CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — Long winter months of work and anticipation paid off for the connections of Ontario’s most gifted three-year-old trotting fillies on Sunday evening, as Mohawk Racetrack raised the curtain on the 2009 Ontario Sires Stakes season.

A two-time Gold Final winner at two, Cumin First proved she lost none of her step over the winter as she and Oakville reinsman Rick Zeron cruised to an effortless 1:56.3 triumph in the first of three $40,000 Gold Eliminations.

Leaving from Post 6, Cumin First took command of the race just past the :29 opening quarter and put on a solo show through a :58.1 half and 1:27.3 three-quarters. When Zeron asked her to pick up the tempo through the last quarter, the Striking Sahbra daughter accelerated away from her peers to a six length victory.

Orton resident Frank O’Reilly trains Cumin First for owners Mary Anne Lauzon and Dr. Ruth Irving of Russell, Jim Fielding of Toronto and John Jesson of Tillsonburg. Sunday’s romp made a $20,000 opening deposit in the filly’s sophomore bank account, boosting her lifetime earnings to $279,200.

Mystic River and Cuddler rounded out the top three in the first elimination and will join Cumin First in next Sunday’s $130,000 Gold Final.

Fans were treated to a nail-biter in the second elimination as just over a length separated the top four finishers. Milton resident Randy Waples sent first time OSS starter Mets Inn to the front from Post 6, reaching the quarter in :29.2, but the savvy reinsman opted to let fan favourite Daylon Mystique do the hard work on the front end through the remainder of the mile.

Through a :59 half and 1:28.3 three-quarters, Daylon Mystique looked to have things well in hand, but turning for home Waples sent Mets Inn back into the driving lane and pulled away from the field to a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:57.4.

Chicy Micky survived a tough trip up the outside to nail down the runner-up spot, just a step in front of Magic Sassy and Daylon Mystique, who dead heated for third.

Sunday’s outing was only the second lifetime start for Mets Inn, who made her debut in a May 3 overnight at Mohawk, finishing sixth by 12 lengths in a 1:57 mile. Veteran trotting conditioner John Bax of Peterborough trains the Mutineer daughter for breeders Winbak Farm of Chesapeake City, MD.

The top four finishers from the second elimination all advanced to next weekend’s Gold Final.

The final elimination saw Butana pick up her second straight win with a solid come from behind effort for driver Chris Christoforou. While three different fillies vied for the lead though sharp fractions of :27.4, :57 and 1:26, Campbellville resident Christoforou sat quietly with Butana in the middle of the pack.

The pair made steady progress toward the front end before sling-shotting off the final turn to a four length victory in 1:57. Charalambos Christoforou of Campbellville bred and owns Angus Hall daughter Butana, who made just two late season starts as a two-year-old.

SOS Respect and Baskin Wonder emulated Butana’s come from behind style to nail down the final two spots in next week’s $130,000 contest.

Part of the on track entertainment prior to Mohawk Racetrack’s annual Victoria Day fireworks extravaganza, next Sunday’s $130,000 Gold Final will see the sophomore trotting fillies line up behind the starting gate as follows:

Post 1 — Cumin First

Post 2 — Chicy Micky

Post 3 — Magic Sassy

Post 4 — SOS Respect

Post 5 — Daylon Mystique

Post 6 — Mets Inn

Post 7 — Mystic River

Post 8 — Cuddler

Post 9 — Butana

Post 10 — Baskin Wonder

For complete results please go to: