O’Brien Award winner Bee A Magician earned the first stakes trophy of her sophomore campaign with a 1:54.4 open length victory in the $162,765 SBOA Final for Ontario-sired trotting fillies on Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack.
Fresh off a 1:53.4 victory in her seasonal debut during last week’s eliminations at Woodbine Racetrack, Bee A Magician delivered on her pari-mutuel promise as the heavy 1-9 favourite in tonight’s final, paying $2.30 to win.After post 10 starter Motown Muscle (Mario Baillargeon) rallied wide into the first turn and cleared to command just before the :27.4 quarter pole, driver Rick Zeron sent Bee A Magician around that foe to take over the leading role. The popular Kadabra filly carved out middle splits of :57.3 and 1:26.3 with Quiet Snow (Luc Ouellette) first over and Orderingin (Billy Davis Jr.) attempting to launch an attack from second over. But Bee A Magician left her rivals in the dust as she took off around the final turn and cruised home for the easy score. Charmed Life (Paul MacDonell) edged out Motown Muscle for second
Trained by Richard ‘Nifty’ Norman, Bee A Magician is now two-for-two this year after winning 10 of her 13 freshman starts. The Ontario Sires Stakes standout, who also earned trophies in the Champlain Stakes and Peaceful Way Stakes, has banked over $850,000 in purses for Ottawa’s Melvin Hartman and partners Herb Liverman and David McDuffee, both of Florida.
“I kind of wanted her to be close to front this year, she did her learning last year from racing off-the-pace and ‘Nifty’ and I mentioned that she has to be up closer this year if she’s going to have to trot big miles,” said Zeron of his racing strategy.
The Oakville, Ont. reinsman said Bee A Magician will aim to take on the sport’s Grand Circuit fillies, including the Jimmy Takter-trained Dan Patch Award winner To Dream On, in events like the Hambletonian Oaks this summer.
“We’re ready for the Takter team,” he stated.
Last year’s Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final champion Love Canal later returned to tackle her divisional rivals from post 10 with a career-nest equalling 1:52.3 score in the $158,765 SBOA Stakes Final for pacing fillies.
Senorita Santanna (Billy Davis Jr.) left from post seven and worked her way to the lead during a :27.1 opening panel over favourite Pan Luis Obispo (Randy Waples), but Leaveumlady (Scott Zeron) swept to command from fourth down the backstretch. The new leader reached the half in :55.2 and three-quarters in 1:24 while Pan Luis Obispo began to advance providing cover to Love Canal and driver Doug McNair, who moved underway from sixth at the midway point. As the fillies turned into the stretch, Love Canal kicked off cover and soared to a one and three-quarter length victory. Jan It Jackson (Luc Ouellette) sprinted home from the backfield for the runner-up honours while Notalkingback (Rick Zeron) was third.
The 8-5 second choice, who finished just a neck behind favourite Pan Luis Obispo in last week’s 1:52.4 elimination at Woodbine, paid $5.40 to win the rich final.
“It’s easy to say now, but I wasn’t that worried about post 10 with her,” commented trainer Tony O’Sullivan after the race. “I figured she’d be one of the favourites and she’d get away mid-pack.”
The Cambridge, Ont. conditioner explained that an equipment change from last week to this week and the filly’s preferred racing style worked to her advantage in the stakes final.
“We put a headpole back on the outside of her,” said the Cambridge, Ont. conditioner. “She wore that all last year. She’s a funny filly; she gets lost on the lead and even training at home. One day she’s on one line and one day she’s on the other. She’s much better stalking and she showed that tonight.”
After going four-for-eight as a freshman, the Badlands Hanover filly has now earned over $360,000 in purses for Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Robert Cooper Stables LLC of Florida, and New York’s J And T Silva Stables LLC.
“She’s staked up a little more this year,” said O’Sullivan. “Obviously, she has to go a lot faster, but I think she has the gears [to compete with the Grand Circuit fillies]. She might need more of a trip against those horses, but she’s such a big, strong filly and does it so easy I wouldn’t be surprised if she steps up.”
To view Friday’s harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results – Mohawk Racetrack.