A pair of Autumn Series victories by three-year-old pacing geldings Cajon Lightning and Mach On The Beach kicked off a multiple-win night for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Richard Moreau on Saturday (Nov. 28) at Woodbine Racetrack.
Canada’s 2015 leading money-earning driver Sylvain Filion drove half of the winners on the 12-race card, including five for Moreau’s top-winning stable.
Their night began with Cajon Lightning ($2.50) scoring his second straight win in the Autumn Series over stablemate Doctor Royal.
Naturescape fronted the field through fractions of :26.2, :55.2 and 1:24 before 1-5 favourite Cajon Lightning swept by after tracking from third-place throughout and drew off by four and a half lengths for the 1:51.2 career-best triumph. Doctor Royal, who had followed in the pocket spot, edged by Naturescape for the runner-up honours.
The Mach Three gelding was making his first start for Moreau and new owners Ken Wood, William Dittmar Jr., Stephen Iaquinta and Minisink Farms LLC. He now has four wins in 17 starts during his debut season and earnings totalling more than $57,000.
Mach On The Beach ($2.10) was also a repeat winner the series and led his second leg foes wire-to-wire for Filion and Moreau.
The 1-9 favourite cut fractions of :27.1, :58 and 1:27.1 en route to the 1:54.2 victory. Jack Reacher came first over from fourth approaching the third quarter mark and finished one length behind the winner while pocket-sitter Major Dan rounded out the top three finishers.
Unraced as a two-year-old, the Mach Three gelding now has eight wins in 25 starts this year with an annual income approaching $70,000 for Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc.
Filion was also victorious with Rise Up Now ($11.10), Mohawk Warrior ($2.40) and Grin For Money ($10) — all three winning their debuts from the Moreau barn for owner Brad Grant. Filion earned one more win driving C L Art Magic ($5.50) for the Stephane Larocque stable.
Saturday’s program also featured the second leg of the Autumn Series for three-year-old male trotters with Deweycheatumnhowe geldings Win The Day ($3) and My My Hey Hey ($23.50) winning their respective $18,000 divisions.
Driver Doug McNair sent the Paul Reid-trained Win The Day from fourth to first after the :27.4 opening quarter in the evening’s first trotting split. The 1-2 favourite reached the half in :58.1 and then three-quarters in 1:28.2 before opening up two and a half lengths to secure the 1:57 triumph. Early race leader P L Icabod followed in second and Innkeeper finished third.
Robert Key’s homebred gelding, who was fourth in the first leg of the series, now has three wins in 19 starts on his sophomore record and earnings over $62,000.
Leaving from post seven, My My Hey Hey worked his way to the lead three-wide past the :28.3 opening quarter for driver Roger Mayotte and never looked back. The Ben Wallace trainee carved out middle splits of :57 and 1:26.2 and extended his lead to nearly five lengths before hitting the wire in a new lifetime mark of 1:55.1. Stormont Wizard, the 1-2 favourite, followed in second and Gronk was third.
Rebounding from a break in stride in the opening leg of the series, My My Hey Hey notched his third win from 12 lifetime starts — all this year. He has earned $33,540 in purses for Wallacestandardbreds Inc. and breeder Birnam Wood Farms.
The Autumn Series is for Ontario-sired three-year-olds that are non-winners of $50,000 lifetime or non-winners of $30,000 in 2015 as of Sept. 30, 2015.