Hyped rookies shine in Nassagaweya divisions

Hyped rookies shine in Nassagaweya divisions

MILTON, August 26, 2023 – Funtime Bayama turned in a stakes record performance to lead Saturday’s Nassagaweya Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

A total of 26 rookie pacers were split into three divisions for the Nassagaweya Stakes, part of harness racing’s Grand Circuit.

Legendary Hanover had to do some serious sprinting to track down and overtake a well-rated Calicojack Hanover in the $93,700 first division.

The 1/9 favourite Legendary Hanover got away fifth, while Calicojack Hanover cut a hot opening-split of :26.2 before backing it down for a :31 second-quarter. Captain Luke moved first up providing cover for the favourite, as ‘Calicojack’ hit three-quarters in 1:25.2.

In the stretch, Calicojack Hanover went into sprint mode, but the soft middle-half wouldn’t be enough to stop Legendary Hanover and James MacDonald, as they rocketed home in :26.1 to win by half a length.

Calicojack Hanover finished second, while Remember The Alamo rallied for third.

“I just wanted to take care of him, was just going to see how the race unfolded,” said MacDonald of the trip. “He had the rail, obviously I thought that would be best case if I could find a helmet and try and buzz him, everyone can see what he can do on the lead and what kind of power he’s got. To beat the best, you’ve got to be versatile and be able to do anything”

A Huntsville brother to Linedrive Hanover, Legendary Hanover was entering Saturday’s race off a 1:50.0 victory in the Dream Maker final on August 12. The Tony Beaton trainee is now four for four and has surpassed $100,000 in earnings for owners West Wins Stable, Eric Good and Mark Dumain.

Legendary Hanover paid $2.20 to win.

Funtime Bayama would take the performances up another level in the $93,700 second division, posting a stakes record mile of 1:50.3.

A homebred for Yves Filion’s Bayama Farms, Funtime Bayama and driver Sylvain Filion would get to the lead approaching the first-quarter, posting a :27 opener. The gelded son of Hes Watching would go untouched, leading by panels of :56.1 and 1:24.1 before firing home in :26.2 to win by  1 ¾ lengths.

Do Better finished second off a two-hole trip, while Captains Quarters was third.

“I didn’t want to rush him out of there so I took my time to get to the front and once we was there he did it all by himself,” said Sylvain Filion. “So far he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. He’s got a big strong gait that covers the ground easy.”

Funtime Bayama is now two for four with over $110,000 earned for connections of trainer Richard Moreau and Bayama Farms.

Yves Filion confirmed that Funtime Bayama will start next in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event next Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Funtime Bayama paid $2.90 to win.

Mirage Hanover had to dig deep for a 1:51.1 victory in the $92,700 third division.

The Bettors Delight colt Mirage Hanover was pointed towards the lead early by driver Bob McClure, sitting parked around the first-turn, while Total Stranger cut a hot quarter of :26. Mirage Hanover did clear moving up the backstretch, leading by the half in :54.2 and three-quarters in 1:23.

In the stretch, Mirage Hanover had to contend with a pushing Total Stranger from the two-hole. ‘Mirage’ would hold off his rival to by a neck. Always A Thrill finished third.

“He did his work and got his head there, he’s a classy little horse,” said McClure. “It was just a terrible trip. I thought we’d get there a little easier, I thought we would’ve been a little closer. I thought the whole thing would’ve gone a little better.

“Things don’t go their way and they still win, that just shows what kind of class they are. This colt, he’s special and he’s proven it every week”

Trained by Scott McEneny, Mirage Hanover has now won three off six starts and earned $155,460 for owner Marvin Rounick.

A $2 win ticket on Mirage Hanover returned $2.70.

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

Mark McKelvie, 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.   

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