In spite of a track soaked by a full day of rain, two-year-old trotting fillies Magic Presto and On A Sunny Day put on an impressive show at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening.
Competing on a surface rated three seconds slower than normal, Magic Presto fired away from Post 5 to a :27.3 opening quarter in the first $105,000 Gold Series division. Driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON eased off on the tempo through the :59.1 half and 1:29.1 three-quarters and then let the fan favourite accelerate home to a four and one-quarter length victory in 1:57.4. Holiday Promise closed hard to be second and Gravitator trotted into third.
“She raced really good, I was really happy that she dealt with the conditions like that. She’s got flip-flops on and you never know how they’ll handle a track like that with flip-flops on,” said trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman, referring to the style of horseshoe the filly sports. “Trevor was very, very happy with her, said she’s getting better all the time.”
The win was Magic Presto’s third lifetime, with two of her wins coming in the Gold Series and one in the Grassroots. The filly spent the month of September competing against the best young trotting distaffers in North America and logged a fourth-place result in her Sept. 1 Champlain Stakes division, a second in her Sept. 8 Peaceful Way Elimination and a third, from Post 10, in the Peaceful Way Final one week later.
“She never really raced really hard in those races, she had bad draws, she was just basically racing for a cheque, but she looks competitive against some better horses there,” noted Norman. “So if she can do some good in the Super Final that’ll be me, I’ll be very happy with that.”
The Allentown, NJ-based trainer conditions Magic Presto for Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON, Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL, David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL and Little E LLC of New York, NY. The filly was a $160,000 acquisition from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale and has returned $169,549 through her first seven starts, finishing no worse than fourth. Her connections are looking forward, not just to the Super Final, but to the long-legged youngster’s sophomore season.
“She’s really big anyway, she doesn’t want to grow up anymore, but she has got stronger, she looks better, she’s filled right out and I think next year she’s going to be really nice and strong,” said Norman. “She’s really professional; she does everything, handles everything, very well.”
The daughter of Kadabra-In The Mean Time wraps up the regular season with 125 points earned in her three Gold Series starts and heads into the season ending Super Final sitting fourth in the division standings.
On A Sunny Day was equally sharp off the starting gate in the second Gold division, firing away from Post 6 to a :27.3 quarter. The filly sailed along to a :58.4 half and 1:28.1 three-quarters and then powered away from the field to a four and one-half length victory in 1:56.3. Fan favourite Winter Sweet Frost had to settle for second, while Stuck In My Spanks was 11 lengths back in third.
Milton, ON resident Sylvain Filion piloted On A Sunny Day to the win for trainer and breeder Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. While her peers battled in the open stakes during September, On A Sunny Day enjoyed a mid-season rest following the Aug.10 Gold event at Grand River Raceway. The filly qualified at Mohawk on Sept. 13 and 20 in preparation for Thursday’s regular season finale.
The daughter of Muscle Mass-Dicent No leads the two-year-old trotting fillies into the Oct. 15 Super Final with 225 points and $183,750 earned from four wins and one second in her five Gold Series starts. The top 10 point earners will return to Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday, Oct. 15 for the $250,000 Super Final.
Gold Series action continues at Mohawk on Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1 as the three-year-old pacing fillies and two-year-old pacing colts wrap up their regular season over the Campbellville oval. Post time for both programs is 7:30 p.m., with the pacing fillies batting in Races 3 and 9 on Friday and the colts competing in Races 2 and 10 on Saturday.