Maplelea out-sprinted her rivals in the stretch and lowered the Canadian season’s record for three-year-old pacing fillies in Friday’s $20,000 second leg of the Princess Series at Mohawk Racetrack.
Maplelea shaved two full seconds off her lifetime mark and went over the $100,000 earnings mark with the 1:51.4 victory for owner and trainer Andrew Moore of Russell, Ont.
The Sportswriter filly has been a top contender in WEG’s winter and spring series and was sent postward as the 8-5 favourite on Friday night after a big closing kick propelled her from last (10th) to second-place in the Princess opener last week.
After being parked out through a :27-second opening panel from the outside post, round one winner Moonlit Dance (James MacDonald) made the lead down the backstretch and continued on to the half in :55.4.
Cast No Shadow (Chris Christoforou) then went first up from fourth and quickly advanced alongside the leader, with Maplelea and Rick Zeron following the live cover from the back of the field, which was scratched down to just six starters.
Cast No Shadow edged ahead at the 1:24.4 third quarter mark and turned for home with Moonlit Dance trying to fight back on the inside and Maplelea rallying off cover on the outside. Sprinting home in :26.3, Maplelea did get by her rivals for the half-length victory. Maplelea paid $5.30 to win. Cast No Shadow was the runner-up and Moonlit Dance finished less than a length behind in third.
Maplelea has now won a total of seven legs in 10 series starts, including the Horseplayer Interactive Final.
The Princess Series, which is for sophomore fillies that were non-winners of $100,000 in 2014, will wrap up on Saturday, May 9 with a $50,000 (added) final.
Last year’s Princess champion Rock N Roll Xample was victorious later on the card in a $25,000 fillies and mares conditioned pace as she held off the pocket-pulling D Gs Pesquero (Jonathan Drury) and favourite Marlee B (Trevor Henry), who rallied off cover, in a photo finish. James MacDonald drove the four-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare to her second win in a row — this one in 1:52.3 — for trainer David Menary and owner/breeder Robert Hamather of Exeter, Ont.