Toronto, ON --- Fifteen sophomore pacing fillies made their way to Woodbine Racetrack on Thursday evening (Dec. 19) to contest two $14,100 divisions of the second leg of the Niagara Series.
The Niagara Series is for 3-year-old fillies who were non-winners of C$50,000 lifetime as of Oct. 31.
|New Image Media photo|
|Solid Queen was a 1:53.3 winner in her division of the Niagara Series.|
After skipping the opening round of the series, U.S. invader Joe Bongiorno guided Solid Queen to victory in 1:53.3. In doing so, Bongiorno celebrated his first career win on Canadian soil.
Bongiorno elected to use off-the-pace tactics as race favorite Wonderful Charm (Jody Jamieson) was first to the opening quarter in a quick :26.4. Wonderful Charm would continue to lead past the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:26.2. Dance Hall Girl (Mario Baillargeon) began the first-over attack heading to three-quarters, giving live cover to Solid Queen.
As the fillies turned for home, Wonderful Charm was still the leader, but Bongiorno showed Solid Queen open racetrack and the daughter of Riverboat King responded with a :27 final quarter en route to a 3-3/4 length victory. Wonderful Charm stayed for second over D Gs Pesquero (Sylvain Filion).
Trained by Mike Russo for owner Scott Irwin, Solid Queen enjoyed her sixth career victory as her bankroll now sits at $59,907. She paid $7.70 to win.
In the other split, Hands Off Hanover pulled off the 3-1 minor upset for Sylvain Filion.
Putmeintogo (Roger Mayotte) was quickest to the front, but allowed Lyonssweetie to command at the quarter in :26.2. Heading towards the half, Putmeintogo retook command and laid down middle-half speed of :56.2 and 1:25.1.
Turning for home, Putmeintogo was still in command, but the backfield was quickly closing in on the tempo-setter. Hands Off Hanover, who was fourth along the rail turning for home, found open racetrack in deep stretch and was able to pick up all the pieces to score the narrow victory in 1:54.1. Miss Poppycock and Lyonssweetie finished second in a dead heat, while Bad Girl Vegas (Jonathan Drury) finished fourth.
Trained by Victory Puddy for owner Percy Elkins, Hands Off Hanover earned her fifth career victory as her lifetime earnings increased to $58,246. The daughter of Western Ideal paid $8.80 to win.
The C$30,000 (added) final will take place on Boxing Day (Dec. 26), which holds a special 1 p.m. first-race post time.