As a Standardbred owner, there is no better way to celebrate your birthday than with a big stakes victory. On Saturday night, two-year-old trotting filly Caprice Hill‘s triumph in the $410,000 Peaceful Way Stakes proved to be a perfect birthday present for her owner Tom Hill.
“It’s great to win a big race, especially when it’s your birthday,” said Hill, who turned 65 years old today.
In the stakes final, Celebrity Evensty (Brett Miller) fired to the lead from post five during a :27.1 first quarter with Could It Be Magic (Wayne Henry) lining up in second and Emoticon Hanover (Sylvain Filion) third. Meanwhile, 4-5 favourite Caprice Hill and Tim Tetrick settled away fourth in the field that was scratched down to nine starters with Ultimate Shopper sick.
Emoticon Hanover made a backstretch brush during the second panel and took over before the half in :56.3. Could It Be Magic then advanced first over with Caprice Hill following her cover.
Emoticon Hanover gave way to the first over pressure of Could It Be Magic past three-quarters in 1:27 while Caprice Hill rallied off cover and opened up down the stretch to earn her fourth straight victory in 1:56.1. Celebrity Eventsy closed at the inside for second-place while Dewdle All Day (Chris Christoforou) finished back in third over Could It Be Magic.
“It worked out great; a second over trip,” said Tetrick. “A few of them left, I got in a good spot and followed a nice couple of fillies there. I got led up right to where I needed to be. There was a little race there when Brett kind of shook loose, but my mare shows how good she is and how she wanted to do it and she just gets the job done.
“Luckily, I got a chance to get back on and that was one of my biggest mistakes, picking off her early in the season.”
“Yannick [Gingras] drove this filly along and he said when he drove her she was Mission Brief with brains and she’s proven [herself] tonight,” said Hill. “She’s a gift from God.”
The daughter of Kadabra was the fourth consecutive Ontario-sired filly to win the Peaceful Way Stakes.
“Kadabra has proven to be as good a sire as any trotting sire in the world,” said Hill, who purchased Caprice Hill for $55,000 as a yearling at the Harrisburg Sale on the advice of trainer Tony Alagna.
“I actually went to Hanover to look at their colts and she was the only trotting filly I turned out that day and she just had a presence about her and natural balance in the paddock,” said Alagna.
The filly, who now boasts six wins in seven starts and earnings of $377,730, was an early standout training down in Illinois with Alagna’s mother Donna.
“She said to me mid-winter ‘this is some kind of filly’ and around April she said ‘she’s too good for me to keep here at Balmoral Park, I’m sending her to you.’ The first time I sat behind her in the bike, I said this filly is something special.”