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Mare elims held at Mohawk

June 23, 2007

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Four Starzz Meliss and Moving Pictures, two pacing mares who were toiling in lower classes until this year, captured the two eliminations for the Roses Are Red Saturday night at Mohawk, while on the same card Lavec Dream topped millionaires Peaceful Way in the elimination to determine the final field for the Armbro Flight Trot.
Moving Pictures turned in an impressive multiple-move effort in 1:49.3 to capture one of two $50,000 eliminations for the Roses Are Red Stakes. The clocking equaled the track record for older pacing mares set by Rons Girl in 2000.

The first Roses Are Red split in race four went to longshot Four Starzz Meliss, who turned in a strong first-over win in 1:50.3 for driver Luc Ouellette. The 6-year-old daughter of Cambest underwent both a bridle and shoeing change prior to tonight’s race and responded with her first win since April 20.

Ouellette had her on the attack against race leader Invitro as the field raced past three-quarters in 1:23.3. After battling through a :27.2 third quarter, Four Starzz Meliss eventually wore down the pacesetter for the three-quarter length tally. Invitro held on for second with favourite Vysoke Tatry rounding out the top three.

The Glenn Lalonde trainee is now three for eight this season and improved her career earnings to just over $338,000 for owners Jennifer Lalonde and John Nother of Ontario.

Moving Pictures, who was coming off a thrilling win in the $265,350 Classic Distaff Final on June 16, was flawless in her record-equaling performance tonight for Mark MacDonald. The mare sired by DM Dilinger made a quarter-pole move to the front after the quarter in :26.4, then yielded to To Helen Back at the half in :54.2. However, MacDonald was not content with the two hole and retook command with Moving Pictures heading into the final turn.

At that point, Darlins Delight made the first-over sacrifice and pushed Moving Pictures to three-quarters in 1:22.4. Midway through the stretch, Darlins Delight actually got her neck in front, but Moving Pictures battled back and rewidened to a full length at the finish. Darlins Delight held on for second with To Helen Back finishing third.

Moving Pictures now has four wins this season in nine starts for owners Steve Calhoun and Mike Lindley of Ontario. The win boosted the Casie Coleman trainee’s bankroll to more than $570,000.

Mohawk also hosted a single $50,000 elimination tonight in the Armbro Flight Stakes for older trotting mares. Three horses--Buckeye St Pat, Birminghim and Passionate Glide--all received byes into next week’s final.

In tonight’s contest, it was Lavec Dream finding a seam in the late stages for driver Yannick Gingras to score in 1:52.3. Peaceful Way, who was parked past the first half, was much better this week and battled valiantly in finishing second. Mystical Sunshine was a rallying third.

The clocking was the fastest this season for a female trotter in North America. Trained by Mark Silva, Lavec Dream is now two for 10 this year for Pete Kleinhans Racing Inc. of New Jersey and sits with just over $370,000 in career earnings.

All of the winners in tonight’s eliminations got to chose their post position for next weekend’s finals. The horses who accepted byes tonight, did so knowing they would then enter the open draw for post positions.

Here are the fields for both the Roses Are Red and Armbro Flight Finals:

$354,000 Armbro Flight
1. Snazzy Millie
2. Birminghim
3. Peaceful Way
4. Lavec Dream
5. Passionate Glide
6. Spare Time Rozie
7. Buck I St Pat
8. Up Front Hotsey
9. Pure Ivory
10. Mystical Sunshine
A.E. Susies Magic

$379,000 Roses Are Red
1. Southwind Madonna
2. Vysoke Tatry
3. Four Starzz Meliss
4. Moving Pictures
5. Invitro
6. Street Dancer
7. To Helen Back
8. Darlins Delight
9. Guestimate
10. Illusionist
A.E.1 Fancy A Dream
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