Campbellville, ON --- North America’s trotting elite will congregate at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday (Sept. 14) and among the contestants in the William Wellwood Memorial, Peaceful Way and Canadian Trotting Classic finals are 10 Ontario-sired stars hoping to keep the trophies close to home.
After winning his elimination from post 10, Harper Blue Chip is among the favorites in the C$365,000 William Wellwood Memorial final. The Majestic Son colt and Sylvain Filion will line up at post three in the final and trainer Mark Steacy is expecting a world class battle.
“I think he’s got his work cut out for him,” says the Lansdowne resident. “Father Patrick is pretty highly rated, and rightly so with the races he’s won, but he did look a little vulnerable on the last turn.”
Favorite Father Patrick will start from post four and comes into the contest on a five-race win streak. Harper Blue Chip’s streak only extends to two races, but Steacy feels the colt is showing steady improvement.
“He broke well, trained down well. He was quiet, well mannered, smart -- similar to his father. He never showed high speed, but he always did what you wanted,” recalls Steacy, who trained Majestic Son to $1,756,883 in career earnings. “With each race he got better, and the speed started to come.
“Sylvain Filion really likes this horse and we both hope we haven’t hit the bottom of the well yet,” adds the horseman.
Steacy shares ownership of Harper Blue Chip with Landmark 6 Racing Stable, David McDonald and David Reid. The partners purchased the colt out of last fall’s Standardbred Horse Sale for $40,000.
“I always go looking for Majestic Sons. I’m a true believer,” says Steacy. “I really believe Majestic Son is a great sire, and I’ve trained quite a few of his. He didn’t catch the Grand Circuit mares like Donato Hanover and the likes of that did, but I think if he had you’d see a lot more than three in these finals.”
In addition to Harper Blue Chip, Majestic Son gelding P L Hercules will also compete in the William Wellwood Memorial from post six and filly Serendipitious will start from post eight in the Peaceful Way final.
In last week’s Peaceful Way eliminations, two of the three winners were Ontario-sired fillies. I Jasmin and Danica Hall trotted to 1:57.1 and 1:57.3 victories, respectively, and will line up at posts two and three in the C$374,000 final.
“It tells you that we’re producing quality horses, doesn’t it,” says trainer Doug McIntosh, who sends the Deweycheatumnhowe daughter Danica Hall into Saturday’s final on behalf of owner-breeder Walnut Hall Limited.
Like Harper Blue Chip, Danica Hall captured her elimination and her Champlain Stakes division one week earlier to ride into Saturday’s final on a two race win streak. And like Steacy, McIntosh knows Danica Hall is in for a tough battle in the C$374,000 final.
“She’s a nice filly, but that race on Saturday night is a tough race. Whoever gets a trip in there will win,” says the Wheatley resident. “That 2-year-old trotting filly division is very deep.”
Trotting specialist Trevor Ritchie will steer Danica Hall in pursuit of the biggest prize of her young career.
Among the other fillies expected to be favored in the final is Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series division leader Riveting Rosie, who will start from post five. The Muscle Mass daughter rallied from an early break in the elimination round to finish third for driver Paul MacDonell, trainer John Bax and his partners, Don Allensen, J And T Stable Newmarket and John Hayes.
Rounding out the Ontario-sired hopefuls in the 2-year-old finals are colt Massive Talent, who gets post one in the William Wellwood Memorial, and fillies Toughs Legacy and White Becomes Her, who will start from posts nine and ten in the Peaceful Way.
In the C$686,000 Canadian Trotting Classic final, Toocool Forschool carries the Ontario-sired torch from post five. The Kadabra colt finished fifth behind Master Of Law in the elimination round and will be looking for a return to the form that saw him post a personal best 1:53.4 at Mohawk in his June 8 Goodtimes elimination.
Jody Jamieson will steer Toocool Forschool for Glenn Lalonde and owners Roland Rocco and Benoit Gendron.
The 10 Ontario-sired entries are matched only by the number of young trotters hailing from Pennsylvania. The other jurisdictions represented are New Jersey with six hopefuls, New York with three and Kentucky with one.
Post time for Mohawk Racetrack’s Saturday (Sept. 14) program is 7:25 p.m., with the William Wellwood Memorial Final slated as race three, the Peaceful Way final going postward in race five and the Canadian Trotting Classic rounding out the evening in race eight.
For complete entries go to this link.