CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — Watermelonwine found his way to the Ontario Sires Stakes winner’s circle on Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack, battling down the stretch to a three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:52.4.
Starting from Post 5, Oakville, ON resident Rick Zeron eased Watermelonwine away from the starting gate and was sitting fifth when Kyron reached the opening eighth in :13.2 and the quarter in :28.1. Lyons Elite stepped up to control the pace heading for the :56.4 half, but Zeron bided his time on the rail in fifth until Royal Will and Some Mach Some Win started to roll up the outside.
Kyron reached the 1:24.4 three-quarters with a one length lead, but the colts to his right were revving their engines, including Watermelonwine. When Zeron tipped his mount to the outside coming off the final turn Watermelonwine found a whole new gear. Some Mach Some Win and Royal Will mounted a concerted effort through the stretch, but Watermelonwine fought to the wire to earn his first Gold Elimination victory and the lion’s share of the $40,000 purse.
Some Mach Some Win finished second, Royal Will was third, and early leaders Kyron and Lyons Elite were fourth and fifth. The top five finisher’s will return to Mohawk next Saturday, Sept. 25 for their third $130,000 Gold Final.
Zeron engineered Watermelonwine’s second straight victory for trainer David Menary of Cheltenham, ON and owner Brad Gray of Dundas, ON. The son of Life Sign and $505,305 winner Arukiddinme was a $12,000 purchase at last fall’s Canadian Open Yearling Sale and has amassed a freshman record of two wins, one second and earnings of $49,840 in eight starts.
Watermelonwine finished fourth in the July 8 Gold Series season opener at Mohawk, then drew in off the also eligible list for the July 15 final and took home the fifth-place finisher’s cheque. Menary opted to skip the Gold Series event at Flamboro Downs in August, so Saturday’s victory provides a substantial boost to the youngster’s post season hopes. Only the top 10 point earners from the five regular season events earn a spot on the gate for the $300,000 Super Final at Woodbine Racetrack on Nov. 13.
The second Gold Elimination saw Mystician return to provincial action for the first time since his $1 million Metro Pace victory. Driver Jody Jamieson of Moffat, ON had the colt moving quickly at Post 7 and the pair rang up all the fractions on their way to a 1:53.1 victory over a “Good” track rated one second slower than normal. Twin B Legend delivered a gritty effort up the outside to claim the runner-up spot, with pocket sitter Mach It Big rounding out the top three. Bullet Speed and Mach Of Ballykeel also earned a return ticket for next weekend’s Gold Final.
Jeff Gillis of Hillsburgh, ON trains Mystician for his partners Ken Henwood of Mississauga, ON, Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, NY. Through nine starts this season the son of Camluck and prolific producer Mystic Mistress has tallied four wins and four seconds for earnings of $706,070. In addition to the Metro Final, Mystician was also the winner of the season opening Gold Final at Mohawk on July 15.
A full brother to $779,728 winner Camystic and $616,605 winner Lucks Mistress, Mystician’s $45,000 purchase price from last fall’s Canadian Open Yearling Sale now looks like a steal.
The top five finishers from each elimination will return to Mohawk Racetrack next Saturday for their third $130,000 Gold Final, and will be joined by 10 of the province’s top two-year-old pacing fillies battling in their own Gold Final.
In addition to the freshman pacing colt Gold Eliminations, Saturday’s program at Mohawk featured the $466,000 Peaceful Way Stakes Final, captured by two-year-old trotting filly Crys Dream in 1:57.2; an elimination for the Milton Stakes, won by former Ontario Sires Stakes stalwart Dreamfair Eternal in 1:50.4; the $500,000 William Wellwood Memorial Final for two-year-old trotting colts, which saw Pastor Stephen eke out a 1:56.3 win; and the $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic Final for three-year-old trotters, which was captured in commanding fashion by fan favourite Lucky Chucky in 1:52.2.
For complete results click: Mohawk Racetrack Results — Sept. 18, 2010