Three divisions of the Autumn Series kicked off Thursday’s 10-race card at Mohawk Racetrack, and the two-year-olds in action were forced to deal with a racing surface that was anything but fast.
Steady rain throughout the day left the oval in a ‘sloppy’ state, but the rookies took it all in stride and delivered professional performances in their respective divisions.
Bills Fella won the first of two $16,000 splits for the pacing colts and geldings. The heavily-favoured son of Artistic Fella-Lucky Louisa got away third before quarter pole-moving to the top for driver Mike Saftic. Once in command of the pace, the gelding sliced out splits of :58.1 and 1:27.2. He then tossed out a :29-second closing quarter to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Osborne Seelster in 1:56.2. Third prize was earned by Red John.
The homebred improved this year’s record to 2-3-1 from 10 trips postward for trainer Gregg McNair, who share ownership on the youngster with partner Ian Fleming of Londesborough, Ont. The $8,000 payday bumped the pacer’s bankroll to $28,180.
Mc Mach marched to the top and didn’t look back in the second division en route to a handy score in 1:54.1 for the tandem of driver Paul MacDonell and trainer Bob McIntosh. The homebred son of Mach Three-Northern Empress whacked out fractions of :27.2, :56 and 1:25 before scooting home in :29.1 to win by 7-1/4 lengths over Dreamfair B J. Thrownoutofbetter rounded out the top three finishers.
Sent off as the 3-5 favourite, Mc Mach now boasts a rookie record of 4-1-0 from 11 starts for the partnership of Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, Al McIntosh Holdings Inc and Randy Liepa. His cash stash climbed to $62,450 with the score.
In the lone division for trotting colts and geldings, Scene A Magician made a round trip to victory lane for driver Jack Moiseyev and trainer Jennifer Pinkerton. The son of Daylon Magician-Scene Duharas was parked and pressing Noble Prize at the quarter pole in :30, and after clearing to the top in the backstretch he came under attack from Vesuvio Bi. Those two battled to the half in :59.1 before Scene A Magician drew away from the field at the three-quarter marker in 1:29. The gelding came home in :29.4 to win by three-quarters of a length over Upvote Hanover in 1:58.4. Resita took home the show dough.
Pinkerton shares ownership on the rookie with Daylon Farms Ltd and Gordon Yeo. Perfect in the preliminary legs of the series, Scene A Magician will look to bolster his 4-for-7 record in the rich final.
The Autumn Series for two-year-olds will wrap up next Thursday with the finals for all four divisions taking place on the October 27th card.
The Autumn Series final for pacing colts and geldings will go for a purse of $29,200, while the final for pacing fillies will be contested a purse of $28,600. The finals for trotting colts and geldings and trotting fillies will both go for a purse of $28,200.