Mohawk card offers glimpse of future

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Ted Black

September 16th, 2018

The first five races on the Mohawk Park card on Saturday night offered harness racing fans a glimpse into the future as two-year-olds of both gaits and genders participated in lucrative finals and several elims leading up to finals next weekend.

In the opening race on the card, Stag Party (David Miller) easily lived up to his role as the 4-5 favorite in the first $50,000 Metro Pace elimination for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings when he overcame an extended first over journey to score in 1:51. A juvenile son of Bettor's Delight trained by Casie Coleman, Stag Party notched his fifth win in seven lifetime outings and pushed his seasonal earnings past $200,000 when he overhauled Semi Tough (Matt Kakaley) and Shake That House (Yannick Gingras) in the lane for a two-length score.

Then one race later on the card, Captain Ahab (Andrew McCarthy) just lived up to his role as the 1-4 favorite in the second Metro Pace elim when he brushed to command before the half in 55 flat, rebuffed a first over bid from Lyons Night Hawk (Tim Tetrick) and held safe the late bid of De Los Cielos Deo (Gingras) to score by two lengths in 1:50.4. A juvenile son of Captaintrecherous trained by Tony Alagna, Captain Ahab has won all seven of his lifetime starts and will head into next week's $890,000 Metro final as the solid choice although not an absolute lock to defeat Stag Party.

Then one race later in the $385,000 Peaceful Way final for two-year-old filly trotters, perhaps an early indicator of which members of this group will be serious Hambletonian Oaks hopefuls next summer, The Ice Dutchess (Gingras) easily lived up to her role as the even-money choice when she brushed to command before the half in 57.1, raced unpressed through the far turn and by three-quarters in 1:26 and held safe Evident Beauty (David Miller) to score by two lengths in 1:54.2.

A juvenile daughter of Muscle Hill trained by Jimmy Takter for owner Fair Wynd Farms, The Ice Dutchess notched her fourth win in seven lifetime starts and pushed her career earnings just shy of the $400,000 plateau. She had earlier won the $357,000 Jim Doherty Memorial final at the Meadowlands on the Hambo Day undercard in what still rates as her lifetime mark and she looms the division leader at this point and tepid future book favorite to capture the Grade I Hambo Oaks next summer.

Then two races later on the card in the $400,000 William Wellwood Memorial for two-year-old trotting colts with an early eye on divisional honors and perhaps Grade I Hambo glory next summer, Green Manolishi S (Tetrick) easily lived up to his role as the 3-5 favorite when he brushed to command before the half in 57.1, widened his advantage over a galloping Swandre The Giant (Gingras) on the far turn and held safe Smart As Hil and Okeanos for a three-length score in 1:53.4. A juvenile son of Muscle Hill trained by Marcus Melander, Green Manolishi S recorded his fourth win in six strats and more than doubled his career earnings to $350,000 while establishing a new lifetime mark. Swandre The Giant was best off the gate and led to the quarter, yielded for the pocket before the half then went into a gallop entering the far turn and suffered his second straight setback after winning the first seven starts of his career while competing at Hoosier Park in Indiana.