MILTON, May 20, 2023 – The SBOA Stakes for Ontario sired three-year-olds featured a quartet of entertaining harness racing finals on Saturday night (May 20) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Part of Mohawk Park’s Fireworks and Family Fun Night, the four finals were contested on a chilly evening in Campbellville. All four finals provided a strong glimpse at the upcoming Sires Stakes season.
WRITE ME A ROSE EDGES STOCKADE SEELSTER
The $136,800 SBOA final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings saw Write Me A Rose (Sportswriter) steal the spotlight from award-winner Stockade Seelster.
The Kyle Fellows trained Write Me A Rose and driver Sylvain Filion blasted out to the early lead to post a :26.3 opening-quarter. Whatchulookin moved to the top in the second-quarter to lead by the half in :55.1 and three-quarters in 1:23.2.
Stockade Seelster left from post-nine and would essentially spend the entire mile on the outside. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee sat mid-pack and ended up second-over behind the live Moment Is Here.
In the stretch, Stockade Seelster and Moment Is Here battled by to the lead, but Write Me A Rose and Filion found room to slide to the far outside and reach up for the victory. Stockade Seelster was edged by a nose, finishing second in his season debut. Moment Is Here finished third and Whatchulookin At fourth.
WRITE ME A ROSE REPLAY
Write Me A Rose is now three for four this season after winning three of nine starts last season. The Fellows trainee has now earned $259,300 for owner-breeder Windermere Stable LLC.
Write Me A Rose paid $9.90 to win.
OSCEOLA GRABS THE GOLD
Team McNair’s Osceola (Muscle Mass) sprinted home strong to hold off rival Hasty Bid for a 1:54.3 victory in the $144,800 three-year-old colt and gelding trot final.
The entire picture of the sophomore trot final changed at the head of the stretch when leader Tuscan Prince switched to the pace while in full control.
Osceola sat second-over and was able to capitalize on the leader’s miscue, powering to the lead to finish up in :28.1. Hasty Bid was on Osceola’s back on the far turn and pressured to the wire to end up second by half a length. Passarino finished third, while Snowpiercer was fourth.
Osceola is now two for two this season following an up and down rookie campaign that saw him win three of 10 and earn over $175,000. Gregg McNair trains and co-owns Osceola with Willow Oak Ranch and Paul Hawman.
Despite winning his elimination, Osceola went off at 9/2 and returned $11.70 to win.
CHEESY SMILE STORMS TO VICTORY
OSS Super Final champion Cheesy Smile (Betterthancheddar) rallied from eighth to win the $129,500 final for three-year-old pacing fillies.
A hot early tempo (:26.4, :54.3, 1:22.4) courtesy of Grandeur Seelster and first-up challenging Big Big Plans set things up for a closer. Depsite that, Cheesy Smile was in a log-jam on the final turn back in eighth, but was fed clear racetrack in the lane. The John Pentland trainee paced home in :28 through a headwind to pull off the impressive victory.
Lyons Bettorday finished three-quarters of a length back in second, while Freshen Up and Illusion Seelster rounded out the Superfecta.
CHEESY SMILE REPLAY
Cheesy Smile is now one for two this season and six for 12 overall. Her career earnings now vault to over $380,000 for owners R C Molyneux Racing, Pentland, Peter Charlton and Archie Leach.
Cheesy Smile paid $9.70 to win.
MUSCLING VEGAS PREVAILS FOR MACDONELL
Trainer-driver Paul MacDonell set up a perfect second-over trip to guide Muscling Vegas (Muscle Mass) to victory in the $131,500 three-year-old filly trot final.
After getting away fifth, Muscling Vegas was able to latch onto first-up challenger Shiny New Penny, while Climb The Pole led the field down to three-quarters in 1:25.3.
In the stretch, Muscling Vegas shot off cover and powered home to the three-quarters of a length victory. Hp Extra Ice, who sat third-over, couldn’t pull in the winner and finished second. Stonebridge Bravo was third, while Baroness Hill was fourth.
MUSCLING VEGAS REPLAY
Muscling Vegas is now two for eight this season for MacDonell. The sophomore filly improved her career numbers to three wins and over $100,000 earned for owners Chris and Michael Storms.
Muscling Vegas paid $16.60 to win.
For complete race results, click here.
by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment