Stakes season begins with SBOA eliminations

Stakes season begins with SBOA eliminations

MILTON, May 1, 2024 – The stakes season for Ontario sired three-year-olds launches this weekend with the SBOA Stakes eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

The SBOA Stakes will see eliminations contested in three of the four divisions over Friday (May 3) and Saturday (May 4). The SBOA for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings did not require eliminations (nine entered).

The top-five finishers in all this weekend’s eliminations will advance to the finals on Saturday, May 11.

Last season’s top performers Pass Line and Its A Love Thing have drawn away from each other as part of 19 entered three-year-old pacing fillies.

Pass Line will headline Friday’s first pacing filly elimination, starting from post three with driver James MacDonald. The daughter of All Bets Off captured last year’s OSS Super Final before finishing runner-up in the Breeders Crown. Friday will be her season debut after racking up over $600,000 in earnings as a rookie.

Dave Menary once again will train Pass Line north of the border for Ron Burke.

The Menary stable will then send out their star Its A Love Thing from post five in the $25,000 second elimination. The daughter of Bettors Delight will make her season debut after winning six of 12 and earning over $560,000 last year. She notably won last season’s Shes A Great Lady with driver James MacDonald, who again will do the driving. ​

A filly that will have close eyes on her in the second elimination is Coco Jo Jo. The Anthony Beaton trainee rallied from last with a blazing :25.1 final-quarter to win a Non-Winners of Two event last Friday at Mohawk Park. Tyler Borth will drive the Betterthancheddar filly from post three.

The SBOA Filly Pace eliminations go as Races 6 and 8 on Friday.

The SBOA Filly Trot will also have two eliminations on Friday, as 15 sophomores were entered in the event.

O’Brien Award winner Willys Home Run makes her season debut in the first division, leaving from post two with James MacDonald. The Kyle Fellows trainee won six of 10 and never finished outside the top-three last season, earning over $500,000. The Archangel filly won the OSS Super Final in dominant fashion to complete her two-year-old season.

Champlain division winner Valuable Miss is the slight morning-line favourite in the second elimination. The Kyle Bossence trainee was second in last year’s Super Final to finish off a two win and near $200,000 earned season. Sylvain Filion will drive the My Mvp filly for the first time, leaving from post three.

The SBOA Filly Trot eliminations are carded as Races 1 and 3 on Friday.

Saturday night will see the SBOA Colt Pace eliminations contested.

A total of 12 sophomore pacing colts and geldings were entered to set up two six-horse eliminations. Despite the short fields, the eliminations should provide a pair of entertaining clashes.

Multiple OSS Gold winner and Nassagaweya division winner Funtime Bayama is the 8/5 morning-line favourite from post two in the first split. The Richard Moreau trainee and driver Sylvain Filion teamed to win four of seven starts last year, earning nearly $250,000.

Storm Shadow, who captured last year’s OSS Super Final, will also compete in the first elimination for trainer Dr. Ian Moore and driver Bob McClure. The Bettors Delight colt leaves from post-five in his season and notably was third in last year’s Breeders Crown after winning an elimination.

Battle of Waterloo winner Do Better will go from post six with driver James MacDonald. The Bob McIntosh trainee won his season debut last Saturday in 1:51.3 after winning five of 11 and earning over $220,000 last season.

The $25,000 second elimination is led by two-time OSS Gold winner Chain Gang. The Nick Gallucci trainee won three of eight starts and earned over $150,000 last season. James MacDonald will steer the Bettors Delight colt from post five.

The 9/5 morning line favourite in the second split is Bob McIntosh trainee Always A Thrill. The Bettors Delight gelding is two for two to start the season, which includes a sharp 1:50.2 victory on April 20 at Mohawk Park. Bob McClure will drive the sophomore from post two.

The SBOA Colt Pace eliminations are carded as Races 1 and 3 on Saturday.

The SBOA Colt Trot did not require eliminations. Below is the field of nine for the final on May 11:

Convoy Hall
​Elegant Resolve
​Mrstery Deal
​Salem Seelster
​Soar Higher
​What About Elmo

The purses for the SBOA Finals on May 11 are as follows:

SBOA Filly Pace - $141,500
​SBOA Filly Trot - $137,500
​SBOA Colt Pace - $127,000
​SBOA Colt Trot - $124,000

Saturday’s card will also feature three Canadian Graduate Series Finals as part of a 12-race program.

To view Friday’s early program, click here.

To view Saturday’s early program, click here.

The final program pages will be available on Wednesday and Thursday. Free past performance programs are available for all cards of live racing at Woodbine

Post time on Friday is 7:10 p.m., while Saturday’s start time is pushed back to 7:15 p.m. due to the Kentucky Derby.


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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