09/26/2015 11:07PM

Mohawk: Venus Delight wins Milton Final

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Venus Delight and driver James MacDonald surged to the lead in deep stretch to capture the C$300,000 Milton Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack.

A 5-year-old daughter of Bettors Delight, Venus Delight captured her Milton Stakes elimination last week and started from post three in Saturday’s rich event for older pacing mares.

The Jeff Bamond Jr. trainee got away fifth in the early stages for MacDonald, while Lady Shadow and driver Doug McNair touched down on the front at the opening quarter in 26 seconds.

Lady Shadow and McNair were able to dictate the pace and took the field by the half in 54 4/5. Down the backstretch, Yagonnakissmeornot and Jody Jamieson came first up from fourth, allowing MacDonald to catch cover and situate Venus Delight second-over heading into the final turn.

Lady Shadow paced by the three-quarter pole in 1:22 3/5 and appeared to create a few lengths of separation on her rivals at the top of the lane. Venus Delight flipped off cover and took aim at tracking down Lady Shadow. Several mares began to close in on the leader, but Venus Delight had the most pace and powered by in deep stretch to win by half a length over Lady Shadow in 1:50 1/5.

Sandbetweenurtoes finished third, while Katie Said was fourth to round out the Superfecta.

The driving victory with Venus Delight is one of the biggest triumphs to date for MacDonald.

“I feel great,” said MacDonald in the winner’s circle. “You always feel great after a win, but after a $300,000 win it’s pretty special.”

The Milton Stakes victory gives Venus Delight seven wins from 16 starts this season.

“The trip was great, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen,” said MacDonald. “I was worried maybe I would get stuck first up, but when Jody didn’t go out of there and I caught his cover I was more than happy.

“She stalled a little bit in the last turn and I got taken out a bit, but a good horse can overcome a bad trip.”

Owned by Bamond Racing LLC., Venus Delight has earned over $500,000 this season to bring her career earnings to $758,133. Saturday’s victory was her 24th lifetime.

A $2 win ticket on Venus Delight returned $6.30.

-edited release (WEG)