Hope For Paddy pulled off a large 35-1 upset in the Fillies and Mares Preferred pace Friday night at Mohawk. A field of seven mares, highlighted by the 2014 debut of last year's 3-year-old pacing filly of the year I Luv Nitelife, lined up for the $30,000 feature race.
I Luv The Nitelife, who has been sidelined since last November with a knee fracture, was sent straight to the lead by driver Jack Moiseyev and got to call the shots throughout the mile. After setting fractions of :26.4, :54.4 and 1:23.3, I Luv The Nitelife was confronted at the three-quarter pole by the first up challenge of Hope For Paddy and driver James MacDonald.
In the stretch, Hope For Paddy overtook the lead from I Luv The Nitelife and held off second-place finisher American In Paris, who was towed around the final turn second over, and third place finisher Voelz Hanover, who got a two-hole trip behind I Luv The Nitelife, to pick up the victory in 1:50.4.
I Luv The Nitelife faded, finishing fifth, while D Gs Pesquero rounded out the Superfecta in fourth.
A five-year-old daughter of Mach Three – Hope For Life, the Preferred upset was the sixth win in 22 starts this season for Hope For Paddy and it was her first career victory at the Preferred level. Hope For Paddy is trained by Anthony Montini for owners Holland Racing Stable of Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario. Hope For Paddy's seasonal earnings increase to over $81,000 with the victory and her career earnings now sit at over $363,000. The Preferred score was Hope For Paddy's 23rd career visit to the winner's circle. She returned an eye-catching $80.30 to win. (Mohawk)