You Will Be Queen gets first Gold win
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Trotting fillies were in the spotlight at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday, Sept. 21 with the freshmen competing in a pair of $106,000 Gold Series divisions and the sophomores in four $23,000 Grassroots splits.
You Will Be Queen captured the first $106,400 Gold division with a personal best 1:55.2 effort. Starting from Post 5, with Chris Christoforou in the race bike, You Will Be Queen left smartly and led the field to a :28.2 opening quarter. Up And Ready swept to the front heading for the :57.2 half, but just before the 1:26.3 three-quarters Christoforou tipped You Will Be Queen to the outside and the fan favorite powered down the stretch to a one and one-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:55.2. Up And Ready finished second and Pixies Lady was third.
“She’s been good all year. She got sick on us there after the first leg of the Pure Ivory (July 23), we had to give her some time off, but she’s come back good,” said trainer Dustin Jones. “She raced good in the Peaceful Way Final (Sept. 12) and got beat by two really good fillies, and then she raced really good tonight. She raced actually tonight like she did in her win in the Pure Ivory where Chris left with her, let a guy go and then came back out, so real happy with her.”
Monday’s victory was the first Gold Series win of You Will Be Queen’s career, but not her first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. The Royalty For Life filly won a division of the Grassroots season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 13. She finished second in her Gold Series debut on Aug. 19 at Grand River Raceway and then posted three straight third-place finishes behind Donna Soprano in the Champlain Stakes and the elimination and final of the Peaceful Way at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
“She’s very nice filly,” said Jones, who bred and owns the filly in partnership with Hebert Horses Inc. of Montreal, QC. “She’s a pleasure to come to the track with.”
In the second $107,200 two-year-old trotting filly Gold division, Imextraspecial and driver Trevor Henry left well from Post 3 and watched from third as Dashing Muscle reached the quarter in :28.2 and then yielded to fan favorite Dicentra. As Dicentra rolled toward a :58.1 half, Henry sent Imextraspecial after the lead and once the filly reached the front she opened up a four length lead on her peers, reaching the three-quarters in 1:26.2. Imextraspecial cruised home to a personal best 1:55 clocking, three and three-quarter lengths ahead of Dashing Muscle and Dicentra.
“She raced really well,” said trainer Paul Walker. “I think maybe those couple races at Elora kind of turned her around and she’s been getting better ever since.”
Like You Will Be Queen, Imextraspecial started her provincial career in the Grassroots, winning a division of the July 13 season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park and the July 29 leg at Grand River Raceway in Elora. The Muscle Mass daughter went back to Elora for the Aug. 19 Gold event and added a third win to her resume.
Imextraspecial also tested her skills against the Grand Circuit fillies in the Champlain and Peaceful Way. She finished fifth, placed fourth in the Champlain, second in her Peaceful Way elimination and fourth in the final.
“She raced a really good race in the Peaceful Way (final), we were really pleased. She put in a real gutsy effort there. She got a bad shuffle and then come again in the stretch, so it takes a pretty good two-year-old to do that,” said Walker, who trains the filly for Keith Coulter of Mono, ON. “Her mother was a very tough mare and I think she’s passed it on.”
The two-year-old trotting fillies have one Gold event remaining on their schedule, Oct. 6 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, before the top 10 point earners compete in the Oct. 17 Super Final. Imextraspecial and You Will Be Queen currently sit third and sixth in the point standings, respectively.
In the three-year-old trotting filly Grassroots action, Sonadora Deo kicked things off with a 1:55.4 score in the first $23,150 division. The fan favorite held off a hard-charging Moana for the half-length victory. Noblesse Duharas was five lengths behind the leaders in third.
“Dora should have been a Gold filly, but just had a lot of bad luck,” said Bob McClure, who piloted the Kadabra daughter to her second Grassroots win for trainer Luc Blais of Campbellville and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. “We’re trying to end on a good note in the Grassroots. She’s a very solid filly.”
McClure, who is in a battle for top spot in the Ontario Sires Stakes driver standings with five-time Lampman Cup winner Sylvain Filion, returned to the Grassroots winner’s circle in the last division, scoring an upset with Th Present when favourite Profound Paragon skipped offstride in the stretch. Th Present sprinted by to a six length win in a personal best 1:55.1. Scorched Romance was second and Highland Foxytrotr was third.
“She’s been super in her last two since Marcel changed some gear on her,” said McClure, who steers the Royalty For Life filly for trainer Marcel Barrieau of Cambridge and Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longueil, QC. “She’s very sharp right now, which is good timing.”
The top 20 point earners will compete in the Oct. 2 Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park and Th Present heads into the postseason in second with 163 points, while Sonadora Deo is sixth with 100. The other two winners, Yen and No Angel Here, also finished in the top 20.
Yen got her first Grassroots win of the season in 1:56.2 for driver Sylvain Filion, trainer Julie Walker and owner-breeder Overseas Farms Ltd. of Cambridge, ON. The E L Titan filly bested Goddess De Vie and Magic Wanda.
No Angel Here clocked a personal best 1:57.4 for driver Paul MacDonell, trainer Peter Core and owner-breeders Bet Max Stables Inc. of Casco and Benenati Inc. of Clinton Township, MI. The Archangel miss edged out Emotions Durables and Protostar for her first Grassroots win.