Yannick Gingras swept the mares divisions of the TVG Championships with Lady Shadow back in the Meadowlands spotlight after her Breeders Crown triumph. The Shadow Play-Lady Camella mare wrapped up her five-year-old campaign with a 1:50 victory in the $200,000 TVG Mares Pace for trainer Ron Adams.
Inittowinafortune (Andy Miller) hustled off the gate from post six to establish the early lead into a :26.4 first quarter before Solar Sister (Brian Sears) rushed from third to first down the backstretch. Gingras then sent Lady Shadow underway from fourth nearing the :54.3 half-mile marker and the 1-5 favourite edged ahead of Solar Sister on the way to three-quarters in 1:22.2. Despite beginning to drift out in the stretch while Solar Sister tried to fight back inside, Lady Shadow drew clear to win in 1:50 flat. Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron) came through between horses to finish second ahead of 7-1 second choice Sassa Hanover (Matt Kakaley), who had tracked the winner’s cover, and Solar Sister.
“The strategy changed the way the card’s been playing out,” said Gingras of his winning trip. “I think at this point, everybody knows the front end has been pretty dead. She loves that spot, but I figured I wasn’t going to let the bias beat me tonight so there was no way I was going to be on the front.
“I was pretty confident I was going to beat Brian [Sears and Solar Sister], but I knew with Matt [Kakaley and Sassa Hanover] on my back — she raced really good last week in the Breeders Crown — so I knew she was the mare to beat, but my mare felt really strong at the top of the stretch so I knew she would have to go a big last quarter to beat me.”
Lady Shadow, the defending divisional champion in Canada, completed her 20-race season with 12 wins and earnings of nearly $950,000. She is owned by David Kryway of Amherstburg, Ont., and U.S. partners Carl Atley, Edwin Gold, and the BFJ Stable.
“She’s been iron tough all year,” said Adams. “We qualified a couple times earlier in the year instead of racing her and I think it paid off tonight.
“If she comes back this good, I’ll be happy with her. She’s made a big step up [this year]; she’s just bigger, stronger. She went big trips last year, but this year she just carried her speed a little better.”