09/17/2016 11:24PM

Mohawk: Royal Charm takes advantage of Caprice Hill's misfortune in Elegantimage

New Image Media
Royal Charm picked up her stakes victory of any kind in Saturday night's Elegantimage

1-9 favorite Caprice Hill was trapped in the entire way in the C$436,000 Elegantimage final for 3-year-old trotting fillies Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack, and that set the stage for a big upset, which 30-1 shot Royal Charm was happy to provide.

The bad journey for Caprice Hill (Randy Waples) started shortly after the start when she got locked in on the inside by Celebrity Eventsy (Jody Jamieson) and elimination winner Flowers N Songs (Yannick Gingras).  Meanwhile, Dream Child (David Miller) set sail for the top from post nine and carved out opening-half fractions of 27 and 55 4/5.

On the far turn Celebrity Eventsy began to chase down Dream Child, and they were side-by-side at the 1:24 4/5 three-quarters.  Flowers N Songs was positioned second-over, and Royal Charm (Paul MacDonell) was third-over.  Caprice Hill was still locked up tight on the inside, and in the words of track announcer Ken Middleton, "would need a chainsaw to get out."

In the stretch several fillies had opportunities to win, but MacDonell brought Royal Charm home on top, beating 90-1 longshot Dewdle All Day (James MacDonald) by three-quarters of a length in 1:54 4/5.  Flowers N Songs was third, followed by Emoticon Hanover (Sylvain Filion) and Side Bet Hanover (Corey Callahan).  The top five finishers were separated by less than two lengths. 

Room never did open up for Caprice Hill, and she ended up tenth and last despite noticeably having trot.  Caprice Hill finishing out of the top two triggered huge price payouts, with the winner returning $67.50 to win and $122.30 to place, and Dewdle All Day paying $314.00.

"I'm just happy to do it for (trainer Mark Steacy) and his connections," said MacDonell.  "They've been supporting this filly right through.  She's been coming up to a good race, and she did it tonight.

"She doesn't leave very well.  It's kind of been a thing all year.  She just struggles to get away from the gate.  As it turned out tonight, she was within five lengths at the quarter pole, so that was good.  The flow just started to develop on the outside, and she got up third-over.  She always has a good kick coming home."

Steacy trains Royal Charm, a Majestic Son filly, for owners David McDonald, Shelly Macmillan, Hudson Standrdbred Stable Inc., and Bridle Path Stables Ltd.  This was her sixth win from 18 career starts, and she has now earned C$315,212.

"She always showed speed, even last year, but she had a breaking problem," explained Steacy.  "It started out that way this year, but each time she went she got a little better and better.  Paul's done a great job with her, and this is where we are."