A moment of pique almost cost Stuck In My Spanks a Grassroots trophy at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening, but the two-year-old trotting filly mounted a remarkable recovery to earn her first Ontario Sires Stakes win.
Starting from Post 7 in the second $18,000 Grassroots division, Stuck In My Spanks went off stride soon after the gate had pulled away from the field of nine. As Jilona took the fillies by the quarter in a sharp :27.4, Stuck In My Spanks and driver Paul MacDonell were 30 lengths behind the leader. By the :58.1 half they had gained back seven lengths and by the 1:29 three-quarters they were just seven lengths behind leader Inner Drive.
Turning for home Stuck In My Spanks was three and three-quarter lengths off the pace, but when Guelph resident MacDonell asked her for another gear she dropped into overdrive and powered to a one-half length win in 1:59.1. Early leader Jilona was second and Hilarious Honey was three more lengths back in third.
“She’s scary fast; she’s just got a little bit of an attitude. She gets a little mad, and that’s what she did tonight,” said trainer Scott McEneny. “It’s very frustrating, because I know I didn’t give much money for her, but I know she’s one of the top fillies, I think, because she’s got tons of speed. She just gets kind of a little silly with her mouth, and she got a little mad and shook her head and just made a break.”
McEneny acquired Stuck In My Spanks from last year’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale for a bargain $3,500. Through four starts the daughter of Manofmanymissions and Puta Ring On It has recorded two wins and banked $19,500, but the trainer thinks she has the potential to accomplish much more.
“Hopefully we can get her figured out here, because I think she’s got some big money to go for, and I think she can go with the good ones,” said the Waterdown resident. “We’re going to try and do a couple little things here, but in a couple weeks we’ll hopefully race her in the Champlain and then the Peaceful Way, if she behaves herself and gets on the right foot.”
McEneny trains Stuck In My Spanks for his wife Michelle McEneny of Waterdown and Teresa Davidson of Milton, ON. The filly started her Ontario Sires Stakes career at the Gold Series level, posting one fifth and one seventh.
The other three division winners also arrived at Monday’s test from the Aug. 2 Gold Series event at Mohawk, where they enjoyed varying levels of success.
Powerful Mission won her Grassroots debut at Mohawk on July 21, and then moved up to the Gold Series for the Aug. 2 event, where she made a late break and finished eighth. Back in the Grassroots on Monday, the filly floated away from Post 9 and cruised up the outside until she took control heading by the halfway marker. From there the outcome was never in doubt as Powerful Mission reached the finish four and one-half lengths on top in a personal best 1:58. McEneny trainee and fan favourite You Cant Afford Me finished second and Late Shift was third.
“She’s a nice filly with a great attitude. I scored her out and had her on the bit more, because last start I didn’t have her on the bit, and the track was also a little deeper, and I asked her too quickly,” said driver Phil Hudon of Guelph, ON. “I believe she has a lot of potential.”
Hudon steers Powerful Mission for trainer Kevin St. Charles and owners E C S Racing LLC of Rockford, MI. In four starts the daughter of Manofmanymissions and The Power Of Magic now has two wins and earnings of $18,700.
Like Powerful Mission, Anikadabra won her Grassroots division on July 21 and moved up to the Gold level for the Aug. 2 event. Anikadabra finished third against the Gold fillies, but trainer Rob Fellows opted not to repeat the experience and returned the daughter of Kadabra and Anikawiesahalee to the Grassroots on Monday. Starting from Post 6, Anikadabra took control before the half and cruised to a five and three-quarter length win in a personal best 1:59. The heavy favourite bested Crystal Gumdrop and Stritch.
“She’s a very versatile filly. I could have sat her in a hole and moved her, but I saw that Sylvain (Filion and Crystal Gumdrop) got up to the front, so I just kind of floated up and cleared around him and man, she did the rest by herself,” said driver Rick Zeron. “She’s getting to be, she’s not green anymore, she’s smart, she’s like driving an aged three-year-old filly now, you know, she just does everything that you ask her.”
Rockwood resident Fellows conditions Anikadabra for owner-breeders Edward Wilson of Seagrave, ON and Michael Pozefsky of Saratoga Springs, NY. In four starts the filly now has two wins and one third for earnings of $27,840.
The final division went to Magic Presto, who also has one win and one second in Gold Series action to her credit. The daughter of Kadabra and In The Mean Time sprinted by the leaders to a 1:58.2 victory, four and three-quarter lengths ahead of Royal Witch and Northern Oath.
“She looked very comfortable and professional,” noted trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman. “She’s heading in the right direction.”
New Jersey resident Norman trains Magic Presto for Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON, breeder Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL, David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL and Little E LLC of New York, NY. Arthur resident Trevor Henry has piloted the filly to her two and one record.
The final two-year-old trotting filly Grassroots event will go postward at Mohawk on Sept. 5, but several of Monday’s competitors could appear in the Sept. 1 Champlain Stakes at the Campbellville oval.
Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday, Aug. 18 with two $105,000 Gold divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. Post time is 7:30 pm.