Highland Kismet oozes greatness in Goodtimes

Highland Kismet oozes greatness in Goodtimes

MILTON, June 15, 2024 – Highland Kismet, with Bob McClure in the race bike, stamped himself as a superstar-in-the-making courtesy of a stupendous score in the $225,000 Goodtimes Stakes on Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park.  

Sent on his way as the 2-5 choice in the Goodtimes, Highland Kismet arrived at his latest test off a polished 1 ¾-length winning performance in his elimination last week at the Milton oval.

On this night, he took things to a whole new level.

It was an early scramble as Top Mast, Private Access, and Shermont battled into the first turn, while Highland Kismet was fanned nearly four wide.

Top Mast led the pack through an opening panel in :27.2, but Highland Kismet, in fourth, was given his cue by McClure and the son of Father Patrick responded by seizing command shortly before the half in :55.3.

Private Access, the second choice on the board at 6-1, came calling on the leader soon after and then turned up the pressure into the turn for home.

Highland Kismet, a neck on top after three quarters in 1:24.4, fended off his foe and then strolled away from his pursuers with ease down the lane.

McClure sat chilly in the sulky as the bay colt stormed home in :26.4 to post a 3 ¼-length win over Private Access. Top Mast was third. The final time was a stakes-equaling and personal-best mark of 1:51.3.

"He's two fingers to drive,” said McClure. “You can start him up, shut him down. I didn't mind. I was fully intending to half-miss the gate because I knew all the outside speed was going to be pushing so I wasn't worried about them dropping in front of me. 

“This colt, super, super stepped up, and I couldn't believe how big a kick he had coming home, and how easy he did it, and how great he's been.” 

Unraced at two, the Mark Etsell trainee was a two-length winner in 1:54.4 in his May 2 debut. Scratched out of his next start, Highland Kismet returned on May 23, just missing top spot by a head.

One week later, he was back on the winning track courtesy of a 5 ¼-length victory in 1:53.1.

"He’s come a long way quick,” said Etsell. “He's been a bit of a surprise, actually.”

Added McClure, “He was a real troubled two-year-old. He had a lot of trouble with his gait, and you wouldn't know it now with the job that Mark has done with him. He's perfect.”

Bred and owned by Highland Thoroughbred Farm of Ingersoll, Ontario, Highland Kismet paid $2.90 for his Goodtimes victory.

The race presentation was made by John Bax, who campaigned world champion and Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee Goodtimes to a 50-win career and over $2.2 million in lifetime earnings.  

Linedrive Hanover as good as gold in Mohawk Gold Cup 

Linedrive Hanover knocked it out of Woodbine Mohawk Park with a thrilling win in the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational Pace.

Nine horses went postward in the evening’s eighth race, with Linedrive Hanover emerging the victor. Taurasi was a head back, with mutuel choice Abuckabett Hanover close behind in third.

In rein to James MacDonald, the son of Betting Line paced the mile in a lively 1:47.2.

“I was able to slip out at top of the stretch,” said MacDonald. “And the horse is just… he’s an amazing animal. He's had a couple tough trips this year, and he just bounces back like a pro. That's what great horses do.”

Trained by Anthony Beaton for owners West Wins Stable, McKinlay and Fielding, and Mac Nichol, the six-year-old bay gelding is now 18-8-7 from 44 starts, to go along with over $800,000 in lifetime earnings.

A half-brother to North America Cup starter Legendary Hanover, Linedrive Hanover paid $23 for the win.

Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications

Grace Martin
Grace Martin Communications Specialist, 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.   

Woodbine Entertainment
555 Rexdale Blvd. Toronto, Ontario.