The present and future of harness racing’s pacing ranks will be on display Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack for the eliminations of the Canadian Pacing Derby, Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady.
An all-star group of 18 older pacers have been split into two $40,000 eliminations for the Canadian Pacing Derby. The Metro Pace for two-year-old pacing colts has attracted 23 rookies separated into three $40,000 eliminations, while 12 two-year-old pacing fillies will contest a pair of $35,000 eliminations for the Shes A Great Lady Stakes.
The Canadian Pacing Derby is Canada’s oldest harness race and annually serves as one of the premier events in the sport.
This year’s ‘Pacing Derby’ once again has attracted the finest older pacers in the sport.
The first elimination Saturday is highlighted by the red-hot State Treasurer (PP4, David Miller). The Dr. Ian Moore trainee enters his Derby elimination off back-to-back victories in the U.S. Pacing Championship and the Roll With Joe Stakes.
State Treasurer has won six of 12 starts this season and earned over $500,000 to bring his career bankroll to north of $1.4 million.
The Ron Burke trainee All Bets Off (PP7, Matt Kakaley) also enters the first elimination with plenty of confidence. The four-year-old pacer captured the Prix D’Ete last Sunday in Quebec and has hit the board in four of his last five starts. All Bets Off has banked over $400,000 this season to bring his career total to over $1.5 million.
The second elimination features the richest Standardbred of all-time Foiled Again (PP5, Yannick Gingras).
A winner of over $7.1 million, Foiled Again won the 2012 edition of the Canadian Pacing Derby and a top-five finish in this Saturday’s elimination will secure the 11-year-old his fifth appearance in the ‘Pacing Derby’ final.
The Burke trainee finished second in last year’s Derby and has finished no worse than third in his four Derby appearances.
The second split will also feature the hottest horse on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit Shamballa (PP1, Rick Zeron).
The Rick Zeron trainee has been dominating the Preferred level at Mohawk and enters his elimination on a five-race win streak. Known for his wicked closing speed, Shamballa will be making his first career Grand Circuit start.
The five-year-old gelding has eight wins in 11 starts this season for $138,000 in earnings.
Another notable in the second elimination is four-year-old JK Endofanera (PP7, Brett Miller), who will be making his first start at Mohawk since capturing the 2014 Pepsi North America Cup.
The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby final on Saturday, September 5. The eliminations have been carded as races five and seven on Saturday.
The Metro Pace has annually been the top race for two-year-old pacers and has severed as a launching pad to impressive careers for many greats.
The first elimination Saturday will feature Ontario Sires Stakes standout Voracity (PP5, Randy Waples). The son of Sportswriter is fresh off a victory in a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes and has three wins from four starts this season.
Voracity is trained by Tony Alagna, who captured last year’s Metro Pace with Artspeak. Alagna also sends out American Passport (PP6, Scott Zeron) in the first elimination and three other rookies (Highlandbeachycove, Racing Hill, Mindtrip) in the final two eliminations.
The undefeated colt Control The Moment (PP6, Randy Waples) highlights the second elimination. A son of Well Said, Control The Moment captured his Nassagaweya split last Saturday with ease to improve to five for five.
The Brad Maxwell trainee is the only undefeated rookie of the 23 entered in this year’s Metro eliminations.
The third and final Metro elimination will feature a field of seven rookies. The Catamount Kid (PP6, Jody Jamieson) will look to carry the momentum from his victory in last Saturday’s Nassagaweya into his preliminary.
The son of Well Said comes into the Metro on a two-race win streak for trainer Carl Jamieson.
Casie Coleman trainee Betting Line (PP3, Tim Tetrick), a two-time OSS Gold series winner, will look to rebound from a break in his most recent start in the final elimination. The son of Sportswriter has won three of five starts to begin his career.
The top-three finishers from each elimination and a fourth-place finisher drawn by a lot will advance to the $685,000 Metro Pace final on Saturday, September 5.
Two-year-old pacing fillies will also share the spotlight Saturday in a pair of eliminations for the Shes A Great Lady Stakes.
Thatsoveryverynice (PP5, Jody Jamieson), an Eternal Camnation division winner, will highlight the first elimination. The daughter of Vintage Master has won three of four starts for trainer and co-owner Tony Alagna.
The second split features Bob McIntosh trainee L A Delight (PP2, Randy Waples). The daughter of Bettors Delight won her division of the Eternal Camnation Saturday to extend her current win streak to six starts in a row.