If power, desire and intelligence are the traits of a champion, all three qualities were on vivid display during Saturday’s $1.8 million Super Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Taking his place in the Ontario Sires Stakes history books, three-year-old trotting colt Forbidden Trade became just the fifteenth horse in the history of the year-end event to repeat as Super Final champion. The Kadabra colt defended his Super Final title with a powerful kick home that saw him reel in the leaders and draw away to a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:53.2. Pocket-sitter Manatlas finished second and pacesetter All Wrapped Up was third.
“I think that everything worked out. He had to go there, and take his time, and after that we were comfortable,” said trainer Luc Blais of the trip that saw the fan favourite get away sixth from Post 9, move into the outer lane as the pace slowed heading for the half and then tip out three-wide coming off the final turn. “I was happy, very happy.”
Blais trains Forbidden Trade for Determination of Montreal, QC and Rockwood, ON resident Bob McClure steered the colt to his eighth win in 13 sophomore starts. The Hambletonian champ will now return to open stake competition in the Oct. 19 Breeders Crown eliminations and Blais said he and his staff will spend the next seven days keeping the winner of $1.37 million as happy as possible.
“Keep him happy, in the paddock and light, very light, light training, just keep him fresh,” said the Campbellville resident. “He is good on himself too. He takes care of himself� like a good horse.”
Once race later, Boadicea showcased her raw power in the three-year-old pacing filly Super Final. In rein to Guelph, ON resident Jonathan Drury, Boadicea took control heading for the :53.4 half and continued to roll through a 1:21.1 three-quarters and on to a 1:49.2 victory. Early pacesetter Sunny Dee finished three and one-quarter lengths back in second, just ahead of a closing Ideation Hanover.
“She is the horse of a lifetime. You know I’ve had some good horses too, but nothing ever like her, and to tell you the truth I knew it when she was born and she’s just�every month of her life has been impressive,” said owner-breeder Charles Lawrence.
“I guess it was her intelligence more than anything else that caught my eye, and she grew into a big powerful animal,” Lawrence continued. “And she has that determination to win, and you can’t breed that into them, they’re born with it, you know, they’re born with it.”
The Blenheim, ON resident and his grandson Gordon Lawrence bred and own Boadicea, who is by Big Jim and out of their mare Rose Seelster, and they were joined in the Super Final winner’s circle by a jubilant crowd of family and friends. After the hugs and cheers and photographs were finished the Lawrence’s stopped by the Woodbine Mohawk Park race office and paid the $62,500 supplement to make Boadicea eligible to the Breeders Crown.
“That’s a big step to take, and I know there’s a lot of tough horses in there, but we hope we can do well, do the best we can,” said the elder Lawrence. “It’s a lot of money for us to put up, but we think we owe it to her.”
Also headed to the Breeders Crown, so long as she remains happy and healthy, is two-year-old pacing filly Alicorn. The division point leader barely broke a sweat on her way to a in 1:52.4 Super Final victory, besting Karma Seelster and Temagami Seelster by three lengths.
Like Blais, trainer Chantal Mitchell said the next six days will be spent keeping the Bettors Delight daughter as happy as possible.
“I couldn’t ask for anything better for her. She didn’t really get pushed, she didn’t get tested,” said Mitchell of the filly’s Super Final effort. “She raced in the Eternal Camnation (Aug. 24) and had to come back in six days for a Gold and she won in 1:51 and then came back in 1:50.3 and all we did is jog her in between, just lots of turnout, and go nice and easy on her.”
Mitchell trains Alicorn for Windermere Stable LLC of New York, NY and Robert Muscara of Ivyland, PA and Guelph, ON resident Louis-Philippe Roy handles driving duties on the Big Jim daughter. In 11 lifetime starts the duo have recorded seven wins, three seconds, one fourth and earnings of $520,789 and lowered the Ontario Sires Stakes record not once, but twice.
“She’s a dream, she just does everything that you want a horse to do,” said Hamilton, ON resident Mitchell, adding that the filly also does a few less than dreamy things when she gets her game face on. “I mean she’s got an attitude. She kicked me in the hand today so I’ve got a new bruise, and then we got here and she bit me in the elbow, I’ve got some dirt to prove it, so she’s feeling pretty sharp right now.”
New Jersey-based driver Dexter Dunn made his first Super Final appearance on Saturday and guided three horses to victory.
In the three-year-old trotting filly showdown, which kicked off the event, Dunn teamed Kadabra filly Haveoneforme to a two length victory in 1:55.4 for trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman, Norman’s Enzed Racing Stable Inc. of Allentown, NJ and partners Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON and Little E LLC of New York, NY. Defending champion HP Titania Runner finished second and pacesetter Angies Luckeylady was third.
Four races later Dunn climbed aboard Tattoo Artist’s race bike in the two-year-old pacing colt Super Final and guided the Hes Watching colt to a commanding four and three-quarter length score in 1:52. Examiner Hanover finished second and Sports Obsession was third. Cambridge, ON resident Dr. Ian Moore trains Tattoo Artist for Frank Cannon of Sanford, FL and Let It Ride Stables Inc. of Boca Raton, FL.
Dunn finished off the hat trick in the two-year-old trotting colt showdown, steering E L Titan son Moon Bridge to a head victory in 1:55.4 for New Jersey-based trainer Ake Svanstedt, owner-breeders Esa Lahtinen and Janne Korpi of Cambridge, ON and their partner Jussi Hietalahti of Turku, Finland. Port Perry finished second and Blue Cupertino rounded out the top three.
Jula Shes Magic battled to a head victory over fan favourite Wine Rack Hanover in the two-year-old trotting filly Super Final, which saw the rivals hit the wire in 1:55.3, just ahead of She Rocks Kemp. Susanne Kerwood of Rockwood, ON trains the Kadabra daughter for Jula Racing Inc. of Delray Beach, FL and Moffat, ON resident Jody Jamieson drove the filly to the win.
B Stoney delivered the biggest upset of the evening, squeaking through traffic in the stretch to get a head in front of Stag Party in the three-year-old pacing colt finale. Division point leader and fan favourite Century Farroh finished third in the 1:50.3 mile.
“That was unbelievable. That’s a good field of horses, and he drove that horse perfect tonight,” said owner-breeder Doug Millard of the steer by 2019 Lampman Cup champion Trevor Henry. “I’ll tell you, when I saw him go up the inside, I thought, �This is the best shot he’s got,’ and I couldn’t believe it when he got through to win it. That was great. That was perfect.”
Woodstock resident Millard shares ownership of B Stoney with trainer Murray Brethour of Sunderland and Barry McClennan of Cavan, ON. In his five regular season starts B Stoney had not finished better than fourth, but Henry took full advantage of the Sunfire Blue Chip gelding’s gifts and the racing luck they were given to deliver the biggest win of the pacer’s career.
To see the complete results from Saturday’s program visit Super Final Results.