Grand Circuit Ramps Up At Mohawk

Published: August 31, 2021 09:36 pm EDT

With the foray into stakes action last week at Woodbine Mohawk Park, the high-class Grand Circuit contests continue into another week with several eliminations and rich finals slated to go at the Milton, Ont. oval.

Thursday’s (Sept. 2) card draws trotting two-year-olds to the track for three eliminations of the William Wellwood Memorial and two for the Peaceful Way.

Elimination one of the Wellwood opens the card with the John Bax-trained Duly Resolved returning to the track following his first defeat. The son of Resolve just missed victory in the $62,307 Champlain in a 1:57 mile and will start from post three in rein to Paul MacDonell against Letsdoit S, who won a $62,307 Champlain division in 1:56 for returning driver Doug McNair and trainer Marcus Melander.

The second elimination of the Wellwood features King Of The North, an undefeated son of Walner who overcame a traffic-laden trip in the $293,450 Peter Haughton Memorial to post a 1:53.4 victory on Hambletonian Day. Mark MacDonald will return north to steer the Ray Schnittker trainee from post one in a field including Scott McEneny’s upcoming Archangel gelding Twin B Archie, who scores from post two following a 1:54.3 win in a $63,306 Champlain division. James MacDonald will have the drive behind that one.

Marcus Melander trainee Temporal Hanover tops the third Wellwood elimination after breaking Duly Resolved’s unbeaten streak in the Champlain last week. Doug McNair pilots the Walner colt from post four in the seven-horse contest.

Fillies’ competition starts in the second half of the early Daily Double with the first Peaceful Way elimination, led by Jim Doherty Memorial winner Venerable. The Richard “Nifty” Norman daughter of Walner ships north from a 1:54.1 cruise in a preliminary of the Kentucky Championship Series and will have David Miller in the sulky from post five.

Adare Castle rolls into the second Peaceful Way elimination riding a four-race win streak – her most recent victory a 1:56.2 victory in an $85,975 Champlain division. James MacDonald drives the Mark Etsell trainee from post three in a field also including Delilah Hanover, who posted a 1:56.4 win in an $85,975 Champlain division last week and will have Andrew McCarthy in the bike for trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman.

Grand Circuit action continues Friday with two $75,400 divisions of the Casual Breeze, an event for three-year-old trotting fillies.

Division one of the Casual Breeze draws several prominent competitors on the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Gold circuit including Dicentra, Midnight Miracle, You Will Be Queen and Hawaii. The field also includes Denis Gueriel trainee Amazone Duharas, who exits overnight competition following a 1:55.1 effort in a $9,600 trot at Georgian Downs on August 29.

More Gold blood will be on display in the second Casual Breeze division, with Gold winners Up And Ready, HP Mama B and Imextraspecial drawing into the second dash. The field also features Donna Soprano, the 2020 Peaceful Way champ who makes her first start following a seventh-place finish in the Hambletonian Oaks elimination. Bob McClure will pilot the Luc Blais trainee from post three.

Saturday’s card features a mixture of stakes finals and eliminations. Eliminations get underway with the first of two for the Goodtimes in the evening’s third race. That field includes 2020 William Wellwood winner On A Streak, the developing pupil from the Shawn Steacy barn Ritson, dominant Gold player Logan Park and the precocious but speedy Dancinginthedark M.

Elimination two has a pair of trotting colts looking to get back on the right track. To the pylons, Macho Martini makes his first start since breaking stride in a Gold event on August 23 and – to his outside – Sonofamistery will try to improve from his fifth-place finish in the $300,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Bob McClure drives Macho Martini for trainer Luc Blais while Tim Tetrick is listed to drive Sonofamistery for Marcus Melander.

Elimination action continues with a pair of $50,000 eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup and its sister event, the Fan Hanover.

The first elimination of the Fan Hanover includes Indiana star Hot Mess Express, who suffered her first defeat of the season in the $250,000 James Lynch Memorial at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Andrew McCarthy will drive that Tony Alagna trainee from post four against OSS star Scarlett Hanover, who scores from post two in rein to David Miller following a 1:51.4 victory in a $99,800 Gold division at Rideau Carleton Raceway.

Fire Start Hanover fronts elimination two off a string of runner-up finishes, her most recent coming in the James Lynch Memorial. Dexter Dunn is listed to drive the Richard “Nifty” Norman trainee from post six against Twin B Sunkissed and Voelz Delight, who finished one-two in the $169,550 Simcoe Stakes last week, as well as 2020 Whenuwishuponastar winner Notorious Pink.

Stakes finals on Saturday start with the $316,000 Roses Are Red, a free-for-all fillies and mares pace. Lyons Sentinel ships north off an easy 1:50 victory in the top class at Harrah’s Philadelphia on August 22. The $1.6-million earner starts from post one with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Jim King Jr. The field also includes Rocknificent, who won the $35,000 prep in 1:49.2 last week at Woodbine Mohawk Park, as well as local Preferred stars So Much More from post 10 and Lit De Rose from post 11.

The $536,000 Maple Leaf Trot features two Hambletonian winners and a Hambletonian Oaks champ. Atlanta, taking the classic in 2018, will try to defend her title in the Maple Leaf Trot as she enters off a 1:50.1 victory in the $75,000 Sebastian K Invitational at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Yannick Gingras drives the Ron Burke trainee from post three against Forbidden Trade, the 2020 Hambletonian winner entering off a track- and Canadian-record 1:51.3 win in the $75,000 Earl Rowe Memorial, and Manchego, the 2018 Hambletonian Oaks winner and trotting world-record holder with a mark of 1:49 taken in 2019 at The Red Mile.

Capping the stakes finals is the $590,000 Canadian Pacing Derby, which draws six millionaires in the 10-horse field. This Is The Plan starts from post one as he tries for his first win since taking the $150,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial at Saratoga Casino Hotel on July 24. He starts right inside of Tattoo Artist, who posted a track- and Canadian-record win in 1:49 in the $100,000 Invitational at Georgian Downs on August 22. They start inside of Cattlewash, winner of a $265,400 division of the William Haughton Memorial, and Allywag Hanover, who took a $158,500 division of the Sam McKee Memorial on Hambletonian Day. Past Canadian Pacing Derby winner Sintra, now an eight-year-old, starts from post nine in the stacked contest.

Racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park gets underway each race night with first-race post time at 7 p.m. (EDT).

Entries and program pages for the stakes action are available below:

Thursday Entries -- Program Pages (courtesy TrackIT).

Friday Entries -- Program Pages (courtesy TrackIT).

Saturday Entries -- Program Pages (courtesy TrackIT).