Woodbine’s signature races for sophomore trotters are the lead events on a nearly $1.4 million card that also features a $158,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings and eliminations for the Metro Pace, Shes A Great Lady and Milton Stakes.
Goodtimes winner Ready For Moni is the likely favourite for the 45th edition of the Canadian Trotting Classic. The Nancy Takter trainee is five for six on the season with his lone defeat a runner-up finish in the Hambletonian.
A son of European stallion Ready Cash, Ready For Moni is the richest horse in the field with $605,070 earned this season and $886,520 lifetime.
Trainer Ben Baillargeon will look to protect home turf with a pair of starters in the Trotting Classic, HP Royal Theo and Hayek.
HP Royal Theo was third in the Goodtimes and currently sits at four for eight with $161,220 earned. The gelded son of Royalty For Life won last year’s William Wellwood Memorial and could follow last year’s Trotting Classic winner Green Manalishi S, who also pulled off the Wellwood-Trotting Classic double.
Hayek is putting together a strong sophomore campaign with four wins and $182,610 earned in nine starts. The gelded son of E L Titan established a Canadian record of 1:53.3 last month over the Grand River Raceway half-mile oval.
The Canadian Trotting Classic field also includes Simcoe Stakes winner Jula Trix Treasure for Ake Svanstedt and Pennsylvania Sires Stakes consolation winner Chestnut Hill for ‘Nifty’ Norman.
The $560,000 Canadian Trotting Classic has been carded as Race 5 (8:40 p.m.).
The $350,000 Elegantimage is the latest showdown between Hambletonian champion Ramona Hill and Hambletonian Oaks champion Sorella. Both fillies have posted Grand Circuit wins in recent weeks at Mohawk Park.
Tony Alagna trainee Ramona Hill cruised to a 1:53.2 victory in last Friday’s Simcoe Stakes. The daughter of Muscle Hill is five for six on the season with $775,982 earned. Her rookie season was also nearly flawless, posting a record of six for seven and earning $501,084.
Ramona Hill capped off her rookie season with a Breeders Crown victory at Mohawk Park.
Takter trainee Sorella is in search of a third straight win at Mohawk Park. The Muscle Hill filly arrived in late-August to win a division of the Casual Breeze and then last week defeated older male rivals in an overnight event.
Sorella is six for eight on the season with $431,772 earned after going two for nine as a rookie.
The only meeting between Ramona Hill and Sorella following the Hambletonian was in the Zweig Filly Trot on August 21 at Vernon. Ramona Hill posted the victory, while Sorella made an early break.
The next highest earner in the field is Sister Sledge, who just like Ramona Hill competed against the boys in the Hambletonian. The Ron Burke trainee is five for nine this season and is approaching $800,000 in career earnings.
Ontario Sires Stakes Gold winners Princesspartypants, Trina and Warrawee Vicky will look to pull the upset in the $350,000 race.
The Elegantimage has been carded as Race 9 (10:20 p.m.).
Saturday’s card continues the trend of stakes-filled programs at Mohawk Park.
Rookie trotters continue to receive the added spotlight approaching the Mohawk Million. Macho Martini will look to rebound from a third-place finish in last Saturday’s William Wellwood Memorial when he takes on nine rivals in a $158,000 OSS Gold event.
Tokyo Seelster, who was fourth, and Logan Park, who was eighth, join Macho Martini in the Gold division after racing in the Wellwood.
The OSS Gold for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters is carded as Race 3.
The Metro Pace is harness racing’s richest race for two-year-old pacers. A group of 12 rookie pacers have been split into two $40,000 eliminations.
Grand Circuit winners Lawless Shadow and Abuckabett Hanover will square in the second elimination. The Dr. Ian Moore trained Lawless Shadow has won two in a row, including a division of the Nassagaweya on August 29. Alagna trained Abuckabett Hanover turned heads with a seven-length 1:50.3 score in last Saturday’s Champlain.
The Metro Pace eliminations have been carded as Races 1 and 2.
The Shes A Great Lady for two-year-old pacing fillies saw 14 fillies entered and split into two $35,000 eliminations.
Takter trainee Caviart Audrey is the horse to beat entering the eliminations. The two-time Grand Circuit winner will headline the field for the second elimination and is in search of her fourth win in five starts.
The first elimination features the return of Whenuwishuponastar Series winner Notorious Pink for the Alagna barn and last week’s Champlain division winner Scarlett Hanover for Ashleigh Hensley.
The Shes A Great Lady eliminations go as Races 11 and 12.
Older pacing mares will also be in action Saturday for a pair of $35,000 Milton Stakes eliminations.
Roses Are Red champion Warrawee Ubeaut returns to Mohawk Park in the first elimination for trainer Burke. She will take on the more than established likes of Kissin In The Sand, Treacherous Reign and the rising star Lit De Rose, who comes in off a victory in her Mohawk Park Preferred debut.
The second elimination sees Caviart Ally return to Mohawk Park in search of a Milton Stakes three-peat. The six-year-old has won the event in each of the last two years, but is just one for six in 2020.
The Milton Stakes eliminations are carded as Races 6 and 8.
Early program pages for Saturday’s rich card are available here. Post time is 7 p.m.
The full fields for the Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage are listed below:
$560,000 Canadian Trotting Classic
1 Sky Castles (Louis-Philippe Roy/Andrew Harris)
2 Threefiftytwo (Bob McClure/Luc Blais)
3 Chestnut Hill (Andrew McCarthy/Nifty Norman)
4 Shadrack Hanover (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke)
5 Play Trix On Me (Jody Jamieson/Linda Toscano)
6 Ready For Moni (Yannick Gingras/Nancy Takter)
7 HP Royal Theo (Louis-Philippe Roy/Ben Baillargeon)
8 Beyond Kronos (Louis-Philippe Roy/Susie Kerwood)
9 Hayek (Sylvain Filion/Ben Baillargeon)
10 Jula Trix Treasure (Sylvain Filion/Ake Svanstedt)
1 Ramona Hill (Andrew McCarthy/Tony Alagna)
2 Princesspartypants (Roger Mayotte/Roger Mayotte)
3 Sorella (Yannick Gingras/Nancy Takter)
4 Fortune Starlet (Louis-Philippe Roy/Meg Crone)
5 Tricky Sister (James MacDonald/Andrew Harris)
6 Sister Sledge (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke)
7 Trina (Robert Shepherd/Blake MacIntosh)
8 Warrawee Vicky (Doug McNair/Scott McEneny)
9 She Rocks Kemp (Trevor Henry/Tony O’Sullivan)
10 Whose Blues (Bob McClure/Luc Blais)
AE Solsbury Hill (Rick Zeron/Rick Zeron)
by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment