09/11/2014 10:31AM

Mohawk: Jolene Jolene leads the Czernyson charge on Saturday

Nikki Sherman
Jolene Jolene has her work cut out for her against world record holder Mission Brief.

Going into Saturday’s $385,000 Peaceful Way final at Mohawk, trainer Jonas Czernyson understands what he’s up against. The conditioner of Jolene Jolene understands there’s a big mountain to climb.

“We’ve been in 1:54 and she’s been in 1:52,” said Czernyson in reference to his freshman filly and her main competition in the Peaceful Way, Mission Brief.

The two fillies have met each other twice thus far in 2014 and on both occasions Mission Brief dominated, with Jolene Jolene coming from well off the pace to pick up runner-up honors. Those two races came at the Meadowlands over a month ago in the Merrie Annabelle eliminations and finals, and Czernyson seems to have a filly with more confidence since then.

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“I think she’s coming into herself right now,” said Czernyson of Jolene Jolene. It’s hard to argue, as the daughter of Muscle Hill has put together three consecutive victories in stakes competition. First she scored convincingly in the Tompkins at Tioga on August 17 in 1:55 2/5 for driver David Miller. Then she has been most impressive with back-to-back victories in the Champlain and Peaceful Way eliminations, both at Mohawk over the last two weeks.

“She was fortunate to be in the other elimination (away from Mission Brief). She came out of the race in great shape,” said Czernyson.

Owned by William Donovan, Jolene Jolene enters the Peaceful Way final with $166,532 in the bank in just six starts and an opportunity to improve drastically on those numbers from now to the end of the season. She landed post three inside of Mission Brief for the Peaceful Way final, carded as race three on Mohawk’s 13-race program.

An $87,000 yearling purchase last fall at Harrisburg, Jolene Jolene is out of the Malabar Man-sired mare Celebrity Speedie. The dam is a half-sister to a pair of half-million dollar winners Chip Dot Com and Tall Cotton. Jolene Jolene should feel right at home racing in Ontario. Her third dam B Cor Tamara produced a long line of impressive Ontario-based performers including the near-$900,000 winner B Cor Pete.

Mission Brief is likely to be the heavy public favorite off her world record 1:52 1/5 mile at Mohawk last week for trainer Ron Burke and the hottest driver on the planet Yannick Gingras. Also by Muscle Hill, Mission Brief has looked invincible when she minds her manners, winning by open lengths every time she maintained her gait throughout the mile.

The William Wellwood Memorial honors one of Canada’s leading trainers and Czernyson is hoping his Aldebaran Eagle will answer the call in the $390,000 event, programmed as race number five.

“He still hasn’t put it all together yet. He’s learning how to be a racehorse,” said Czernyson of the six-time starter that enters the Wellwood without a victory. That’s not always a bad thing considering that the trainer likes to bring his horses along slowly.

Aldebaran Eagle is also by Muscle Hill and was a $70,000 Harrisburg purchase. He’s shown plenty of speed in his last two starts. The colt finished a solid third in a division of the Champlain on August 29 at Mohawk coming from eighth at the half into a :57 final half. Last week he raced evenly to qualify for the final in a race that was postponed for one evening due to horrible weather conditions.

“I’m hoping that he starts to figure it out,” said Czernyson of his Wellwood finalist.

Aldebaran Eagle has Doug McNair in the sulky and the pair will face a solid field that includes elimination winner and potential race-time favorite Uncle Lasse. The full brother to Shake It Cerry has blossomed since finishing second in the Haughton on Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands. The son of Donato Hanover, trained by Jimmy Takter, has been on the board in all six starts including victories in his last two outings. Uncle Lasse, a 1:54 4/5 winner a week ago, has post three.

Lookslikeachpndale (post two) and Habitat (post six) enter the race in brilliant form. The former captured one of the two eliminations in 1:56 2/5 for catch-driver Sylvain Filion. Lookslikeachpndale starts from post two. Habitat, another promising juvenile trotter from the Ron Burke stable, picks up Gingras from post six. The Conway Hall-sired colt had his three-race winning streak stopped with a second-place effort to Uncle Lasse in last week’s Wellwood trials, but figures to be more assertive in the final.

Vanity Matter is a longshot for Czernyson in the $409,000 Elegantimage (race seven) for three-year-old trotting fillies.

“We wanted to get her raced but had no luck when there was no Zweig consolation,” said Czernyson. The filly won a qualifier on September 4 in 1:57 preparing for the Elegantimage.

Despite one win in eight starts this year the trainer believes that Vanity Matters could be ready to break out of her slump in the fall. Scott Zeron will guide her from post four in the 11-filly field.

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