Sophomores impress in Autumn Series finals
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The Autumn Series for Ontario-Sired three-year-olds came to a close Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack with four added money finals.
The conditions Friday were as close to a perfect as they could get for a November evening, as mild temperatures and a 'Fast' track was the scene at Woodbine.
Georgies Pockets started the evening by completing the sweep of the three-year-old colt and gelding trot division with a 1:55.4 score.
The Jack Moiseyev trainee was sent off at 1/5 favourite in the ten-horse $37,000 event and got away sixth. Mission Man and Moonstar Mission dueled on the front and led the field by the half in :57.2.
Georgies Pockets was moved into the outer-flow trotting down the backstretch and was situated third over and almost five-lengths from the leader Mission Man at the three-quarter pole in 1:26.2.
Georgies Pockets and Moiseyev were pushed wide coming off the turn and had plenty of work to do in the lane. The Muscle Mass colt quickly found his best stride and rocketed by his rivals for a 2 ¾ length victory.
The Land Shark finished second, while Moonstar Mission was third.
Owned by M T Pockets Stable, Georgies Pockets now has six wins in 11 starts this season for earnings of $71,500.
"You know this is a front-running track, so the mile he put in tonight was an absolute super mile," said owner Ron Ruggles. "He's been a very consistent horse, he's had a lot of problems, but when is right he wins."
Georgies Pockets swept the Autumn Series with victories of 5 ¾ lengths and six-lengths in the preliminary legs before his nearly three-length triumph Friday.
The Moiseyev trainee is now a 12-time winner with career earnings of $166,150. He paid $2.60 to win.
Moiseyev kept the ball rolling by guiding Lady Marina to a 1:53.2 victory in the $38,600 three-year-old filly pace final.
A pair of scratches, including morning-line favourite Never Any Doubt, shaved the field for down to eight.
Lady Marina sprinted off the wings of the gate for Moiseyev and dropped into the two-hole behind Jimbelina, who cut an opening-quarter of :26.4. The leader would continue to roll along in the middle-half by posting panels of :56 and 1:24.
Moiseyev was sitting pretty turning for home in the pocket and Lady Marina converted off the two-hole trip by shooting by Jimbelina in the lane and pacing home to win by a length in a career-best clocking. Tempus Seelster rallied from the back for second, while Top Royal was third.
A daughter of Art Colony, Lady Marina was knocking on the door for a victory after finishing second in last week's second leg.
"She's been racing good her last couple starts," said Moiseyev. "It just worked out I got a nice two-hole trip and that's what she needed and she paced home good, she's a nice little filly to drive."
Trained by Stacey Reinsma, Lady Marina now has two wins in seven starts this season after winning once in 11 tries as a rookie. The Art Colony filly brought her seasonal earnings to $43,966 and her career earnings to $89,132 with Friday's victory.
Lady Marina is owned by Reinsma and Bill Galvin. She paid $9.20 to win.
Think On It completed his own sweep of the Autumn Series by taking the $39,000 three-year-old colt and gelding pace final in a career-best 1:52.1.
Driven by Paul MacDonell, Think On It got away fourth and had an up close seat to watch Twomacsonemach and P L Jackson duel for the opening three-quarters of the mile.
Twomachsonemach posted fractions of :26.2, :54.4 and 1:23.1, while parking out P L Jackson for the majority of the mile. MacDonell slipped off the pylons moving towards the far turn and had Think On It placed second-over.
In the stretch, Think On It shot off cover and surged by to take the Autumn Series final by three-quarters of a length. Mayfield Duke rallied from well-back to finish second, while Twomacsonemach held on for third.
A gelded son of Ponder, Think On It not only swept the Autumn Series Friday, but he also extended his current win streak to five.
"He's a very confident horse right now," said MacDonell. "He's been racing on the front, but he certainly doesn't need to be on the front. They started to race pretty hard in the early part of the mile tonight and I was able to get some nice cover on the backstretch and when I moved him, he moved with authority."
Think On It is trained by Bob McIntosh and now has five wins in 12 starts this season after winning one of five as a rookie. The sophomore pacer increased his seasonal earnings to $50,560 and his career earnings to $70,390 with his Autumn Series sweep.
Think On It is owned by Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, Dave Boyle and James Walker. He paid $5.20 to win.
Majestic Presence capped off the night by capturing the $36,000 Autumn Series final for three-year-old trotting fillies.
The Dagfin Henriksen trainee flashed some early speed to grab command heading into the first turn. Majestic Presence put up an opening-quarter of :28, but surrendered the lead entering the backstretch to Devils Advocate, who moved up from third.
Devils Advocate fronted the field by the half in :58.4 and three-quarters in 1:27.3 to lead the field into the lane. Majestic Presence enjoyed the pocket ride through the middle-half and was angled to the outside in the lane by Henriksen.
Majestic Presence powered by Devils Advocate in deep stretch to win by a length and a quarter in a career-best 1:56.2. Whambamthankumaam finished third.
A daughter of Majestic Son, Majestic Presence was making just her fourth start since moving into the Henriksen barn. The sophomore trotting filly won a first leg division and finished second in last week's second leg.
Majestic Presence now has two wins in 18 starts this season and three career victories overall. Her seasonal earnings now sit at $36,350 and her career earnings $53,350 for owner Gerald Haggerty.
Majestic Presence paid $7.30 to win.
In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired three-year-olds had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime or $30,000 in 2016 as of September 30, 2016.
Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack with the $1.7 million Fall Four Stakes. Post time is 7:30 p.m. WEG Communications