
Driven by Scott Zeron, Kings County got away fourth and began his move towards the lead just before the half. The Domenico Cecere trainee powered to the top on the far turn and led the field by three-quarters in 1:26.4. In the stretch, Kings County was able to hold off Southwind Avenger, who got a two-hole trip, to win by a half-length. Trix And Stones was third, while Knight Angel was fourth.
Kings County is owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut and was a $210,000 yearling purchase at Harrisburg. The colt has now won three in a row and overall is three-for-five with C$55,753 earned. A $2 win ticket on Kings County returned $5.
Father Patrick-Lantern Kronos colt Hudson River took advantage of soft opening fractions to win the C$70,107 second Champlain division in 1:55.3.
Driven by Yannick Gingras, Hudson River made the front in the second quarter and led the field by the half in :59. The Jimmy Takter trainee then got a :29.1 third quarter, which set him up perfectly to sprint home in :27.2 for the victory. Dream Nation finished 1-3/4 lengths behind in second, while Union Forces was third.
Hudson River is co-owned by Christina Takter along with breeder Goran Falk. The colt collected his second win in four starts Friday and pushed his earnings to C$80,114. The Takter trainee was making his first start since Aug. 4 Friday evening.
"This race today is a set up for next week (Wellwood eliminations)," said Per Engblom, assistant trainer of Hudson River. "We knew he needed a race, but he’s been training good and is a really nice horse and we were really confident he was going to race good anyways."
A $2 win ticket on Hudson River paid $3.80.
Ontario Sires Stakes Gold winner CT Conabra completed the Champlain action with a coast-to-coast victory in the C$70,107 third division.
Driven by Jody Jamieson, CT Conabra shot out to the lead and avoided a second quarter confrontation when race favorite Royal Rob made a backstretch miscue. CT Conabra posted fractions of :28.4, :58.3 and 1:27 before trotting home in :28.4 to win in 1:55.4 for trainer Stephanie Jamieson. Jumpshot finished second, beaten 1-3/4 lengths, while Okeanos was third.
A son of Kadabra-Conway Connie, CT Conabra picked up his second win for owners Carl and Jody Jamieson. The $18,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase has now earned C$76,717 in four starts.
"This colt from the first day dad (Carl) threw the harness on him he’s been telling me how great he was," said Jody Jamieson following the victory. "That’s why my dad is in the Hall of Fame. He develops these horses and finds them. He’s a perfect example, this horse.
"He found him at the sale and $18,000 for a horse that just won a Champlain Stake and you can’t do that all the time."
CT Conabra paid $26.20 to win.
The lone Simcoe Stakes division for 3-year-old trotting fillies saw Repentance and driver Scott Zeron defeat seven rivals in the C$153,996 contest.
The Linda Toscano trainee got away fifth going into the first turn and was angled to the outside nearing the half. Repentance quickly trotted by a stopping leader to grab the top spot on the far turn and led the field at three-quarters in 1:25.4. In the stretch, Repentance sealed the victory by holding off Blonde Magic by a length in 1:55.1. Sneeker Hanover was third, while Ex Hanover was fourth.
Notably absent from Friday’s Simcoe Stakes were superstars Atlanta and Manchego. Toscano took a chance the top fillies would skip Friday’s event and entered Repentance.
"We thought about whether to bring her up or not and I wondered if Atlanta or Manchego were going to come this week and thought maybe there might be a spot for her up here," said Toscano. "She got a good trip and Scott (Zeron) gets along with her and it worked out."
A daughter of Chapter Seven-Swan Hot Mama, Repentance collected her fourth win in nine outings this season and fifth overall. Her career earnings now sit at C$206,280 for owner/breeder Diamond Creek Racing. A $2 win ticket on Repentance returned $3.90.
Live racing continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park with the C$600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby and C$651,000 Maple Leaf Trot co-main events. Post time is 7:10 p.m. (WEG)