Funtime Bayama and Nijinsky shine in Beach splits; Graduate Series opens

Funtime Bayama and Nijinsky shine in Beach splits; Graduate Series opens

MILTON, June 1, 2024 – Funtime Bayama and Nijinsky posted strong performances to win Saturday’s Somebeachsomewhere Stakes divisions at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

The Somebeachsomewhere serves as the final prep ahead of next Saturday’s Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. A group of 19 three-year-old pacers were split into a pair of divisions for the Grand Circuit event.

Funtime Bayama fired back after a runner-up finish in last week’s OSS Gold division to win the $84,000 first “Beach” split in 1:49.1. Race-favourite and top Cup contender Legendary Hanover turned in a wicked :25.3 last-quarter, but had to settle for second after rallying from sixth.

A gelded son of Hes Watching, Funtime Bayama and Sylvain Filion went coast-to-coast for the lifetime best victory, kicking home in :26.1 after a well-rated middle-half. Legendary Hanover finished 2 ¼ lengths back, while Fast Louie was third.

“Last week he raced awesome, he just got out sprinted but I was real pleased with him last week,” said Filion. “I was counting on (Legendary Hanover) to come and cover me up but I didn’t see what was happening behind. When I saw the fractions I was pretty happy"

Richard Moreau trains Funtime Bayama for Bayama Farms. Saturday’s victory was the third in four starts this season and seventh overall for the sophomore, who now has over $386,000 in earnings.

Funtime Bayama paid $10.50.

The $83,000 second division saw Nijinsky flex his muscles for a sparkling 1:49 victory.

Driven by Louis Philippe Roy, Nijinsky made a move in the second-quarter from third to overtake leader Captains Quarters at a :55 half. The pair would ride one-two around the far turn, hitting three-quarters in 1:22.3.

In the stretch, Captains Quarters angled out of the pocket to take his shot at the leader, but Nijinsky took it up a notch with a :26.2 kicker to win by a length and a quarter. Newsroom finished third.

A son of Bettors Delight, Nijinsky is now a perfect three for three to start his three-year-old season for trainer Anthony Beaton.

"He's been great since he's been back,” said Beaton. “I find he really matured this year. Last year he had a bit of trouble at the gate and this year, as you've seen, you can push him out of there and he always gives us that kick home.”

Nijinsky is owned by West Wins Stable, John Fielding and Mark Dumain. The sophomore pacing colt now has $98,500 earned this season, boosting his career numbers to four wins and nearly $200,000 earned.

A $2 win ticket on Nijinsky returned $4.90.

The Graduate Series for four-year-olds rolled into town for Saturday’s Grand Circuit action.

A pair of Graduate divisions for pacers were held, while a single dash for the trotters was contested.

Seven Colors made the lead exiting the first turn and rolled to a 1:48.2 victory in the first $66,500 Graduate Series division for pacers.

Trained by Andrew Harris, Seven Colors and driver Dexter Dunn paced a final-quarter of :26.1 to score the victory. Christchurch unleashed a wild :25.1 final-quarter to just miss by a neck. Coach Stefanos also paced a :25.1 kicker to finish third.

“He was all along there on his free will,” said Dunn. “I said to Andrew this is probably the best he's felt when I've sat behind him. He's heading the right direction."

Seven Colors is now one for three to start his four-year-old season and has career numbers of nine wins and over $750,000 earned. He’s owned by William Pollock, Bruce Areman and Harris.

Seven Colors paid $8.10 to win.

The $66,500 second Graduate Pace saw Huntinthelastdollar complete a front-end mission for a 1:49.2 victory. Yannick Gingras steered the Per Engblom trainee to the victory of three-quarters of a length.

No Control finished second after a two-hole ride, while Redwood Hanover got up for third.

"He was really good and I was happy with him,” said Gingras. “Good fraction in the middle half and he sprinted on good… if he keeps racing like this, I think he can go with most of them.”

Huntinthelastdollar, who was coming in off a victory in the Charles Juravinski Memorial Cup, is now four for six to start the season for owners John Fielding and E Five Racing. His latest victory bumps his career stats to 12 wins and over $730,000 earned.

A $2 win ticket on Huntinthelastdollar paid $3.70.

The $99,750 Graduate Series Trot saw Ontario sired horses take the top three spots.

Osceola showed his determination to gut out a career best 1:52.1 first-up victory for driver Doug McNair and trainer Gregg McNair.

Chapercraz cut out the mile, posting clips of :26.3, :55.2 and 1:23.3. The leader wouldn’t last, being swarmed at the head of the lane. Osceola came first-up from fourth and kept powering down the lane to win by a length.

Hasty Bid charged through late to finish second, while Ghostly Casper was third.

Saturday was the first start in nearly a month for Osceola, who last time out won the Canadian Graduate Series Final.

“He's more mature this year,” said Doug McNair. “I'm not sure what the difference is. When you can use them a little more in the turns it makes them a heck of a lot handier.”

Osceola is now three for four on the season with $109,000 earned for owners Gregg McNair, Willow Oak Ranch and Paul Hawman. His lifetime numbers now sit at nine wins and nearly $550,000 earned.

Osecola paid $5.10 to win.

Earlier on Saturday’s card, older trotting mares clashed in a leg of the Miss Versatility.

M Ms Dream turned in an outstanding :27 final-quarter effort to track down and nail Call Me Goo at the wire in 1:51.3. The Ron Burke trained M Ms Dream is now three for three to start her five-year-old season. David Miller drove her to victory.

Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m.



Mark McKelvie
Mark McKelvie Sr. Manager Communications, Woodbine Entertainment


Horse Racing - SB
About Woodbine Entertainment

Woodbine Entertainment is the largest horse racing operator in Canada, with Thoroughbred horse racing at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, and Standardbred horse racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Milton. Woodbine Entertaiment also owns and operates HPIbet, Canada’s only betting platform dedicated to horse racing. Woodbine and Mohawk Park are host to several world-class racing events including The King’s Plate, three Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races, and the Pepsi North America Cup. Run without share capital, Woodbine Entertainment has a mandate to financially invest all profit back into the horse racing industry and the 25,000 jobs it supports across Ontario.   

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555 Rexdale Blvd. Toronto, Ontario.