Campbellville, ON --- While lightning circled around Campbellville on Friday evening (July 19), the top 2-year-old pacers in the province lit things up at Mohawk Racetrack in the first Ontario Sires Stakes Mid-Summer Challenge.
The 2-year-old pacing colt Arthur Blue Chip delivered an outstanding effort in the C$150,000 pacing colt challenge, coming on in the stretch to claim a half-length victory over Steady Warrior and Cluster Hanover. The Shadow Play-Advantest son stopped the teletimer in a personal best 1:52.4 over a track rated one second slower than normal.
“I just told Randy (Waples), I said, he’s lazy, but I said if you get him up in the rigging he’ll go for you,” said trainer Dr. Ian Moore. “He knows what it’s all about now. Randy said he was good, perfect.”
Randy Waples piloted Arthur Blue Chip to the win, his second in Gold Series competition, for Moore and his partners in the Shadow One Stable. The partners purchased the colt for $135,000 from last fall’s Standardbred Horse Sale and have already recouped $106,000 after three starts.
In addition to watching his own colt triumph over a deeply talented field, Moore also applauded the success of several other Shadow Play offspring. The horseman campaigned $1.5 million winner Shadow Play during his stellar racing career and is thrilled with the early season results the stallion is enjoying in Ontario.
“It’s quite a thrill for me, having had Shadow Play and now having some of his offspring to train and race, and also to see them race too,” explains Moore. “Jack Darling, I was talking to him, his fillies did great -- one and three -- so I’m very, very happy.”
Jack Darling received congratulations from Moore after Shadow Play daughters Nefertiti Blue Chip and Alibi Seelster finished first and third in the C$150,000 pacing filly challenge. After leading for much of the race fan favorite Alibi Seelster was edged out by her stablemate and runner-up Sudoku, leaving Darling surprised, but pleased, with the result.
“I’m as shocked as anybody,” admitted the trainer in the winner’s circle. “Great drive, and she raced big, she came up big. Last week at Rideau she was just kind of a mediocre second, but she’s been fighting off sickness and allergies, and I guess she’s over it now.”
Jody Jamieson piloted Nefertiti Blue Chip to the 1:54 win, her second lifetime but first on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit. Darling acquired the daughter of Shadow Play-Rising Sun at last fall’s Standardbred Horse Sale, offering up $50,000 for the filly.
Before the division heavyweights waged their battles, two C$50,000 Mid-Summer Consolations were contested and Regil Meg came up with a sharp effort to capture the pacing filly event. Doug McNair put the Artistic Fella-Theoras Path daughter on the front end early and simply set the cruise control button. Regil Meg sailed home unchallenged in 1:55.3, 2-1/4 lengths ahead of Goldies Mach and Jokes Jet.
Dr. Reginald Westgarth bred, owns and trains Regil Meg, who earned her spot in the consolation with a fourth-place finish in the July 1 season opener at Mohawk.
In the pacing colt consolation Artistic Fella-That Day son Titus Seelster simply dominated his peers, sailing across the wire 7-1/2 lengths on top in 1:53.1. Fan favorite Weatherly settled for second and Bugger Bruiser was third.
Sylvain Filion piloted Titus Seelster to the win for trainer Stephane Larocque and owners Brian Paquet and Bayama Farms Inc.
The 2-year-old pacing colts will make their fourth Gold Series start at Grand River Raceway on Sept. 13 and the pacing fillies return to Mohawk on the same day. The second of three Mid-Summer Challenges goes postward at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday (Aug. 5) and features the 2-year-old trotting colts and fillies.
For complete results go to this link.