CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — Replacing the rain that has pounded Halton County in recent days, Mohawk Racetrack will be flooded by two-year-old trotting fillies this Monday, July 28.
Thirty-nine young trotters will battle for a total of $160,000 in four Gold Eliminations at the Campbellville oval, and trainer Herbert Holland is hoping Winning Agenda is among the fillies taking home a share of the Ontario Sires Stakes riches.
“We’re expecting her to race well,” says the Milton resident. “You never know, off the gate sometimes they get a little over anxious, but she hasn’t been that way yet.”
Winning Agenda heads into Monday’s second race off a July 14 qualifier at Mohawk that saw her trot around an oval rated one second slower than normal in 2:05.2, complete with a :29.3 final quarter. To determine whether he should enter the filly in Monday’s Gold event or wait for the Aug. 3 Grassroots, Holland gave Winning Agenda a sharp training mile last Monday and her performance convinced him that she deserved a shot at the province’s best.
“She schooled in an even better time when I trained her again this Monday past,” says the horseman. “So we decided to go to the Gold with her.”
The daughter of first year sire Mutineer and $177,758 winner Crystal Wind will start from Post 6 in the second $40,000 elimination, a location on the gate that Holland believes is ideal for a young trotter’s debut effort.
“The middle of the field is always good with young horses, especially trotters,” says Holland, who trains the filly for his girlfriend Carolyn MacIsaac of Milton, Corrine Ryan of Mississauga and long time owner Serafino Barone of Sparta, NJ. “Actually, I think it’s ideal.
“She’s such a big strong filly — until you start them, you don’t know what their quirks are — but I have a hunch she could do it either way, from off the pace or from on the lead,” he adds. “I don’t think it’s going to be an issue for her.”
An $8,000 purchase from last fall’s Forest City Yearling Sale, Winning Agenda started to impress Holland in her very first lesson, and has done nothing in the months since to alter his high opinion of her.
“She does whatever you ask her to. She doesn’t do much wrong actually,” he notes. “She’s pretty professional; she shows up ready to do her work. She’ll play a little on the track when you’re jogging or slow training, but when you get serious she’ll get involved.”
Winning Agenda will need a top two performance to earn a return ticket to Mohawk for the Aug. 4 Gold Final, facing off against a field of three Gold Series veterans, one Grassroots performer, two second-time starters, and three other fillies heading into the contest off qualifiers.
Fourth in the July 20 Gold Final at Flamboro Downs, Pajama Land gets the advantageous Post 1 for trainer-driver Jeffrey O’Brien, while Gold Consolation starter Napanee Seelster and Trevor Henry get Post 2. Chicy Micky heads into her Gold Series debut off a 1:57.2 win in overnight action at The Meadowlands and will start from Post 3.
Reigning Gold Final champion Cumin First will be handicapped by Post 10 in the first race, which goes postward at 7:20 pm. The Gold Eliminations are slated as Races 1, 2, 4, and 5 on Mohawk Racetrack’s Monday evening program, with the top two finishers from each elimination, plus two third-place finishers selected by random draw, making the return trip to the Campbellville oval for the Aug. 4 Gold Final.
For complete entries please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/entries/data/emohsmo.html.