05/28/2016 10:06PM

Mohawk: Good Will Hanover, Flowers N Songs defeat heavy favorites in SBOA finals

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Good Will Hanover beat a field that included O'Brien Award winner L A Delight on Saturday at Mohawk

Ontario-sired sophomore fillies were the main attraction Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack, and upsets were the theme of the night.  The Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association (S.B.O.A) Stakes for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies featured award winners in both the pacing and trotting divisions.

O’Brien Award winner L A Delight was seeking her 13th consecutive victory in the C$173,329 S.B.O.A Filly Pace final, but Good Will Hanover stole the show.

Driven by Chris Christoforou, Good Will Hanover went to the front and never looked back en route to a career-best 1:50 victory. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee posted fractions of 26 4/5, 55 1/5 and 1:22.4.  Mayhem Seelster, who blasted out from the nine-hole to get away third, finished three-quarters of a length behind the winner in second, while Lay Lady Lay was third.

L A Delight got away fourth from post four for driver Randy Waples, but was forced to come first up entering the final turn. The heavy 2/5 favorite never really got close to Good Will Hanover and had to settle for a fourth-place finish.

Good Will Hanover won her elimination last week in 1:51 1/5, which was over a second faster than L A Delight’s 1:52 2/5 victory. The Dr. Moore trainee went off at odds of 6-1.

“Our filly had a lot of speed last year and again this year, but she has a little bit of a mental type issue, and it takes a lot to calm her down,” said Moore, who noted he has two caretakers looking after his filly.

“They’ve done a heck of a job with her keeping her calm.  We had to walk her a lot and that of sort of thing, but she did very well, and it’s certainly worth it.”

A daughter of Big Jim, Good Will Hanover won four of seven starts last year and now has two wins in three starts as a sophomore. Moore didn’t have any instructions for Christoforou, but the race didn’t play out the way he envisioned.

“When (Christoforou) drives them once, he pretty well gets a feel for them and knows what he wants to do,” Moore said. “I thought maybe (L A Delight) might go to the front, and we may be in the two-hole is what I was thinking, but it didn’t shape up that way.”

Owned by Glb Stable of Lakeview, Nova Scotia, Good Will Hanover now has career earnings of C$263,759. Dr. Moore noted that the S.B.O.A Stakes champion will be pointed towards the upcoming Fan Hanover Stakes.

Good Will Hanover paid $14.10 to win.

Flowers N Songs trotted up a storm to split the favorites late and win the C$174,329 S.B.O.A Filly Trot final. 

Most eyes were focused heavily on O’Brien Award winner Caprice Hill, who entered the Filly Trot final off a 1:53 1/5 elimination victory and was made the heavy 1-5 favorite. The Tony Alagna trainee got away fourth for driver Waples, but was almost 10 lengths behind the leader at the opening quarter.

Major Muscle posted a snappy 26 4/5 first quarter, but the lead was short-lived. Celebrity Eventsy, the other elimination winner, trotted up from third to first moving to the half for driver Sylvain Filion.  After a 55 3/5 half, Waples sent Caprice Hill first-up to challenge Celebrity Eventsy, who reached the third marker in 1:24 2/5.

In the stretch, Caprice Hill closed in on Celebrity Eventsy searching for the victory, but neither filly had nearly as much trot as Flowers N Songs. The Paul Reid trainee stayed along the pylons in mid-pack until the stretch, when driver Doug McNair found clear room, and the 23-1 longshot blasted through to trot a tremendous final eighth for the victory in 1:53.  Caprice Hill finished 2 3/4 lengths back in second, while Celebrity Eventsy was third.

A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Flowers N Songs finished second in her elimination, 3 1/2 lengths behind Celebrity Eventsy. The Robert Key homebred has been tremendous this season with six victories and five runner-up finishes from 12 starts.  Unraced at two, Flowers N Songs now has career earnings of over C$147,000. Her clocking of 1:53 knocked more than three seconds off her previous career-best.  A $2 win ticket on the Reid trainee returned $48.90.

--(press release - Woodbine Entertainment Group)--