The field may have been small, but the fight was big in Thursday’s $37,200 Whenuwishuponastar Series final at Mohawk Racetrack.
A field of five rookie pacing fillies clashed in the series final, with all eyes on Dr. Ian Moore trainee Jan, who was seeking a series sweep.
Driven by Trevor Henry, Jan shot off the wings of the gate seeking the lead and while she would clear to the pylons quickly, she was forced to deal with pressure from Lady Grande and driver Jonathan Drury.
Lady Grande was right along side the 1-5 favourite at the opening-quarter in :26.2 and would clear to command entering the backstretch. Jan was quickly removed to the lead, but had to work hard to be in control at the half in :54.3.
After reaching three-quarters in 1:23.4, Jan was ready for yet another duel with Lady Grande in the lane. The two rookies would slug it out in the stretch, with Jan holding off a weaving Lady Grande by half a length in 1:51.4.
Precision Hanover, Intrepid Lady and Nurse Pie Q rounded out the field.
A daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven, Jan came into Thursday’s final off a pair of easy victories and proved she was ready for a battle.
“She had been winning very easy her last two races and I knew there was more there, but we never had to use it before,” said Henry following the race. “She’s a tough filly, like when they come at her she wants to fight back.”
Jan, who was a $35,000 yearling purchase at Harrisburg, now sports a record of three wins in five starts with $37,780 banked for owners Wilma and James MacKenzie.
Trainer Moore has a strong duo in the rookie pacing filly division, as Jan is a stablemate of Ontario sired standout Percy Bluechip.
“I had three fillies this winter and they all trained together and Jan was one of them and Percy Bluechip, of course,” Moore noted. “They took turns at beating each other in training miles all spring long, they were just right at it the whole time.
“This filly (Jan) probably beat Percy Bluechip just as many times as Percy Bluechip beat her in training miles, so when we tipped one of the back of the other, it was all fight all the way down the stretch.”
Jan isn’t heavily staked for her two-year-old season and Moore noted he will talk to the MacKenzies about trying the New York Sires Stakes or looking at potential opportunities to supplement.
Also on Thursday, the Define The World Series for two-year-old trotters kicked off with an impressive performance in the $14,000 opening leg.
Chapter Seven colt Alarm Detector established a new national season’s mark of 1:56 with a 6-1/4 lengths victory for Henry and trainer Ben Baillargeon.
A $110,000 yearling purchase at Harrisburg, Alarm Detector went coast to coast for Henry, posting fractions of :29.2, 1:00, 1:28.4, before trotting home in :27.1. Cantabernet finished second, while Hey Jock was third.
Alarm Detector is now a perfect three for three with $21,000 earned for owners Tom and Elizabeth Rankin, Claude Hamel and Santo Vena. He paid $3.50 to win.
The second leg of the Define The World Series will take place next Thursday (August 17). Live racing continues Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m.
To view results for Tuesday’s card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Results – Mohawk Racetrack.