Ontario’s talented three-year-old pacing fillies opened their Gold Series season in front of the appreciative crowd gathered for Saturday’s Camluck Classic card at The Raceway at Western Fair District.
Fan favourites Percy Bluechip and Big Thong were easy victors in their respective divisions, sailing around the half-mile oval to one-length victories in 1:54.3 and 1:55.2.
“She’s a beautiful filly and it’s such a pleasure to sit behind her. It’s a thrill for me just to train her,” said Dr. Ian Moore about reigning division champ Percy Bluechip. “I love her.”
Starting along the rail, Percy Bluechip and driver Sylvain Filion were in complete control throughout the $94,000 contest. Kendall Seelster and driver Randy Waples sat in behind the favourites through fractions of :28.3, :57.4 and 1:26.4, but were edged into third by Write Me A Song and driver Jody Jamieson, who advanced up the outside into second.
The win was Percy Bluechip’s second straight, coming on the heels of her Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association Stake victory at Woodbine Mohawk Park on May 19. The Shadow Play daughter was a five time winner in nine two-year-old starts, earning $440,795 for owners Shadow Two Stable of Puslinch, James and Wilma Mackenzie of Ennismore, Ontario and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec.
“She got bigger and longer, her hobbles are longer, her head check’s out longer,” said Moore of the filly’s development between two and three. “I haven’t had the problem we had last year where she got too aggressive on me after a few races, however this week she did change, after the one race, and I said, �Oh here we go again’, but at the farm we’re at, BayCairn (Training Centre), they have a trail and I put her on the trail the last couple days and she’s been real good. So she’s relaxed, and tonight she was excellent.”
Like Moore, trainer Scott McEneny was also pleased with how relaxed Big Thong has been through her first two starts. The Big Jim daughter made her sophomore debut in an overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on May 11, finishing second, and was on cruise control in Saturday’s Ontario Sires Stakes opener.
Lining up at Post 3, driver James MacDonald sent Big Thong straight to the front and the pair laid down fractions of :27.4, :59.1 and 1:27.3 on their way to the 1:55.2 win. Quite A Sight shadowed Big Thong into second and Cabowabocuttie paced into third.
“She’s come back really good this year. She got bigger, she got a lot bigger actually, and filled out quite a bit and just matured,” said McEneny. “She was just immature last year, got some growing pains and stuff at the end of the year. This year she’s come back a little quieter with an open bridle on and we’re very happy with the way she’s coming back.”
Michelle McEneny of Waterdown, Teresa Davidson of Milton, Martwest Racing Stable of Mississauga and Cora Marshall of Jarvis, Ontario share ownership of Big Thong, who captured two of eight starts last season and earned $115,490.
Both Percy Bluechip and Big Thong are being aimed at the June 9 Fan Hanover Eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park, in hopes of making the $440,000 final on June 16. Following the Fan Hanover they will be back at Woodbine Mohawk Park for the second Gold Series Leg on June 23.
The fillies served as a warm-up act for the talent-laden Camluck Classic card, which also featured four City of London Finals for Ontario Sired pacers and trotters. Ezee Tiguan (Angus Hall) took the trotting filly final in 2:02 for trainer-driver Lyle MacArthur and owners Linda Wellwood of St George Brant and Tammy Aspden of Caistor Centre, Ontario. Edstone (Glidemaster) was victorious in the trotting colt final, stopping the teletimer at 2:01.1 for driver Trevor Henry, trainer Shannon Henry and owners Trevor Henry Stables Inc. of Arthur, Shaun Baines of Meaford, James Dennie of Hanover, Ontario and Dave Hudson of Dallas, Texas.
In the pacing finals driver James MacDonald piloted filly Sweet Toujours (Mach Three) to a 1:56 victory for trainer Luc Blais and owner Determination of Montreal, Quebec, and gelding Treasure Writer (Sportswriter) to a 1:55.4 score for trainer-owners Mike and Brooke Smith of Newcastle, Ontario.
The $150,000 Camluck Classic was captured by favourite Rockin Ron and driver Louis Philippe Roy in a track record 1:50.1. Ron Burke trains Rockin Ron for Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, PA, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and RTC Stables Inc. of Canonsburg, PA and J And T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, NY.
For complete results please visit The Raceway at Western Fair District Results — Saturday, May 26, 2018</>.