07/10/2016 1:12AM

Mohawk: L A Delight, Lay Lady Lay victorious in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series

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L A Delight added another Ontario Sires Stakes trophy to her haul Saturday at Mohawk

Saturday’s Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions at Mohawk Racetrack were captured by two very different 3-year-old pacing fillies.

The first C$105,000 division was captured by L A Delight, the Ontario Sires Stakes division and O’Brien Award winning freshman star that trainer Bob McIntosh calls a “truly professional race filly.” The second division went to first-time Ontario Sires Stakes winner Lay Lady Lay, a long-legged lass that trainer Chris Matthews refers to, affectionately, as “a pain in the butt.”

Both fillies used similar race tactics to accomplish their Gold Series victories. Leaving from post one, driver Randy Waples allowed rivals Chris Christoforou Jr. and Good Will Hanover to reach the quarter first in 27, but then Waples sent L A Delight to the front. The fan favorite rolled to a 55 3/5 half and 1:23 3/5 three-quarters, and then powered home to a 3 1/2 length victory in 1:51 2/5. Good Will Hanover and Party In Rome dead-heated for second.

“She’s rounding into mid-season form. We couldn’t be happier with her at this point,” said trainer Bob McIntosh, who shares ownership and breeding credit on the champion filly with Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. and C S X Stables. “She makes us all look good.”

The victory was L A Delight’s third in six sophomore starts. The Bettor's Delight daughter also captured her division in the June 4 Gold Series opener at Mohawk and has now banked C$187,420 for her owners this season, adding to the C$704,335 she amassed at two.

L A Delight’s next start will be in the Mistletoe Shalee at the Meadowlands on July 16, where she will once again take on North America’s best. In the Fan Hanover final at Mohawk on June 18, she finished a hard-closing third, just one length behind winner Pure Country, who is also expected to compete in the Mistletoe Shalee.

Three races later it was Christoforou who allowed his rivals a brief moment of pace-setting before sending Lay Lady Lay to the front. The filly was well in command before the 55 3/5 half and sailed through a 1:23 4/5 three-quarters before reaching the wire in a personal-best 1:52. Fan favorite Cracklin Rosie finished 1 1/4 lengths back in second, two lengths ahead of third-place finisher Windsun Glory.

Christoforou engineered the victory, Lay Lady Lay’s first in Ontario Sires Stakes competition, for trainer Chris Matthews and his partners in the 1Posse2Steves3Brothers Stable.

“He drove her twice last year; he’s never been beat with her now, actually, so he knows the filly,” said Matthews of Christoforou’s race strategy. “She’s a little bit easier to drive this year than she was last year, so yeah, he was full of confidence that’s for sure.”

Lay Lady Lay made seven starts last season, appearing once in the Ontario Sires Stakes at the Grassroots level, and posted three wins and one second. This season she has emerged as one of the top fillies in the province, posting three wins, two seconds and three thirds in 10 starts for earnings of C$153,029.

“We always knew she had potential; we had a couple setbacks, but we knew she’d be better at three. She was so big and growthy,” explained Matthews. “She hasn’t had a lot of luck, but we always thought she’d be pretty competitive with this group of fillies.”

While it may be an advantage on the racetrack, Matthews notes that it is the Up The Credit daughter’s size that has caused many of the issues for her long-suffering handlers.

“She can be a handful,” he said. “She’s just so big; she doesn’t even know what she’s doing. She doesn’t care.”

Any bumps and bruises the filly had inflicted in the days leading up to Saturday’s victory were quickly forgotten when she captured her first Gold Series trophy, rewarding the creatively named ownership group that has waited patiently for her to display her true potential.

“When we bought her I started getting phone calls that everybody wanted a piece of her,” recalled Matthews. “The one posse is myself and two of my friends I grew up with (Jeff Bryan and Desmond Scott). My group of friends I grew up with they used to call us the Orangeville posse, so we went with that, and then two of my partners on the horse are Steve Bastead and Steve Byers, so that’s two Steve’s, and the three brothers are Gordie, Gary and Glen Lyon, so that formed the three brothers.

“They all wanted in so we split her up between everybody, just to keep everybody happy, and they are,” said the horseman. “Everyone is enjoying it and having some fun.”

--press release (Ontario Sires Stakes)--