Two-year-old pacing filly Bid Writer and driver James MacDonald just held off Aint Three Ok in a battle to the wire to win the co-featured $107,800 Battle of the Belles.
Bid Writer provided MacDonald with his second victory in the Battle of the Belles and the first for Everett, Ont. trainer Jeff Gillis, who co-owns the Sportswriter-Bust Out The Bid filly with Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ont., and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, New York.
“I just went in with an open mind; just kind of take what the race gives you,” said MacDonald, who also won the Battle of the Belles in 2014 with another Sportswriter filly, Win The Gold, for trainer Tony O’Sullivan. “I knew I was going to try going forward a little bit as long as not everyone was leaving.”
MacDonald sent Bid Writer to the lead from post two, but had another elimination winner, Loves Angel (Doug McNair), firing out from post six and working to clear during the 28-second opening quarter. MacDonald moved Bid Writer back to the lead at the quarter pole and raced on to the half in :57.2.
“I was confident because even when I came back around Dougie [McNair], I didn’t get stressed out. She did it pretty easy and I didn’t have to start her up,” said the Guelph, Ont. reinsman. “She just felt comfortable the whole way.”
Meanwhile, Village Jamie (Jody Jamieson) was flushed out from fourth and advanced into second-place down the backstretch with 3-5 favourite Aint Three Ok (Trevor Henry) following the cover.
Village Jamie dropped in behind Bid Writer as they passed three-quarters in 1:26.4 while Aint Three Ok continued to pursue outside into the stretch.
“When we got into the turn, I thought he was going right by,” said MacDonald of the oncoming favourite. “Mine’s…just a little green and when I got into her and kind of asked her to do her job, she was more than happy to do it.”
Aint Three Ok went head-to-head with Bid Writer down the lane, but the front-stepping filly held on by a head for the victory in 1:57 flat. Shanghai Sugar (Travis Henry) came on for third.
Bid Writer paid $6.10 to win as the 2-1 second choice following her wire-to-wire elimination victory last week. A $52,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase as a yearling, the promising filly is now three-for-four to start her career, with a bankroll climbing to $76,300.
“I’d like to trip her out a few times; she’s done a lot of road work since she’s started,” noted MacDonald. “But when the money’s on the line, especially on a half-mile track, you’ve got to be in the race. She’s progressing well and hopefully she’ll be around for the whole year.”