TORONTO, ON — With the top three fillies separated by just six points heading into Saturday’s $300,000 Super Final at Woodbine Racetrack, Ontario Sires Stakes fans are looking forward to a fierce battle in the three-year-old pacing filly division.
Katys Jet netted the most points through the regular season, tallying 182, but reigning Super Final champion Apogee Hanover was hot on her heels in second with 181 points and Cooking The Books was only six points out of top spot with 176. Also heading to Woodbine as serious threats for the division title are the fillies ranked fourth through sixth — Jet Wash, Mach A Wish and Class Of O Nine.
“I think that’s a division that’s very, very even. I think there’s three or four that could win that, with the right trip,” says Cambridge resident Tony O’Sullivan, who will harness Mach A Wish from Post 3 in the eight filly field. “There’s a lot of fillies that made nearly $200,000 this year. It’s an even bunch.”
All but one of the fillies in the divisional showdown are either over or within hailing distance of $200,000 for the year, including Mach A Wish, who has tallied $183,680 from seven wins, four seconds and two thirds in 16 starts. The Mach Three daughter comes into the race off a victory in an Oct. 26 overnight event at Woodbine that saw regular reinsman Rick Zeron of Oakville pilot her to a 1:53.2 clocking over a track rated one second slower than normal.
“At Rideau Carleton she wasn’t very good, but then she came back two weeks ago and raced the way we wanted her to race and dug in to get the win,” says O’Sullivan, who shares ownership of the filly with David Goodrow Stable of Cambridge. She’s certainly sharp and ready to go.”
After winning the Aug. 27 Gold Final and finishing second in the Sept. 20 final, both at Mohawk Racetrack, O’Sullivan was disappointed when Mach A Wish turned in a fifth in her elimination and an eighth in the final of the last regular season Gold Series event at Rideau Carleton Raceway Oct. 4 and 11. The conditioner considered giving the filly a full month of rest, but decided the overnight test would stand her in better stead and hopes the results prove him right on Saturday.
Bob McIntosh trainee Class Of O Nine turned in a similar result at Rideau Carleton, ninth in the elimination and sixth in the final, due to a bout with illness and the Hall of Fame horseman also decided a tightener was in order before the $300,000 Super Final. Dropped into a Nov. 2 overnight at Woodbine with a tough group of older mares in the preferred class the filly came up with a stellar effort, hitting the wire three-quarters of a length on top in 1:51.4.
“I was encouraged by the way she raced. I’d be lying if I said she didn’t surprise me a bit beating that bunch,” admits McIntosh. “It was a nice pleasant surprise.
“She raced good, and she trained up good this week a little bit,” he added. “When we trained her she seemed real sharp, so we’re hoping for the best.”
Class Of O Nine and driver Randy Waples of Milton will make their bid for a second straight victory from Post 2 on Saturday. Through 16 sophomore starts the consistent daughter of Camluck has posted two wins, five seconds and three thirds to bank $303,096 for Windsor resident McIntosh and his partner Dwight Stacey of Mitchell.
“She’s very consistent usually. She’s just missed a couple times — she’s a closer — and I can’t complain, she’s been a great filly for us,” says McIntosh.
Although reigning Super Final champ Apogee Hanover got off to a slow start this season, trainer Ervin Miller is not complaining either. Once she recovered from a virus that went through his barn earlier in the season the Jeremes Jet daughter posted three wins, four seconds and four thirds for earnings of $196,081.
“A few of them were sick there early on, and I think that was part of it, she just didn’t get quite as healthy early on,” notes the New Jersey based Miller. “But she come back good this year once she got healthy.”
Roger Hammer of Bedford, PA owns Apogee Hanover, who cruised to a four length Super Final victory last season and will make her bid for a repeat from Post 8. Guelph resident Doug McNair will be in his regular spot in the race bike, looking to make up for a disappointing eighth-place result in the Oct. 27 Breeders Crown Final.
Division point leader Katys Jet will start from Post 6 and trainer Casie Coleman is hoping the filly, another daughter of Jeremes Jet, can maintain the momentum that carried her to a Gold Final win at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Oct. 11.
“I’ve been real happy with her lately and hopefully she can come into this race and have some luck in the Super Final,” says Cambridge resident Coleman, who trains the filly for Steve Calhoun of Chatham. “A lot of those fillies are looking kind of tired lately and she doesn’t seem tired to me at all, she seems quite fresh and ready to go.”
Oakville resident Scott Zeron has piloted Katys Jet to a record of three wins and three seconds in 16 starts this season and will be looking to add to the filly’s $191,532 bankroll on Saturday.
The three-year-old pacing fillies will square off in Race 7 on Woodbine Racetrack’s Saturday evening program, which gets under way at 7:30 pm. The other Super Final divisions will be featured in Races 2 though 5 and 8 though 10.
For complete entries please go to Woodbine Racetrack Entries — November 10, 2012