A trio of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series divisions were contested Monday evening at Mohawk Racetrack, with Bee In Charge, Zagster and Will Take Charge coming away victorious in their respective $70,000 assignments.
Bee In Charge, the younger half-brother to Bee A Magician (1:51 – $3,963,395), turned a two-hole trip into a 1:54.3 triumph in the first division for driver Chris Christoforou. Bee In Charge dropped into the pocket spot when the gate sped away and he was able to track Warrawee Roo through panels of :28, :57.2 and 1:26.2. Warrawee Roo rolled into a break in deep stretch, and that allowed Bee In Charge to blow by and post a three-length win over Dunvegan Don. Third prize went to Matza Man.
Per Henriksen trains the gelded son of Manofmanymissions-Beehive for Mel Hartman of Ottawa, Ont. and Dave Mc Duffee of Delray Beach, FL. It was a career-best performance for the three-time winner who upped his lifetime earnings to $56,790 with the win.
Zagster got away last in the second division, but he rallied to win in 1:55.2 for Team Henry. Trained by Shannon Henry and driven by Trevor Henry, the gelded son of Muscle Mass-This Way That Way grabbed cover going to the half and catapulted off that cover at the head of the lane. He then used a :28.4 closing quarter to win by three-quarters of a length over Dewy Dont Cheat in 1:55.2. Nofear Blue Chip turned in an impressive late rally of his own to circle from last to finish third.
Sent off as the even-money favourite, Zagster improved his 2016 record to 2-2-3 from 11 starts for Ontario partners Trevor Henry Stables Inc of Arthur and John MacLeod of Kincardine. The three-time winner now boasts a bankroll that is closing in on $75,000.
Will Take Charge captured the final division in 1:53 for driver Paul MacDonell and trainer John Bax. The gelding sat second to the quarter pole before marching to the top in the backstretch. He cruised through middle fractions of :56.1 and 1:25.1 before rocketing home in :27.4 to win by 2-1/2 lengths over Muscle Hustle. Dia Monde took home the show dough.
“He had a bit of second-itis last year, but he may have made the next step,” said trainer John Bax. “He kind of knows what racing’s about now, he’s all business.
“I’m dreaming this guy might be one you might want to keep to play with as he gets older, because he’s pretty healthy and he’s not hard on himself,” added Bax. “I’ve always got Goodtimes for the measuring stick; it’s a pretty good measuring stick, so we’ll see at the end of the year how that works. We know there’s lots of bumps in the road, but it’s a good start.”
Bax Stable, Gordon Wright, Don Allensen and John Hayes own the son of Kadabra-Celebrity Angel who won for the third time this season in seven attempts. The four-time winner boasts an impressive bankroll of $318,890.
Musical Rhythm took home top honours in the $34,000 Preferred Trot for Team Baillargeon. Mario Baillargeon rallied the Ben Baillargeon pupil to a 1:52.2 score over Whiskey Tax and Olympic Son.
It was the eleventh win of the season in 13 tries for the four-year-old son of Cantab Hall-Musical Victory, who is owned by Ben Baillargeon, Claude Hamel, Santo Vena and Nunzio Vena. The 20-time winner has banked just shy of $300,000 to date.
Domitian Hall turned in a jaw-dropping performance in a $20,000 conditioned event when he drew clear to win by more than ten lengths in a national season’s record clocking of 1:51.2. Home in :26.4 for driver Jonathan Drury, the new recruit in the Carmen Auciello barn cruised to an ultra-impressive performance in his debut for Armando Cappuccitti, Robert Watson, Mike Bartram and Auciello Stables.
The five-year-old son of Justice Hall-T Tars Shadowmio won for the fifth time this season and for the 14th time in his career. He’s banked more than $100,000 to date.
Rubber Duck matched the national season’s record when he toured the oval in 1:51.2 in a $20,000 conditioned event for driver Jack Moiseyev and trainer Julie Walker.
Bags For All fired to the front and served up first half fractions of :26.2 and :54.4 before Rubber Duck rolled out of the three-hole and gained a short lead at the three-quarter pole in 1:23.2. The OSS graduate then used a :28 closing panel to fend off race favourite Cash For Gold. Classic Venture was third.
The four-year-old son of Muscle Mass-Ringside Rosie is now 2-for-6 this season for owners Blair and Erna Corbeil of Beaumont, AB. The six-time winner has potted more than $250,000 in his career.
Two-year-old pacing colt The Dark Shadow won his pari-mutuel debut in 1:54.1 for the team of driver Randy Waples and trainer Jack Darling. The youngster brushed to the lead in the backstretch, and after posting middle splits of :57.2 and 1:26.1 he roared home in :28 to fend off the late-rushing Sports Column. Bobcat Bound was third.
Jack Darling Stables Ltd of Cambridge, Ont. owns the rookie who was a $37,000 purchase from last year’s Lexington Select Yearling Sale. He’s the second foal out of a sister to OSS graduate Macharoundtheclock (1:51.1 – $502,583).
(Standardbred Canada with quotes from OSS)