Percy Bluechip and Big Thong won Gold Series events to kick off the season earlier this year at Georgian Downs, and they grabbed a second helping of Gold during Monday’s card at Mohawk Racetrack.
Percy Bluechip followed up her track, O.S.S. and Canadian record-setting debut won her follow-up performance in 1:52.1 for driver Trevor Henry and trainer Dr. Ian Moore.
Henry got away third with the talented two-year-old daughter of Shadow Play-Advantest before brushing to the lead shortly past the quarter pole. She sped through middle panels of :55.2 and 1:23.4 before cruising home in :28 to win by five lengths over Lady Grande in 1:51.4. Play The Bell was third.
“I just finished talking to Trevor (Henry) and he said that she won very easy,” said trainer Dr. Ian Moore. “When he moved her she wanted to go 100 miles an hour there, and she put in a few little steps, not really steps, just trying to get going 100 I guess is what she was doing, but then she relaxed and he just spoke to her around the final turn, that’s all he did, never touched her or anything, so she did that on her own.
“I think she’s a very special filly and I’m going to manage her as best I can,” added Moore. “It’s very important with young horses to take care of them — you take care of them, they’ll take care of you.”
Percy Bluechip is eligible to a number of open stake races and Dr. Moore and his partners are hoping that she can compete against the best two-year-old pacing fillies in North America in races like the Eternal Camnation, Champlain Stakes and Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk.
“Hopefully she’s going to be good enough to go with them. I mean, as you know, every year, in any particular OSS class, there’s only one or two out of each division that will ever do with the American-breds, so I am being realistic about that,” noted Dr. Moore. “I guess time will tell, but that’s what we’re striving for anyway, at this point in time.”
Sent off as the 1-9 favourite, Percy Bluechip bumped her bankroll to $96,400 for the partnership of Shadow Two Stable, Hudson Standrdbrd Stb Inc and James & Wilma MacKenzie.
Big Thong settled into an early four-hole trip for driver James MacDonald, but she was on the move in the backstretch just like first division winner, Percy Bluechip. Just Her Luck led to the quarter in :27 before Oxford Comma worked up to the lead at the mid-way point in :55.1 before Big Thong powered up to take her turn up top. She led the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:23.1 before finishing off her foes with a :29-second closing quarter. She won by 1-1/2 lengths over race favourite Sudden Passing in 1:52.1. Just Her Luck was third.
“I had three or four other fillies that I paid up in the Shes A Great Lady and Breeders Crown and stuff, because they were looking better than her. She was just kind of plain ordinary and I didn’t pay her up in anything,” said trainer Scott McEneny. “I just paid her in the Sires Stakes, and then when she started stepping up I figured I’d pay the Champlain, so she only has the Sires Stakes and the Champlain. I wish I had her in the other stuff, but in hind sight it might be all right, she’s only going to have about eight, nine starts into her. She’s going to be a nice big mare next year, it’ll be better.”
“She actually got used pretty hard there tonight. It would’ve been easier if he (driver Robert Shepherd with Oxford Comma) didn’t pull out in front of us there, we would’ve got to the front a lot easier,” noted McEneny. “It would have been a lot easier race; anyways we got the job done.”
Send off as the 2-1 second choice in the wagering, Big Thong improved her record to 2-1-0 from three starts for trainer Scott McEneny. He trains the daughter of Big Jim-Thong for Michelle McEneny, Teresa Davidson, Martwest Racing Stable and Cora Marshall. The lion’s share of the loot lifted the rookie’s cash stash to $99,900.
Many of the fillies will make their way to Grand River Raceway next Monday for the Battle Of The Belles eliminations. The next O.S.S. Gold Series event for the division is August 19 at Mohawk Racetrack.
(Standardbred Canada with quotes from O.S.S.)