Pebble Beach, Magical Arthur take Beach splits; Four-Year-Olds battle in Graduate
MILTON, June 4, 2022 – The Grand Circuit came storming into Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday night with Graduate Series and Somebeachsomewhere divisions contested.
Kicking off a busy stretch of Grand Circuit racing in June, a pair of Somebeachsomewhere divisions offered a mini preview of next Saturday’s Pepsi North America Cup eliminations.
Top Cup contender Pebble Beach went coast to coast on the front to win the first $81,000 “Beach” division in 1:51. Driver Todd McCarthy sent the Noel Daley trainee to the lead immediately and got full control, posting fractions of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:24.1 before a :26.4 kicker to secure the victory.
“I was pretty fortunate to get cheap (fractions),” said McCarthy. “Ideally I do like to race him off a helmet, having him out front there tonight I was a little concerned how he would be, but he finished up really strong and I was super happy with him.”
Kolby Two Step rallied to finish second, beat 2 ¾ lengths behind the winner. Sport Secret and Chucky Hanover completed the top-four.
A son of Downbytheseaside, Pebble Beach picked up the first win of his three-year-old season. The Daley trainee raced from off the pace in his season debut on May 21 at The Meadowlands, pacing a final three-quarters of 1:20 to finish second.
Pebble Beach stamped himself as a pre-season Cup favourite following an 11-start rookie campaign that included seven wins, $361,250 earned and a mark of 1:48.4. He is owned by Patricia Stable, Joe Sbrocco, Country Club Acres and Laexpressfoderadeovolente.
A $2 win ticket on Pebble Beach returned $2.40.
Magical Arthur came out on top in a wild $80,000 Somebeachsomewhere division for driver Trevor Henry and trainer Anthony Beaton.
Competing in a field of five, Magical Arthur and Henry blasted out to the lead, posting a :27.1 opening-quarter. Favourite Stonebridge Helios and driver Bob McClure got away fifth and were on the move entering the backstretch. That move would send Beach Glass and driver Paul MacDonell out of the two-hole to come around, but the lead change wasn’t without some battle.
After hitting the half in :55, Beach Glass would be overtaken by Stonebridge Helios, who led by the third-marker in 1:23. The top-two would engage in a battle down the lane, but it was Magical Arthur that got the last laugh, powering by on the outside to win by half a length over Beach Glass in 1:50.3. Stonebridge Helios was third, while Frozen Hanover was fourth.
A gelded son of Artspeak, Magical Arthur was winless in three starts this season prior to Saturday’s race. The homebred for David Lumsden now has four wins and $271,453 in earnings.
“Tonight, he had a chance to race and he proved he’s as good as them,” said Henry of Magical Arthur. “They are two nice horses and I thought I could get up for second, Bobby (McClure) was pecking at (Stonebridge Helios) at the head of the stretch and I thought I might get second, but I didn’t really think I could beat (Beach Glass), but he did.”
Magical Arthur paid $13.90 to win.
Both of Saturday’s Somebeachsomewhere division winners are eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup.
Graduate Series returns to Mohawk
The Graduate Series made its first appearance at Woodbine Mohawk Park since 2019 on Saturday. The four-year-old series featured four divisions, two for the ladies and two for the boys.
Oakwoodanabella (IR) got full respect and made no mistake on the front to win the first $50,000 divison for pacing mares. Todd McCarthy grabbed his second stakes win of the evening, guiding the 1/5 favourite to victory for trainer Brian Brown.
The Irish bred Oakwoodanabella (IR) posted fractions of :27.1, :55.2 and 1:22.4 before pacing home in :27.3 for her third win in four starts this season. Fire Start Hanover finished second by 2 ¼ lengths in her season debut. Awesome Hill was third, while Scarlett Hanover was fourth.
A daughter of Foreclosure, Oakwoodanabella (IR) arrived in North America last August and has now won eight of 13 starts. Her Graduate division win boosts her season earnings to $53,250 for owner Denis Copse.
“I think she’s going to get better, especially next year,” said Brown. “We’ll stick with the four-year-olds as much as we can. She has some of the races with the older mares. I didn’t come here to the Roses Are Red, the Milton I think I’m in that…she’s just four and I didn’t want to overdue it too early in the year.”
Oakwoodanabella paid $2.50 to win.
Bulldog Hanover made a second-quarter move to the top and never looked back to win the first $62,500 Graduate division in 1:49.2. The Jack Darling trainee went third to first for driver Jody Jamieson, pacing by the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:23 before shooting home in :26.2.
“I just thought I’d get to the front as early as possible and get the traffic out of the way,” said Jamieson. “He’s just such a great horse and I knew it was no problem getting to the lead and even if we had to race a little bit for it, it was going to be on, but it wasn’t and he won pretty handily.”
Making his Woodbine season debut, Bulldog Hanover is now two for three this season. The son of Shadow Play won 10 of 15 starts last season and Saturday’s 16th career victory pushes him to the brink of millionaire status.
Jack Darling Stables Limited and Brad Grant share ownership of ‘Bulldog’, who paid $5.70 to win.
Carbine showed tremendous grit to pull out a 1:49 victory in the second $62,500 Graduate division. Todd McCarthy scored his third stakes win of the evening by guiding the Tony Alagna trainee to victory.
After posting a :26.3 opening-quarter, Carbine received company in the form of a first-up attack from favourite Linedrive Hanover, who came out from fifth. The half was reached in :54.3 and then a third-quarter slugfest ensued between Carbine and ‘Linedrive’, which saw the pacers duel by the third-marker in 1:21.1.
In the stretch, Carbine dug deep to hold the lead right to the wire, fighting off three rivals for the victory. One Eight Hundred got up for second on the far outside, while Bettors Donttell pushed up the rail to be third. Linedrive Hanover stayed in the fight, finishing fourth.
Fittingly a son of Somebeachsomewhere, Carbine improved to three for four on the season and now has 10 victories and over $139,000 earned for owners Let It Ride Stables Inc., Bottom Line Racing LLC and Howard Taylor.
Carbine paid $6 to win.
The Graduate Series resumes with the third leg on June 25 at The Meadowlands. The finals will take place on July 9 at The Meadowlands.
Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7 p.m.