A freshman parade was on display Friday evening at Mohawk Racetrack as the Ontario Sires Stakes rolled back into town for a five-pack of Gold Series divisions.
Trotting colts and geldings were up first, and Vero Amore Bi was an impressive winner in maiden-breaking fashion in his $70,000 division. Randy Waples got away sixth with the Tony Alagna pupil, who watched Reach The Peak and Mass Production takes turns on the lead through fractions of :28.3, :58.1 and 1:28. Waples had his charge on the move in the backstretch, and he was a lapped-on second while racing from first-over to the three-quarter pole. He used :28.1 speed to surge to the lead and hold on for the half-length decision over Reach The Peach in 1:56.2. Mass Production was third.
Purchased for $20,000 at last year’s Lexington Select Yearling Sale, the son of Manofmanymissions-Muscovite is owned by Alagna Racing LLC, Crawford Partners LLC and Mystical Marker Farms LLC. He’s stashed away just over $40,000 in his first two assignments.
Mister Bianco, a $20,000 purchase from last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale, was a winner at first asking thanks to his gritty score in the second division. The youngster got away fifth from the rail for driver Mike Saftic, and together they watched Parkhill Nonstop, Rose Run Speedster and Manssive take turns on the lead through panels of :28.2, :59 and 1:28.2. Saftic had his colt on the move going to the half, and they were first-over and driving at the three-quarter pole. Mister Bianco kept on trucking and used a :28.3 closing quarter to fend off longshot Mister Muscle by a neck in 1:57.2. Race favourite Rose Run Speedster weakened late and settled for the show dough.
Trainer Bill Budd, who was celebrating a birthday, had the son of Muscle Mass-Beginish in fighting form in his career debut for owner Brad Gray of Dundas, Ont.
Tycoon Seelster was treated to a two-hole trip in the final division for the trotting colts and geldings, and the Scott McEneny student took full advantage of the golden opportunity.
Paul MacDonell tripped out behind the tempo-setting Life Well Lived, who carved out splits of :28.3, :59 and 1:28.1. Tycoon Seelster launched off the pylons and fired home in :28.2 to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Life Well Lived in 1:57. Lucys Man rounded out the Triactor ticket.
Sent off at odds of 6-1, the son of Angus Hall-Travelin Lavec improved his record to 2-0-1 from tries with the win. Purchased for $23,000 from last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale, the gelding has stashed away $51,000 to date for owner Chris Storms of Picton, Ont.
Driver Sylvain Filion swept the $105,000 Gold Series divisions for two-year-old pacing fillies thanks to wins with Soiree Seelster and Yaris Bayama.
Soiree Seelster survived a first-over journey to win in the first division in a career-best clocking of 1:52.2. She got away fifth for Filion, who had her on the move on the way to the half. She was second and parked at the three-quarter pole, but that was about to change. Windy Sport threw down fractions of :27.1, :56 and 1:24.3, but she gave way to Soiree Seelster in deep stretch. The daughter of Big Jim-Smilesplace kicked home in :27.3 to fend off the late-driving Bid Writer by a nose. Future Headlines was a traffic-troubled third.
Trainer Tony O’Sullivan’s Osullivan Racing Inc shares ownership on the three-time winner with Domenic Chiaravalle and Lorne Keller. The partners shelled out $53,000 at last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale to purchase the talented lass, who upped her lifetime earnings to $107,600 with the win.
Yaris Bayama went coast-to-coast in the other division for Filion, who whacked out intervals of :27.2, :56 and 1:24.4 with the rookie before scooting home in a :28-second clip to seal the deal. She was a neck better than Aint Three OK in 1:52.4. Third-place finisher, Fade, was beaten that same margin.
Stephane Larocque trains the homebred daughter of Sportswriter-Lucky Josie for Bayama Farms of Saint-Andre-D’Argenteuil, QC. The win gives her a 2-1-0 record in four tries, and the lion’s share of the loot bumped her bankroll to $80,120.