09/16/2017 7:52PM

Mohawk: Blue Moon Stride best in Milton Stakes final

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It was another good stakes night for David Miller as he added the Milton to his earlier Canadian Trotting Classic win

Blue Moon Stride joined an elite group with Put On A Show, Rocklamation, and I Luv The Nitelife as daughters of Rocknroll Hanover to possess sub-1:49 marks after she took the C$256,000 Milton Stakes final for pacing mares on Saturday night at Mohawk in 1:48 4/5.  That also went down as a new stakes record.

The action was hot from the get-go as post ten starter Witch Dali (Jody Jamieson) got away sharply from the gate to take the lead.  Wrangler Magic (Louis-Philippe Roy) then moved to her outside to get the lead past the 26 1/5 opening quarter, and elimination winner and favorite Pure Country (Mark MacDonald) followed Wrangler Magic's move.

Pure Country got to the front before the half, but had to go 53 3/5 to that point, and then she was confronted by a first-over Lady Shadow (Yannick Gingras) on the far turn.  Those two were in lock-step around the final turn and to the 1:21 1/5 three-quarters, with Blue Moon Stride (David Miller) positioned perfectly second-over.

In the stretch the battle took its toll on both Pure Country and Lady Shadow as they dropped back and Blue Moon Stride and L A Delight (Randy Waples), who had been third-over, went by and went on to settle it.  Blue Moon Stride was not about to let L A Delight pass her, as she reported home three-quarters of a length to the good.  Frost Damage Blues (Tim Tetrick) was up for third, followed by Darlinonthebeach (Brett Miller) and Lyons River Pride (Trevor Henry).

"It really didn't go the way I thought it would," admitted the winning driver.  "I was trying to get off of there, get around Lady Shadow, let everybody settle, get to the lead, and then turn Pure Country loose.  Lady Shadow was getting out of there way better than I thought she would off the rail and a couple of them had crossed over down to the fence, so I went to plan B, took off and followed Yannick.  He took me where I needed to go.

"She's very sharp right now.  I talked to (trainer) Mark Harder last night at the Meadowlands, and he assured me that she was coming into the race in great shape, and he was absolutely right."

The victorious 4-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare is trained by Harder for owners Emilio and Maria Rosati.  She is now a 14-time winner in her life, and she pushed her bankroll to C$954,421.  She was sent off at 6-1 and paid $14.30 to win.