Campbellville, ON --- A pair of 2011 O’Brien Award finalists were showcased Monday morning (May 7) at Mohawk in their respective qualifying sessions.
Betterthancheddar, who captured 10 of 18 starts last season, came from off-the-pace to find the wire first in 1:52.4 for driver Scott Zeron and trainer Casie Coleman.
The bay used an impressive :26 final quarter to track down the 2010 Canadian Horse of the Year Dreamfair Eternal in deep stretch to score a 1-1/4 length victory.
“He was training back like a creature this winter in Florida,” Coleman said. “He couldn’t have been much better.”
The 4-year-old pacing son of Bettor's Delight earned $777,283 last year for West Wins Stable and Steve Calhoun. His victories from last season included the Breeders Crown, Windy City Pace, American-National and Cane Pace.
Circles, who was sold privately by breeder John Smith earlier this year, marked her second qualifying appearance of the season.
The regally-bred daughter of Majestic Son-Merles Image boasts a record of 6-4-0 from 11 starts last season as a rookie with earnings of $328,200.
The trotting miss went gate-to-wire in 1:58.2 for driver Luc Ouellette and was 2-1/2 lengths ahead of Cool Creek Breeze, who amassed $118,808 last season as a rookie for trainer Ben Baillargeon.
“She was excellent this morning,” Ouellette said. “That mile was right about where we wanted to go. Her first start is in about 10 days in the SBOA Stakes.”
The SBOA Stakes eliminations are slated for Friday (May 18) with the C$160,000 final set for Friday (May 25) at the Campbellville oval.
Tommy Andersson trains the bay filly for owner Tom Lund.
Other qualifier winners included: The Unsub-1:53.3, Angel Scent-1:56.1, Lexus Helios-1:58.4, Partner-1:58.3, and Carscot Review-1:57.1.
WEG’s communications department spoke with Coleman this morning; click hereto watch the interview.