With racing ready to go later in the evening, Woodbine Mohawk Park began its first day back in operation for 2021 with a morning session of qualifiers.
Hazed snowfall didn’t dampen the spirits of those at the racetrack on Thursday morning. The first qualifier went to the track with Imamajorplayer finishing a 2:00.1 mile a head better than Confidence Man.
Late-season bloomer Oney Hall returned to the track towards the tail of the session, blowing away his snow-drenched competitors with a wire-to-wire effort for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Bob McIntosh.
The five-year-old Deweycheatumnhowe gelding grabbed the lead to a :28.3 opening quarter and expanded his margin through middle fractions of :58.2 an 1:27.2. Holding a 15-length lead off the final turn, Oney Hall coasted to a 1:55.4 mile—the fastest trotting mile on the day—ahead of his next-closest rival Blazing Trail. Oney Hall, rising to the Preferred level at Mohawk in late Nov. last year, competes for owner Alan Leavitt.
Major Custard made his first start east of his native Alberta earlier in the morning qualifiers. Driven by owner Gino Toscani for trainer Herbert Holland, the four-year-old Custard The Dragon gelding sat third through the mile before making a first-over move to three-quarters but managing to only cut into the margin of pacesetter Beyond Better. The mile capped in 1:54.2—the fastest pacing mile on the morning—with both Beyond Better and Major Custard pacing their final quarter in :26.3.
Colin Johnson trainee Teatimepreacher GB made her first start west of the Atlantic following a campaign that saw her race in England and Scotland. Driver Bob McClure launched the seven-year-old mare by The Preacher Pan to the point and secured a pocket ride behind Manhattan Night, and stayed put in the pocket until the stretch drive. Teatimepreacher GB made slight gains on Manhattan Night, but finished second in the 1:56.3 mile by three-quarter lengths. The English import races for Raymond Huschka of Penrith Cumbria, GB.
The Thursday morning qualifying session is posted in its entirety below:
To view Thursday’s harness racing qualifiers, click on the following link: Thursday Results – Woodbine Mohawk Park (Qualifier).