Pacing filly Percy Bluechip’s career debut was a smashing success as she established a new track and Canadian record during Sunday evening’s Ontario Sires Stakes at Georgian Downs for driver Trevor Henry and trainer Dr. Ian Moore.
Percy Bluechip blazed to victory in 1:51.2, smashing the two-year-old pacing filly track record of 1:53.2 held by Idyllic (2010), Thisorthat Hanover (2015) and L A Delight (2015). It was also a full second faster than the overall freshman track mark set by gelding Seaforth (2014) and one-fifth of a second better than the longstanding Canadian record for a five-eighths mile track held by Falcons Future (1993) and Voelz Hanover (2007).
Leaving from post two in the first $96,400 Gold division of the night, Percy Bluechip and Henry cleared insider Campassion (Bob McClure) before post five leaver Kendall Seelster (Randy Waples) swept by through a :27.2 first quarter. However, ‘Percy’ retook the lead in front of the grandstand and reached the half in :56. Down the backstretch, Sudden Passing (Doug McNair) moved first-up and loomed outside through three-quarters in 1:23.2, but Percy Bluechip drew away down the stretch to win by four and three-quarter lengths. Kendall Seelster finished second ahead of Sudden Passing.
Beginning her career after two qualifying wins, including a 1:54.3 mile on June 26 at Mohawk Racetrack, Percy Bluechip was the odds-on favourite and paid $2.30 to win.
“It’s kind of fast for this time of year, but she did it all on her own, according to Trevor,” said Moore. “Trevor calls her a natural, says she just sprung the gate on her own and he didn’t have to ask her very much, if any really.”
Bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., the Shadow Play-Advantest filly was the 2016 Forest City Yearling Sale topper, purchased for $110,000 by Shadow Two Stable of Puslinch, Ont., James & Wilma Mackenzie of Ennismore, Ont., and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Que. She is a full-sister to the Moore-campaigned O’Brien Award winner Arthur Blue Chip ($552,759 – 1:50.1) and also a half-sibling to the Bettors Delight son Kenneth J ($1,592,755 – 1:49.3).
“So many things she does remind me of him [Arthur Blue Chip], and the most particular is the gait,” said Moore comparing the siblings. “She’s got a kind of a real, long lope-y, very light-footed gait to her and he did too. He was a big horse, but he didn’t hit the ground very hard. It just seemed like while I was training him, and she was the same, that they cover so much ground you don’t think you’re going as fast as you go, you look at your watch at the quarter and say, oh did I go that fast?”
Big Thong earned her first career victory in the second Gold division for the fillies, winning in 1:54.2 with James MacDonald mapping out the winning trip.
Even-money favourite Lady Ella (Rick Zeron) left from post two to claim the leading role ahead of insider Machnhope (Randy Waples) while Just Her Luck (Sylvain Filion) broke stride in an early attempt to make front. Lady Ella led the field in single-file alignment through opening panels of :28.1 and :58 before Mrs Bailey (Doug McNair) confronted her down the backstretch to three-quarters in 1:26. However, Big Thong swung out three-wide turning for home and powered past them all to score by two lengths. Lady Ella was the runner-up and Machnhope finished third ahead of Mrs Bailey.
Big Thong turned the tables on Lady Ella, who had prevailed in their first match-up at Mohawk Racetrack on June 22. She paid $10.80 to win.
Scott McEneny of Waterdown, Ont. trains the Big Jim-Thong Song filly, who was purchased for $20,000 as a yearling at the Harrisburg Sale. Big Thong is owned by McEneny’s wife Michelle and partners Teresa Davidson of Milton, Ont., Martwest Racing Stable of Mississauga, Ont., and Cora Marshall of Jarvis, Ont.
“She wasn’t a flashy filly, she kind of had a little bit of her winter hair on her already at the sale and, you know, she was just a plain Jane,” recalled McEneny. “But she was put together well, and I liked her.”
Fordham Road won the lone $124,200 Gold division for two-year-old trotting colts in fine fashion, coming within three-fifths of a second of Murmur Hanover’s 1:56.3 divisional track record.
Richard Beinhauer drives, trains and co-owns the Holiday Roady-Half Ours colt with Regina Beinhauer of Venetia, Pennsylvania and breeder T L P Stable of Kearny, New Jersey.
Insider Fordham Road was out-sprinted off the gate by Torches Pirate (Paul Reid) and Levitation (Doug McNair), who established the lead through a :29.4 opening panel. However, Beinhauer made his move with Fordham Road approaching the half in :59.4 and the favourite matched strides with Levitation down the backstretch to three-quarters in 1:28.1. Fordham Road trotted out in front down the lane and took a new career mark of 1:57.1 in the process. Winning American (Trevor Henry) chased the winner home and finished one and a quarter lengths behind in second while Levitation settled for third and Torches Pirate finished back in fourth.
Fordham Road is now two-for-two to start his career, following up on a 1:59.1 winning debut at Mohawk Racetrack on June 29. Sent to post as the favourite, he paid $2.90 to win.