05/07/2016 10:41PM

Mohawk: Nickle Bag steals the show in Horse of the Year showdown

New Image Media
Nickle Bag took down both Wiggle It Jiggleit and State Treasurer on Saturday night at Mohawk

The much anticipated match up between State Treasurer and Wiggle It Jiggleit developed around the final turn Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack, but neither horse came away with a victory.  Nickle Bag spoiled the Horse of the Year showdown with his 10th victory of the season in Saturday’s seven-horse $34,000 Preferred.

State Treasurer showed good early speed and cleared to the front ahead of Nickle Bag heading into the first turn. The 2015 Canadian Horse of the Year posted opening fractions of 26 2/5 and 55.  Wiggle It Jiggleit left alertly, but was quickly dropped into fourth by driver Montrell Teague. The 2015 U.S. Horse of the Year got his cue to charge first up heading into the final turn.

State Treasurer and Wiggle It Jiggleit went toe-to-toe by the three-quarter pole in 1:22 4/5, but waiting patiently in behind the superstars was Nickle Bag and driver Trevor Henry.

Wiggle It Jiggleit wrestled the lead away from State Treasurer and had a few lengths on Nickle Bag with an eighth of a mile to go, but the classy veteran tracked down the Teague stable star to win the Preferred by three-quarters of a length in 1:51 1/5.  State Treasurer battled hard to finish third.

A 6-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover, Nickle Bag scored his eighth Preferred victory of the season Saturday. The Bill Robinson trainee has now won two of his last three starts to improve his overall 2016 record to 10 wins from 16 starts.  Nickle Bag has earned $184,860 in 2016 for owners Linda and Harry Loyens. His latest Preferred victory gives him 29 career wins and pushes his career earnings over $640,000.  Nickle Bag paid $14.90 to win.

Wiggle It Jiggleit’s second-place finish was just his sixth loss in 33 career starts, and trainer Clyde Francis admitted he was disappointed.

“We thought he would race a little better than he did,” said Francis. “He didn’t look as good as he did when we trained him the other day. I hope there is not much to it.”

Francis indicated that Wiggle It Jiggleit never really found comfort during the course of Saturday’s race and at moments appeared to be close to going off stride.

“He’s always had a little funny way of going, but he was worse tonight,” explained Francis.

Wiggle It Jiggleit’s next start is just a week away in the Confederation Cup on Sunday, May 15 at Flamboro Downs. Francis has full confidence the 2015 U.S Horse of the Year will bounce back.

“You just back up and regroup and try to find out what the problem is,” said Francis.

--press release (Woodbine Entertainment Group)--