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>The stakes season at Mohawk is in full swing, and among the many highlights this weekend will be a coming-out party for the sophomore trotting fillies: three $35,000(C) eliminations for the Elegantimage Stakes, on Friday night.


Last week’s winner of a division of the Casual Breeze stakes, Yursa Hanover, is one of the favored fillies for the Elegantimage, having drawn the plum post position two in the second of the three splits (race 3, post time 8:10 p.m.). Yursa Hanover, by Windsong's Legacy, was second to Honorable Daughter in the 2008 Breeders Crown, and seems primed for an impressive 3-year-old campaign for trainer Normand Bardier Jr., who has taken over from Ben Baillargeon this spring. She’s been rated at 6-5 in the morning line.


Two-year-old stars, Raising Rachel and Windsong Soprano, will face off in the first Elegantimage elim on Friday (race 1, post time 7:30 p.m.).


So far this season, Raising Rachel has given every indication that she intends to pick up where she left off last fall, with seven wins in eight starts: she is undefeated in two starts in 2009, including a decisive victory in last week’s Casual Breeze. Windsong Soprano is also two-for-two this year, and captured her division of the Casual Breeze on June 12. This will be the first match-up for these two trotting lasses this year.


In the third Elegantimage split (race 4, post time 8:30 p.m.), look for OSS Superfinals winner, Elusive Desire, who’ll take on Kandor Hanover, who was unraced at two but has already made 18 starts as a 3 year old, including a sweep of the Celias Counsel series at Woodbine in April. Elusive Desire, by contrast, made her first start as a sophomore in late May and has yet to visit the winner’s circle…but she may find her groove this Friday. The pair will go behind the gate side by side, in post positions four and five in the eight-filly field.


The Elegantimage eliminations are just the lead-off for another star-studded weekend at Mohawk, including eliminations for the Goodtimes Stakes (for 3-year-old trotting colts), the Fan Hanover (for sophomore trotting fillies) and the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup (for 3-year-old pacing colts), all on Saturday night. The $600,000 (est.) final of the Elegantimage will go postward on North America Cup night, Saturday, June 27. (WEG)