MILTON, September 2, 2023 — Sophomore trotting filly Climb The Pole and sophomore trotting gelding Gaines Hanover came with late accelerations to each capture their respective division of Simcoe Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday night.
Climb The Pole lunged in the closing strides to collar tempo-setter and 4-5 favourite Righteous Resolve to snag the $157,200 Simcoe for three-year-old trotting fillies in 1:52.2.
Righteous Resolve revved off the wings and claimed command to a :26.3 first quarter with HP Extra Ice securing the pocket. Strolling firmly up the backside to a :55.3 half, Righteous Resolve stayed on the muscle through the final turn as HP Extra Ice readied a charge from the pocket. But after three-quarters in 1:24, Righteous Resolve kicked for home on an extended lead.
Driver Jody Jamieson perched Climb The Pole on cover spinning into the stretch and launched her past HP Extra Ice with Baroness Hill rallying wider. Righteous Resolve stayed resolute on the point until the final eighth, where driver James MacDonald called upon her to engage with her late-rallying challengers. Climb The Pole hit another gear in the closing strides to down Righteous Resolve by a half length with Baroness Hill settling for third and Smashin Racquets another six lengths behind in fourth.
“She just tries; she never gives up,” said Jody Jamieson, who co-owns Climb The Pole with trainer Carl Jamieson, Steve Heimbecker and Aaron Byron. “She’s just a sweetheart, really. She’s an ornery mare sometimes, but when you get a racehorse like her and she tries every week… you can’t beat that.”
A daughter of Kadabra, Climb The Pole continues to add to a productive campaign off a two-year-old season where she only started twice. She’s now won seven races from 12 starts in her career and banked $295,468. Off the second choice in the betting, she paid $5.30 to win.
Gaines Hanover gobbled rivals down the center of the track while avoiding late-stretch trouble to take the $177,300 Simcoe for trotting sophomores in 1:53.1.
Hasty Bid hustled to the lead to a :28 first quarter and soon yielded control to Osceola into the backstretch. Ghostly Casper, parked through the first turn, advanced towards the leader to a :56 half. Osceola kept him wide to the final turn as Ghostly Casper continued pestering the pacesetter to three-quarters in 1:24.1 all while Southwind Coors readied a three-wide charge and Gaines Hanover a four-wide charge.
Osceola swung for home clinging to the lead as Hasty Bid looked for clearance to pull from the pocket. Southwind Coors and Gaines Hanover gathered their momentum on the straightaway and marched furiously after the leader while Hasty Bid got hooked by the wheels of a tiring Ghostly Casper in the last eighth. Gaines Hanover outmuscled Southwind Coors to the beam to take a neck victory with Osceola third and 130-1 shot New Rules grabbing fourth.
“I’ve raced against him so many times and I was real happy to get the drive on this guy for this race here,” said driver Sylvain Filion on acquiring the drive behind the Richard Moreau trainee since regular pilot Louis-Philippe Roy opted to drive Tuscan Prince, who broke behind the gate. “I thought it was the only way to go – I floated out of there and got cover. Even though I never saw pylons, he swelled up around the last turn and he just wanted to go so much. He tries so hard.”
Gaines Hanover, a gelding by Cantab Hall and a winner at Woodbine Mohawk Park last year in the $810,000 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot, has now collected six victories from 16 starts and earned $666,236 for owner Gestion J. Y. Blais Inc. He paid $13.50 to win.
By Ray Cotolo, for Woodbine Communications