MILTON, September 16, 2023 – North America’s top sophomore trotters were on display this evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park, the fillies in two $35,000 eliminations of the Elegantimage while the colts contested a pair of $40,000 Canadian Trotting Classic splits.
Noted trotting trainer Ake Svanstedt sent out two winners in the four eliminations. The top five finishers in each will return for the rich finals next Saturday as part of the spectacular Mohawk Million card.
In the first Trotting Classic elimination, Challenger marched the field of six past the opening quarter in :27 and tripped the halfway timer in :56.2. Up Your Deo got into the outer flow from the garden spot before the 1:24.1 three-quarters and trotted by the leader and away from the field to win easily in 1:51.2, a new life mark. It was tight for second with Hasty Bid edging out Chapercraz. Tuscan Prince and Challenger earned the last two spots into next week’s rich final.
It was the fifth win in 10 tries this year for Up Your Deo, a Walner colt owned by trainer/driver Svanstedt along with Suleyman Yuksel Stables, Deo Volente Farms and Van Camp Trotting Corp. Tonight’s effort put him over half a million in earnings this year. Svanstedt noted it the perfect trip for Up Your Deo who prefers not to lead but rather follow a helmet.
A $100,000 yearling, Up Your Deo is the first foal of the Cantab Hall daughter Grand Stand. His third dam is the great Cameron Hall, winner of the 2002 Elegantimage elimination and final.
Osceola was swiftest afoot in the second test but quickly had a challenger in Ghostly Casper who had the lead by the opening quarter in :27.2 but not for long. Osceola and Doug McNair quickly retook command and hit the half in :57. Andy Miller had Little Expensive first up and was at the leader’s wheel at the 1:25.2 third panel.
Three trotters from the rear overtook the leaders and were charging hard down the stretch with favourite Celebrity Bambino hitting the wire first in 1:52.4. Winners Bet took second followed by Gaines Hanover. Osceola held for fourth with Little Expensive picking up the last spot in the final.
“Today the trip worked out great,” noted winning pilot Yannick Gingras who considers Celebrity Bambino to be one of the best in this division.
Trainer Ron Burke co-owns the Muscle Hill colt with JandT Silva Stable, Knox Services and Phillip Collura. This was his third win in 11 attempts this year including his Hambletonian elimination (fourth in final).
The $660,000 Canadian Trotting Classic final will go postward as follows:
1 – Osceola
2 – Hasty Bid
3 – Challenger
4 – Up Your Deo
5 – Celebrity Bambino
6 – Little Expensive
7 – Winners Bet
8 – Tuscan Prince
9 – Gaines Hanover
10 – Chapercraz
AE – Ghostly Casper
Righteous Resolve took the top early in the first Elegantimage elimination and put up fractions of :27.1, :57 and 1:25.3 and could not be caught down the lane and she and James MacDonald stopped the timer in 1:53.1. Quick Stop, Baroness Hill, Pure Hope S and Mass Hysteria crossed the wire in that order to qualify for next week’s final.
Last year’s O’Brien Award winner as Canada’s best rookie trotting filly, Righteous Resolve was notching her second win in eight starts this year for just over a quarter million made this year and over $850,000 lifetime for owner/breeder Bet Max Stable and Benenati Inc. The Resolve daughter is trained by Matt Bax.
As the second elimination field entered the first turn Climb The Pole made a costly miscue as she tried to challenge for the front. Rose Run Yolanda was on top at the :28 opener but she was soon passed by favourite Bond who trotted easily by the half in :57.1, the three-quarters in 1:25.1 and withstood a late rush by Rose Run Yolanda to win in 1:52.1. Rose Run Yolanda was a neck back in second with Call Me Go third followed by Tactical Mounds and Lindys Irishcream.
Svanstedt trains and co-owns the winner, a pretty daughter of Southwind Frank, with the Little E LLC and L Berg Inc. Bond was recording her fifth win in eight tries this year for $338,000 earned this year and $925,000 in her career. “She’s a good horse, of course, she almost always wins,” Svanstedt laughed.
The field for next Saturday’s $381,000 Elegantimage final will line up as follows:
1 – Lindys Irishcream
2 – Baroness Hill
3 – Rose Run Yolanda
4 – Mass Hysteria
5 – Bond
6 – Righteous Resolve
7 – Pure Hope S
8 – Tactical Mounds
9 – Call Me Goo
10 – Quick Stop
AE – Tactical Planner
Heather MacKay for Woodbine Communications