05/20/2017 9:19PM

Mohawk: Magic Presto, Fade best in S.B.O.A. finals for 3-year-old fillies

New Image Media
Magic Presto added the S.B.O.A. title to her impressive haul from north of the border

The finals of the S.B.O.A. Stakes for Ontario sired 3-year-old fillies highlighted the racing portion of Fireworks and Family Fun Night Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. A large crowd flooded Mohawk to celebrate the Victoria Day long weekend. Despite cool and windy conditions, excitement filled both the grandstand and paddock for the evening’s festivities.

The first on-track feature was the C$130,130 S.B.O.A. Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies in race two, and Magic Presto lived up to her 1/5 billing by scoring a 2 3/4 length victory in a career-best 1:54 3/5. Trevor Henry guided the Richard “Nifty” Norman trainee to the stakes victory.

Magic Presto was sent to the front and held a narrow lead at the opening quarter. Henry allowed post ten starter Holiday Promise to clear, but quickly circled around to retake the lead heading to the half. Magic Presto proceeded to post fractions of 57 4/5 and 1:27 1/5 before trotting home in 27 2/5 for the victory. Gravitator finished second, while Royal Witch was third.

“I think she was a little sharper this week,” said Norman after Magic Presto’s triumph. “It was kind of a strange race and a funny night with the wind, but she was very good.”

Owned by Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, David Mc Duffee and Little E LLC., Magic Presto now has two wins in three starts this season to give her six victories overall in her career. The S.B.O.A. victory pushes the Kadabra filly’s career earnings to over C$470,000. Magic Presto paid $2.50 to win.

Norman noted that Magic Presto will return to Mohawk on June 8th for an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event before returning to the Meadowlands for Grand Circuit action.

A pair of Casie Coleman trainees were the story in race eight’s C$132,130 pacing filly final, but it was the underdog of the two that stole the show. Fade and driver Travis Cullen came through at 10-1 for a 1:53 1/5 score. The daughter of Shadow Play had won her elimination a week ago, but received little buzz due to her stablemate Windy Sport’s dominating 1:51 3/5 victory in her preliminary.

Windy Sport, who was 1/5, and driver Louis Philippe Roy cut the mile, with Fade following in the two-hole. Dancing Shadows K came first up to battle with the heavy favorite on the far turn, and Windy Sport was feeling pressure at three-quarters in 1:26 1/5. In the stretch, Windy Sport couldn’t deliver another large performance and gave way to her rivals. Fade was able to shoot up the rail and Soiree Seelster charged home on the far outside to set up a great finish. At the wire, Fade secured to the victory by a neck. Windy Sport finished third.

Fade had the driving services of Cullen for the first time Saturday, and the duo immediately connected.

“He did a great job,” said Coleman about Cullen. “Obviously Windy Sport was 1/5, and he got the two-hole trip behind her and couldn’t have driven any better. He got the perfect ground-saving trip and got her up in time for the money.”

A daughter of Shadow Play, Fade is trained by Coleman for owners West Wins Stable and Calhoun Racing Ltd. Her S.B.O.A. score gives her two wins in four starts this season and three victories in her career. Fade’s career earnings now sit at C$225,752. She paid $22.10 to win.

--press release (Woodbine Entertainment Group)--