Engblom duo part of New Holland Series opener
MILTON, March 2, 2023 – The New Holland Series, Woodbine’s newest winter late-closer, is set to begin with a pair of first round trotting events on Monday (March 6) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
The new series is open to horses that were non-winners of $150,000 (Fillies and Mares $175,000) in 2022. The trotting event will get under this Monday, while the pacing event will launch next Saturday (March 11).
Both series consist of two $30,000 preliminary legs and a $60,000 added money final.
The New Holland Trotting Series attracted 18 entrants for Monday’s opening leg.
As part of the first leg, trainer Per Engblom will ship in a pair of six-year-old geldings, Toccoa Falls and Sermon, from his homebase in New Jersey.
Competing in Monday’s second division (Race 6), Sermon arrives in Ontario off a victory in his season debut at The Meadowlands on February 17. The gelded trotter appeared poised to be a regular Grand Circuit performer last season, but injury cut his 2022 campaign short.
“He was very good his four-year-old season (2022), finishing strong with checks in both the Breeders Crown and TVG finals,” said Engblom. “Last year unfortunately he got hurt and required surgery. We gave him plenty of time and been (working) up slowly with him.”
Engblom was pleased to see the New Holland Series pop up as an option for the returning Sermon.
“I’ve been very happy with his qualifiers and his comeback race. This series comes up perfect in his schedule and we’re looking forward to coming up with two horses to try it out.”
Sermon, who will be driven by Doug McNair from post-nine, is a nine-time winner with career earnings of $267,677 and a mark of 1:51.4.
The second division also includes Mohawk Park track record co-holder Locatelli (PP6, James MacDonald). The Harry Poulton trainee matched the Open Trotting Horse record of 1:50.4 on December 5. The five-year-old gelding just met the conditions for the series after earning $145,300 in 2022.
Monday’s first split (Race 4) is headlined by O’Brien Award finalist HP Mama B. The Ben Baillargeon trainee will make her first start since an impressive 1:52.3 score on January 9. The five-year-old mare won six of 22 starts, earned $168,130 and took a mark of 1:51.4 in 2022.
Driver Louis-Philippe Roy will partner with HP Mama B.
The second leg of the New Holland Trotting Series will take place on Monday, March 13. The $60,000 added money final will be held on Saturday, March 25.
Post time for Monday evening’s card is 7 p.m.
The fields for Monday’s New Holland Trotting Series first leg are listed below:
Race 4 – New Holland Trotting Series – Leg 1
1 – Dees Red Delicious (Sylvain Filion/Anthony Beaton)
2 – Simcoe Seelster (TBA/William James)
3 – Shadrack Hanover (Jonathan Drury/Thomas Riley)
4 – Macallan (Scott Young/Tim Cherwaiko)
5 – HP Mama B (Louis-Philippe Roy/Ben Baillargeon)
6 – Toccoa Falls (Doug McNair/Per Engblom)
7 – Franks Angel (Bob McClure/Dagfin Henriksen)
8 – Evil Guy (Jody Jamieson/Shannon Henry)
9 – Itstimetogohome (James MacDonald/Carmen Auciello)
Race 6 – New Holland Trotting Series – Leg 1
1 – HP Royal Theo (TBA/Ben Baillargeon)
2 – Chulo (Jody Jamieson/Carmen Auciello)
3 – Ritson (Bob McClure/Shawn Steacy)
4 – El Toro Loco (TBA/Don Lindsey)
5 – Locatelli (James MacDonald/Harry Poulton)
6 – Meadowbranch Noble (Jonathan Drury/Carmen Auciello)
7 – Dealin With Dewey (Louis-Philippe Roy/Sara Baillargeon)
8 – Swan Trixie (Sylvain Filion/Meg Crone)
9 – Sermon (Doug McNair/Per Engblom)