09/11/2016 12:27AM

Mohawk: Rookie pacers face off in Champlain Stakes

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Beyond Delight backed up his Metro Pace triumph by taking his Champlain Stakes section

Metro Pace champion Beyond Delight led the winners of the Champlain Stakes splits for 2-year-old pacers that were raced on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack.

After winning from off-the-pace in his Metro elimination and final, driver Sylvain Filion put Beyond Delight on the point tonight in his C$105,474 event.  He would chop out fractions of 27, 56 4/5, and 1:24 4/5, then sprinted home in 27 2/5 to win by two lengths in 1:52 1/5.  Blood Line (David Miller) finished second and Windsong Napoleon (Jody Jamieson) finished third.

"What he's done in the last month is still a big thrill, and to see him win on the front was even better tonight because that shows another side of him," said winning trainer Tony O'Sullivan.  "He's just exceeding expectations and getting better and better.  Honestly, he's changed a lot in the last few weeks.  He knows he's winning, and he's feeling better about himself.  The greenness out of him is gone, and now everything he does he just takes in stride.  He warms up better.  He trained better this week than he did last week.  He's really coming into himself."

Jeffrey Snyder, Michael Snyder, and Four Friends Racing Stable LLC. own Beyond Delight, a colt by Blue Chip Farms stallion Bettor's Delight.  He has now won three times from ten starts and earned C$423,305.  The 3-5 favorite, Beyond Delight paid $3.50 to win.  Beyond Delight, who was purchased for $50,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale, is the second foal out of the Rocknroll Hanover mare Outtathisworld, a half-sister to $1.9 million earner Worldly Beauty.

The other C$105,474 colt pace contest saw Ideal Wheel (David Miller) lead through incredible panels of 27 3/5, 54 1/5, and 1:20 3/5, opening up an 11 length lead at the half and a 13 length bulge at three-quarters.  He understandably slowed through the lane, but still won by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:51 1/5.  Very Special Agent (Yannick Gingras) was the runner-up, followed by Odds On Delray (Corey Callahan). 

"In his elimination of the Metro, he was a runaway as everybody saw," victorious trainer Casie Coleman said.  "Dave couldn't control him, so I changed his rigging.  I really wasn't that happy with him in the Metro final.  He finished third, so it's hard to be disappointed, but I just thought he should have been better.  I had him too quiet, so I took his mini-bit off, and I should have obviously left it on there.  Dave actually said he's sure he choked him, let alone he still won the race.  He said I heard him gargle a bit at the wire."

"Right from Day One I kept kicking myself that I didn't own a piece of him myself.  He's been a creature right from Day One.  It's been my own fault with not rigging him right for why he hasn't performed quite like he should, but hopefully he's coming around again now."

Mac Nichol owns Ideal Wheel, a colt who is by Blue Chip Farms stallion American Ideal.  He has won half of his six trips behind the gate, and has now banked $157,505.  The 2-5 favorite, he returned $2.90 to win.  Taken out of the Standardbred Horse Sale for $150,000, Ideal Wheel is the first foal out of the Bettor's Delight mare Bet On Luck ($531,617), a full sister to Lucky Bettor ($766,404) and Bettor B Lucky ($756,441).

Trainer Tony Alagna would sweep the two filly pace divisions, worth C$104,566 and C$106,066.  The first of his charges to prevail was Everyones Watching (Jody Jamieson), who worked out a second-over trip behind Windy Sport (David Miller), the went by that one late to score by a neck in 1:52 4/5.  Heavy favorite Happy Hannah (Randy Waples), who led through splits of 28, 57 3/5, and 1:25 2/5, had to settle for third.

"I think everyone was watching to see what Happy Hannah was going to do," Jamieson said.  "She got her own way, but she just didn't have it tonight.  She's obviously a real nice filly.  I was just lucky that I got to follow a live helmet in Casie's filly and get up and beat her on the line.  I was super happy with the way the trip worked out and the effort the filly gave."

Riverview Racing LLC., Deo Volente Farms LLC., Crawford Farms Racing, and Steven Wienick own the victorious daughter of Artiscape.  She broke her maiden in her sixth attempt, and she has now put away $102,468.  A $100,000 Standardbred Horse Sale buy, Everyones Watching is out of the Rocknroll Hanover mare Burnett Blue Chip, a half-sister to the likes of Predator DVM (Bettor's Delight, $627,439) and Rob Roy Mattgregor (Matt's Scooter, $591,414).  A 7-2 shot, she paid $9.80 to win.

Alagna finished both first and second in the other filly pace tilt, with Blameitonthenight (Gingras), who made a first-over surge into the lead at the 1:24 3/5 three-quarters, holding off Awash (Scott Zeron) to score by half a length in 1:53 2/5.  Stonebridge Sundae (Scott Zeron) checked in third.

"She was very good-gaited, and she had a great mind.  I heard from people that Mach Threes tend to get pretty warm if you get aggressive with them, so I've been real careful with her all winter," said winning co-owner and Alagna's mother Donna Lee Ozment, who also handles the day-to-day operation of her son's Canadian operation.  "She trained down with the good fillies, so I had high hopes.  She hasn't let me down.

"I thought she would race well, and I love Yannick first-time driving.  I was hoping to win."

Alagna Racing LLC. and Crawford Farms Racing are the other owners of Blameitonthenight, a four-time winner from eight tries and an earner of $110,547.  She's the fourth foal out of the Cole Muffler mare What Could Be, a full sister to My Boy David ($1,339,281).  Sent off at 7-1, she returned $17.90 to win.