09/01/2017 10:47PM

Mohawk: Ariana G tops Takter one-two finish in Simcoe Stakes

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Ariana G has won all four of her lifetime starts in Canada

Ariana G easily navigated starting from a trailing post for the first time in her brilliant career, taking the C$166,872 Simcoe Stakes for sophomore trotting fillies on Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:53 1/5.  Stablemate Feed Your Head came in second to give trainer Jimmy Takter a sweep of the exacta.

With Yannick Gingras behind her as usual, Ariana G came away in fourth from the second tier, then improved to third when Sweet Of My Heart (Jody Jamieson) went on a break in the first turn.  Meanwhile, Dream Together (Sylvain Filion), who was third to Ariana G in the Hambletonian Oaks final, went to the lead and hit the opening quarter in 27 1/5.

Dream Together continued to front the field up the backstretch, but Gingras made his move with Ariana G about three-eighths in to the mile, and she would overtake Dream Together for the top just past the 56 1/5 half.  Southwind Tesla (Phil Hudon), a winner of a Casual Breeze division at Mohawk last week, would then come first-over from mid-pack around the final turn, and she would reach Ariana G's wheel at the 1:25 1/5 three-quarters.

Through the stretch Ariana G just seemed to be toying with the competition, as she kept Southwind Tesla at bay, then kicked on late in the going to win by about 2 1/2 lengths.  Feed Your Head (Louis-Philippe Roy), who followed third on the rail until the stretch, swung out wide in the last eighth and just got up over Southwind Tesla for second money.

"She's easy-going.  It doesn't matter to her," Gingras noted about starting from post 11.  "Anything you want to do, she's a professional, and she showed it again tonight.  Down the stretch I was just taking it easy on her.  The plugs were still in.  I was just measuring them off and trying to save something for the future."

Takter trains the daughter of Muscle Hill for owners/breeders Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz.  Ariana G, who paid $2.90 to win as the 2-5 favorite, has now won 16 of 19 career starts, and she has earned C$1,431,772.