09/05/2012 10:30AM

Mohawk: Moiseyev looking forward to driving I Luv The Nitelife in the Champlain Stakes

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I Luv The Nitelife and Jack Moiseyev will leave from gate 11 in the $226,763 Champlain Stakes.

Perseverance is a major part of success in harness racing. Year-in-year-out drivers and trainers do their best, given the hands they are dealt.

There are years when a trainer might have a horse that’s solid, only to find three or four out there that prove much better. For driver Jack Moiseyev, who migrated to Ontario in 2004 some years after being the leading driver at the Meadowlands, perseverance has paid off. For “Jackie Mo” as he was affectionately referred to in the States, the opportunity to drive a great horse doesn’t come along often enough. That’s why he looked so excited following the victory of I Luv The Nitelife in last Saturday’s $610,000 Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk.

“I drove Stienams Place. She was a great filly but she was a lot different at two than this filly,” said Moiseyev. “Chris (trainer Ryder) has done a fantastic job with this filly. She’ll sit behind a horse so easily and then move whenever you need her to. She acts like an aged pacer.”

It was just four weeks ago that Moiseyev realized he might be sitting behind something special. He drove her for the first time in the final of the Whenuwishuponastar on August 2 at Mohawk.

“The first time I drove her I didn’t know what to expect. I pulled her to the outside and she went to the front nicely. She didn’t win but she showed me she could go,” said Moiseyev of the rugged third-place finish.

Over the last three weeks I Luv The Nitelife has gone some impressive winning miles. Her victory in the Eternal Camnation was impressive enough, but in the Shes A Great Lady final she had a solid rival on her back in L Dees Lioness and that concerned her driver.

“I wasn’t sure what would happen, but when the other filly came up to her she drove right on,” Moiseyev said.

Moiseyev has been more than impressed with the gait and ease at which I Luv The Nitelife has performed. She may have to show a different wrinkle this Saturday night when she starts from the second tier (post 11) in $226,763 Champlain Stakes, one of many high level races on the Mohawk Raceway 13-race program, first post is 7:10 p.m.

“I think she’ll race even better off a helmet,” said Moiseyev referring to his likely options this week. “You can’t race these fillies week-in-week-out on the front end.”

The Champlain figures to be an entirely different race with new blood arriving in Ontario. Specifically trainer Jimmy Takter has arrived with a pair of bluebloods in Wherethegirlsare (post 5) and Live Entertainment (post 2). The former is a Somebeachsomewhere filly from the champion Cabrini Hanover, while the latter is a half-sister to last year’s phenom See You At Peelers. Wherethegirlsare enters the race following a 1:53 victory coming from off the pace in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes event at Harrah’s Philadelphia.

Moiseyev also figures to have a reasonable chance to qualify for the $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic (September 15) with Gym Tan Laundry. The Yankee Glide-sired gelding landed post two in race two a $40,000 elimination event for three-year-old trotters. Gym Tan Laundry finished an eye-catching third in the Goodtimes final at 161-1 with Moiseyev sending him down the road and just failing to reach the finish line in front.

Gym Tan Laundry won for the first time as a sophomore in a Zweig consolation division trotting to a 1:52 3/5 personal best clocking. Moiseyev appears happy that Gym Tan Laundry has returned in shape for the big dance.

“It’s not easy to keep them good for a long time. It’s nice to see that he’s held his form,” Moiseyev said.

On Friday night the driver will team with Cool Victory, a freshman Kadabra trotter in an elimination of the William Wellwood Memorial at Mohawk. Moiseyev has an ownership interest in the gelding and seems happy with his progress. Last week Cool Victory overcame an outside post, finishing third in a $140,304 Champlain division at Mohawk.
“John (Kopas-trainer) did some work on his feet and he raced much better,” said Moiseyev.

Cool Victory drew the pole position in a $30,000 Wellwood elimination, race two on Friday’s Mohawk card. He’ll meet Peter Haughton Memorial winner Aperfectyankee in the first of two elimination races.

Though he’s been a staple in Ontario, Jack Moiseyev expects to be back in the U.S. later this year. He says he will follow the career of I Luv The Nitelife.

“You don’t get that many opportunities to drive horses like that. I’m going to stick with her,” Moiseyev said.

If all goes well we can expect to see I Luv The Nitelife and her regular driver at The Red Mile later this month.