Musical Rhythm trots to qualifier win at Mohawk
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Woodbine Mohawk Park hosted a 12-race qualifying session on Thursday morning under gorgeous conditions and over a "fast" track. The session featured a cross section of local trotting and pacing stars that are continuing to prep for their return to live pari-mutuel racing.
Musical Rhythm was not content to merely trot around the track during Race 2, as the Ben Baillargeon-trained and Mario Baillargeon-driven horse showed multiple moves before hitting the wire first in 1:55.3. The O'Brien Award winner strode out from post 7 and was first down to the quarter pole in :29. After having relinquished the lead early in the second panel, Baillargeon opted to engineer a pocket ride past the :58.2 half-mile pole and through the 1:26.4 three-quarters. Baillargeon tipped the son of Cantab Hall out in the lane, and the career winner of $888,488 went on to trot to a handy 1:55.3 win.
Karma Seelster was all business in Race 4 for trainer Gregg McNair and pilot Doug McNair. The 3-year-old daughter of Sportswriter paced out to the lead early and cut all of the fractions (:29, :57.1, 1:25.3) before kicking home to a solid win in 1:53.2. O'Brien Award winner Alicorn also contested Race 4. The O'Brien Award winner stalked her rivals early and geared up in the lane. Alicorn came on to finish third in the mile.
Mayhem Hanover, last season's Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Final winner, captured Race 5 in 1:54.2. The son of Sportswriter sat third through the fractions (:28.3, :58.2, 1:27) and then swung out three wide in the stretch for a well-timed victory.
Port Perry looked fresh for trainer Luc Blais and driver Bob McClure in Race 8, as the 3-year-old son of Kadabra trotted to an uncontested victory in 1:56.4. The career winner of $303,000 left from Post 7 and cut all of the fractions (:30, :58.2, 1:27.2) before home cruising through the lane. (with files from SC)