TORONTO, ON — With two track and Ontario Sires Stakes records, a repeat Super Final champion, a dead heat and a photo finish, Super Final night 2012 was one for the history books.
Under clear skies and over a fast Woodbine Racetrack surface, the Nov. 10 Super Final program got off to a high speed start when two-year-old trotting filly Bee A Magician roared home to a track and Ontario Sires Stakes record 1:53.4 in the first $300,000 contest. Three lengths on top at the three-quarter marker, the heavy favourite left the competition in her wake with a :27.4 final quarter that propelled her to a nine and one-half length decision over Charmed Life and Motown Muscle.
“I’m kind of excited about her,” said co-owner David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL from the winner’s circle. “We’ve had a lot of great two-year-old fillies, but you know what, the three-year-old requires a little bigger stronger horse, and she looks like she could be that type of a horse.”
Bee A Magician has already demonstrated her ability to compete beyond the borders of the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) program, winning the Peaceful Way stake at Mohawk Racetrack in September, and McDuffee and his partners Melvin Hartman of Ottawa and Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL are hoping she can tackle North America’s best again next season.
Saturday’s triumph — which ripped almost two full seconds off the 1:55.3 OSS record set by McDuffee, Hartman and Liverman’s Poof Shes Gone in 2009 — gives Bee A Magician the two-year-old trotting filly division title and a record of 10 wins, one second, one third and $757,138 in earnings from her 13 start freshman campaign. Oakville resident Rick Zeron piloted the talented daughter of Kadabra and Beehive for the ownership group and New Jersey-based trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman.
Eight races later rain was threatening, but the coming storm did nothing to dampen the performance of three-year-old pacing gelding Michaels Power. Snubbed by fans after a disappointing performance in the Breeders Crown, the division leader thundered down the stretch to another track and Ontario Sires Stakes record performance, halting the Woodbine teletimer at 1:48.1.
Fan favourite, and last year’s Super Final champion, Warrawee Needy finished one length back in second, I Found My Beach was third, and the fans’ second choice, Mel Mara, finished fourth.
“This horse is just all guts and he had a couple bad starts and I guess everybody lost faith in him,” said trainer Casie Coleman. “But his heart came back around, and he’s the best three-year-old around, and he proved it.”
A winner of 14 starts in 20 outings this season, Michaels Power gave Cambridge resident Coleman and driver Scott Zeron of Oakville a much dreamed of opportunity to hoist the historic Little Brown Jug at the Delaware, OH County Fairgrounds in September when he posted a two heat victory in the prestigious race. The Camluck son also captured the Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs in August and a division of the Somebeachsomewhere at Mohawk Racetrack in June, in addition to three Gold Final titles.
Coleman and owner-breeder Jeffrey Snyder of New York, NY now have one week to decide whether to send the winner of $1,488,345 to the Nov. 25 Matron Series at Dover Downs or out to the field for a well deserved winter vacation.
“Originally we were being, this was his last start, he was being turned out,” said Coleman. “I’m not sure if plans might change and we might go to Dover now. I’ve got to talk to the owner, Jeff Snyder, and decide what to do.
“Before 1:48.1 we were turning him out after this start,” she added with a chuckle.
Three-year-old trotting colt Prestidigitator became just the seventh horse in the history of the Super Finals to repeat as champion when he scored a 1:54 victory in the fifth race. Milton resident Sylvain Filion crafted a near perfect steer to earn the Kadabra son his sixth win of the season and push his earnings to $549,481 for owner Ecurie Synergie of Montreal, QC.
“He’s just a very strong horse and he just wants to win every week,” said trainer Dustin Jones of Campbellville. “He’s got two months off now. He’ll start back jogging the middle of January and get him ready for, hopefully, like the Nat Ray and races like that.”
Prestidigitator bested rival Knows Nothing and Cold Certified to earn his second straight Super Final and claim the division title.
Cambridge resident Tony O’Sullivan picked up two Super Final trophies, sweeping the pacing filly divisions with two-year-old Love Canal and three-year-old Mach A Wish.
Favourites Love Canal and driver Jody Jamieson of Moffat cruised to a 1:54.1 victory, two and one-quarter lengths ahead of division point leader Kims Royal Day and Adventurepan, who finished in a dead heat for second. The Badlands Hanover daughter finished her season with four wins, one second and one third in eight starts for owner-breeder Let It Ride Stables Inc. of Boca Raton, FL and partners Robert Cooper Stables LLC of Boca Raton and J And T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, NY.
Two races later Mach A Wishand driver Rick Zeron controlled the tempo from start to finish, stopping the teletimer at 1:52.2 to prevent Apogee Hanover from picking up her second Super Final. Division point leader Katys Jet finished third and fan favourite Class Of O Nine was fourth. O’Sullivan shares ownership of the Mach Three daughter with David Goodrow Stable of Cambridge and was delighted to see the filly return to form after a disappointing showing in the last regular season Gold Series event.
“This is extra special, it’s just, it’s awesome,” said O’Sullivan during his second visit to the winner’s circle. “I thought we could win two, and so when you do it’s great, because any final it’s the best of the best.”
The hotly competitive two-year-old pacing colt division had racing officials referring to the finish line photo to declare Mach Pride the winner over OK Fantastic as the two colts hit the wire in 1:51.4, separated by a nose. David Menary trainees Windsong Jack and Tarpon Hanover finished third and fourth, while fan favourite Roar was relegated to fifth.
Guelph resident Anthony MacDonald drives and Louie Eftimiadis conditions Mach Pride for Gerald Mijal of Westland, MI and Newmarket resident Eftimiadis was delighted that the late season changes he made paid off with a Super Final title.
“Basically the (addition of) Lasix and the shoeing,” said Eftimiadis of the changes made to the Mach Three son’s race day routine. “He had steel (shoes) all the way around the whole year and I figured, might as well pull out all the stops, and thank god it worked.”
The other Super Final trophies went home with two-year-old trotting colt Creampuff MacDaddy when first under the wire Majestized was placed back to second for a pylon violation, and three-year-old trotting filly Smarty Pants who posted a 1:54.4 clocking.
For complete results please go to Woodbine Racetrack Results — November 10, 2012