Emoticon Hanover and Caprice Hill made their sire Kadabra proud with impressive victories in the Casual Breeze Stakes on Friday night (August 26) at Mohawk Racetrack.
A group of 20 three-year-old trotting fillies were split into a pair of $97,000 divisions.
Emoticon Hanover was a 1:54.2 gate-to-wire winner in the first division for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Luc Blais. The daughter of Kadabra left alertly from post two to grab the lead and it was lights out from there.
Emoticon Hanover posted fractions of :28, :57.1 and 1:26.2 before firing home in :28 for the victory. Double Exposure left hard from post eight, landed the two-hole and ultimately finished a length and a quarter back in second. Jangone finished third, while Worldclass Hanover was fourth.
Following the race, Filion was very pleased with the Emoticon Hanover’s effort in the Casual Breeze and her progression as a three-year-old.
“I wanted to get to the front and control the pace, which we did, and she did it pretty handy,” said Filion. “Last year she was a little tough to drive, but this year she is way handier, so that makes her much better.”
Owned by Determination of Montreal, Que., Emoticon Hanover scored her fourth victory of the season on Friday in her eighth outing. She now has eight career victories and a bankroll of $436,658.
The Blais trainee paid $2.80 to win.
Caprice Hill continued her fantastic season by overcoming the 10-hole to win the second division in 1:53.3.
The Tony Alagna-trained filly was unhurried at the start by driver Randy Waples and eventually found a spot along the rail in sixth just after the :28.1 opening quarter. Side Bet Hanover led the field to the half in :57.3, but was quickly confronted entering the far turn by a charging Caprice Hill, who took the lead before five-eighths. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:26, Caprice Hill trotted home strongly in :27.3 to win by three and a quarter lengths. Side Bet Hanover held on to second over a charging Flowers N Songs.
Also a daughter of Kadabra, Caprice Hill now has five wins in 2016 and has yet to finish outside the top two in eight starts this season.
Following the race, Alagna passed along much of the credit for Caprice Hill’s excellent season to his mother, Donna Lee.
“Everybody who knows the filly knows that this is my Mom’s pride and joy and she’s done a great job with her,” he said. “[Caprice Hill] is just very easy on herself, rests, does all the right things, good eater and that’s why she looks as great now as she has all year.”
Owned by Tom Hill of Hamilton, Ont., Caprice Hill is nearing millionaire status with $980,377 in lifetime earnings following the Casual Breeze victory.
She paid $2.90 to win.
Up next for the three-year-old trotting fillies is the Simcoe Stakes next Friday (September 2) followed by the Elegantimage eliminations. Emoticon Hanover and Caprice Hill are both eligible to those upcoming events.
Owner Tom Hill also earned another Friday night victory as his homebred four-year-old mare Delightful Hillprevailed by a nose in a wild finish in the weekly $30,000 Preferred for distaff pacers. The Carmen Auciello trainee converted off a pocket trip to score a 13-1 upset in a career-best 1:50.4 over pacesetter Bedroomconfessions, with Sandbetweenurtoes, Wrangler Magic and 4-5 favourite Katie Said spread five-across. Delightful Hill’s driver Jonathan Drury is now just one win shy of the 1,000 career win mark.
Live racing continues Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack with the eliminations of the Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady headlining the card. Post time is 7:30 p.m.
(Standardbred Canada with files from WEG)