Rookie pacers Voracity, The Catamount Kid and Control The Moment scored Grand Circuit victories Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack in the Nassagaweya Stakes.
A group of 21 two-year-old pacing colts and geldings were split into three $78,334 divisions of the Nassagaweya Stakes.
Voracity, a two-time Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series winner, took his game to another level with a 1:51.2 victory in the opening division.
Driven by Randy Waples, Voracity, the 6-5 favourite, got away second heading into the first turn, as Heavymetal Hanover hung up an opening-quarter of :27.
In the second-quarter, Talk Show, the 3-2 second choice, came to the outside from fourth for driver Jack Moiseyev triggering Waples to pull the pocket and circle to the front. Talk Show cleared Voracity for the lead after a half of :56.1 and turned up the tempo taking the field down to three-quarters in 1:24.2.
In the stretch, Voracity came to the outside to set up a stretch duel between the top two choices. In the final-eighth, Voracity took the lead from a game Talk Show and prevailed by three-quarter of a length in a career-best 1:51.2. Heavymetal Hanover finished third, while Carter Beach was fourth.
A son of Sportswriter, Voracity is co-owned and trained by Tony Alagna. The rookie pacer started his career two for two, but suffered his first defeat by a nose in his last outing.
“He’s been really good here on the Woodbine circuit,” said Alagna, following the race. “We took him down to Rideau and he was second and I didn’t think he raced as well as he had been. It was the first time he had shipped that kind of distance and I think it dulled him a little bit. Tonight Randy did a great job, he read the race just the way it was going to play out and the colt responded.”
Brad Grant and John Fodera share ownership of Voracity with Alagna. The OSS star now has three wins from four starts and earnings of $152,917. Voracity was a $47,000 yearling purchase at last October’s Lexington Selected Sale.
The Alagna trainee paid $4.50 to win.
In the second division, Carl Jamieson trainee The Catamount Kid made a second-quarter move to the front and never looked back en route to a 1:52.1 victory.
A son of Well Said, The Catamount Kid and driver Jody Jamieson showed early speed to get situated in third, as Sossys King Kong posted an opening quarter of :27.3.
In the second quarter, Rodeo Rock and driver Waples circled to the front from second, but their lead was short-lived, as Jamieson sent The Catamount Kid to the front from third and reached the half in :56.4.
Ideal Rocky, the 7-5 favourite, came first up around the final turn and got to the wheel of The Catamount Kid, but that was as close as anyone would get to the leader. The Catamount Kid charged home comfortably in :27.1 to score a two-length victory over Sossys King Kong. Ideal Rocky had to settle for third, while Mindtrip was fourth.
The Catamount Kid is owned by Carl Jamieson, Thomas Kyron, George Harrison and Brian Paquet. The rookie was a $67,000 purchase at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.
“He was one of our top horses all winter,” said Carl Jamieson, following the race. “He’s good gaited, easy to work with and he’s a really nice horse.”
The Catamount Kid now has two wins from four starts and a bankroll of $64,441. The clocking of 1:52.1 is a career-best for the Jamieson trainee.
The Catamount Kid paid $8.40 to win.
Control The Moment improved to a perfect five-for-five with a strong 1:51.4 victory in the final division.
A son of Well Said, Control The Moment and driver Waples took back at the start and got away in sixth. Manny cut the mile and posted opening fractions of :27.1 and :56.1.
Down the backstretch, Control The Moment picked up the cover of Inspiration View and the two colts marched their way towards the leader around the final turn, as Manny posted a three-quarter time of 1:25.
In the stretch, Control The Moment charged by his rivals with effortless strides and cruised home in :26.2 for the victory. American Passport finished up with a strong late-kick to finish second by a length, while Racing Hill and Manny were third and fourth, respectively.
Control The Moment is trained by Brad Maxwell, who shares ownership of the colt with Howard Taylor, Edwin Gold and Ben Mudry. The rookie pacer was purchased for $47,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.
The driving victory for Waples was his third stakes victory on the card.
Control The Moment increased his bankroll to $78,187 with the victory Saturday and also lowered his career-mark by two-fifths of a second.
The Maxwell trainee paid $2.80 to win.
All three Nassagaweya division winners are eligible to the eliminations of the Metro Pace next Saturday.
Two-year-old pacing fillies were also in action Saturday in two divisions of the Eternal Camnation Stakes.
In the $110,361 first division, Thatsoveryverynice continued the strong evening for the Alagna stable with a 1:51.4 victory.
Driven by Jody Jamieson, Thatsoveryverynice, the even-money favourite, got away fifth heading into the first turn and sat in that position until nearing the half. Blue Moon Stride, the New Jersey Sires Stakes champion, made a second-quarter brush to the lead, but was quickly confronted by Twin B Thong.
Thatsoveryverynice was left first up around the f