Campbellville, ON --- While the harness racing industry’s attention has been focused on 3-year-old trotting filly Bee A Magician’s undefeated sophomore season and record-setting miles, trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman has been quietly campaigning a number of other Ontario-sired youngsters, hoping for Super Final success at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night (Sept. 28).
In addition to his stable standout, Norman will start the 2-year-old trotting filly Toughs Legacy, the 2-year-old trotting colt Great White Way, the 3-year-old trotting filly Choir Robe and the 3-year-old pacing colt Mach It So in their respective C$200,000 Super Final divisions.
Toughs Legacy will head into the freshman filly contest off a confidence-building, four length victory at Grand River Raceway on Sept. 20 and Norman likes what he has seen from the daughter of Kadabra-One Tough Girl in recent weeks.
“We kind of liked her all along, but she seemed to have a few issues getting away from the gate,” the New Jersey resident explained. “She put it all together at Grand River, so hopefully she’s coming around at the right time.
“She got a good draw and she’s got a good driver,” he added. “It would be nice to get a top three finish.”
Sylvain Filion will pick up the drive aboard Toughs Legacy and steer the filly away from post two in the second race. The first time the Milton resident sat behind the youngster he engineered a third place result in the Aug. 5 Mid-Summer Consolation at Mohawk.
Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee own the filly, who is the first and only foal from their $236,320-winning mare One Tough Girl.
Hartman, Liverman and McDuffee also share ownership of Bee A Magician and will be keeping their fingers crossed that she can extend her flawless record to 13 sophomore victories on Saturday. Regular reinsman Rick Zeron will steer Bee A Magician away from post six in the 3-year-old trotting filly Super Final and Norman says the winner of $1.76 million seems to be ready for her last Ontario Sire Stakes appearance.
“We trained her here this morning and she trained very, very good,” Norman said. “She seems nice and sound and healthy. I’m very happy with the way she looks and feels.”
Bee A Magician has vanquished every foe she has encountered this season, whether Ontario-sired or American-bred, and set world and Ontario Sire Stakes records in the process. Norman has remained pragmatic through the hype that has spiraled around his star trotter and is simply focused on the task of having her ready for Saturday night.
“Every horse gets beat sooner or later and so will she, so I don’t even think about it,” he explained. “One race at a time.”
Choir Robe will also carry the Norman stable colors in the sophomore trotting filly showdown. Another daughter of Kadabra owned by Hartman, Liverman and McDuffee, Choir Robe has been a consistent check earner all season, but she will have her work cut out for her from post 10 on Saturday.
“With the 10 hole it will be hard for her to even get a check,” Norman said. “She’ll have to get a little lucky from there.”
Two races later Norman will send the freshman trotting colt Great White Way into the fray, riding a two race win streak. The Deweycheatumnhowe-Stage Show colt posted a 1:57.3 win in a 2-year-old race at Mohawk on Sept. 9, and then secured a berth in the Super Final with a 1:58 win over the Campbellville oval in the final Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series race.
“Like Toughs Legacy, he seems to be putting things together at the right time of the year,” Norman said.
“I like his draw,” the trainer continued. “I think he’s a horse that’s probably better coming from off a helmet.”
Doug McNair will be back in the race bike behind Great White Way, who will be searching for his third lifetime win from post six. Fashion Farms LLC owns the first foal from their $507,577 winner Stage Show.
Completing Norman’s Super Final contingent will be the 3-year-old pacing gelding Mach It So, who finished atop the division standings with a perfect record of four wins in four Gold Series starts. The son of Mach Three and Billy Davis, Jr. will benefit from post one in the 10th race, the last of the eight Super Finals.
“You’re always apprehensive about the draw. I was worried either he or Bee A Magician were going to get a 10,” Norman admitted. “But I like his draw, obviously.”
Norman says the gelding, owned by Bamond Racing LLC, came down with a virus while he was in Ohio for the Sept. 19 Little Brown Jug. After a round of antibiotics, four days of rest and a few of light jogging, the gelding is slated for a light training mile on Thursday morning, which the trainer hopes will set him up for a fifth Gold Series win.
“As long as he’s on his game, I think he’ll be tough,” Norman said. “He’s been able to beat those horses before.
“You’re always a little uncertain, but I kind of think he’ll bounce back just fine.”
The first Super Final will go postward as race two on Mohawk Racetrack’s Saturday evening program, which will get underway at 7:25 p.m. After a trotting under saddle exhibition Bee A Magician will parade onto the track for race three and the remaining C$200,000 battles will take place in races four, five, seven, eight, nine and 10.
For complete entries go to this link.