from RUS Ontario
Campbellville, ON---Mohawk Raceway was the place to be on Saturday evening as RUS Ontario put on the first annual Harlequin RUS Invitational. Before an enthusiastic crowd the race participants, sans two that were scratched, post paraded and headed to the mobile starting gate.
The race was carded as race two and was set to be a full field of ten, however A Penny Earned was scratched lame and Funny Photo was scratched transportation. Eight others went to the gate for the first ever wagering RUS event at Mohawk Raceway.
Leaving sharply from the rail Cool Creek Valley and Finnish native Marrta Smura were quickly covered up by Santo Domingo being reined by Philippe Masschaele. Trotting strongly past the quarter marker in .28 flat the field settled behind the leader and bided their time. Hidden Identity and rider Marielle Enberg inherited the loose pocket when Cool Creek Valley miscued while Wine Photo and Mad Barn Equine Nutrition sponsored Sarah Town eased along on the outside.
Evelyn Harms and Twin B Excalibur held ground along the rail with Broadway Prince and Stephanie Werder content to sit some ten lengths off the pace. After a breather second quarter movement began as Werder loosened the reins on Broadway Prince moving from 5th to second with long, confident strides.
Meanwhile Hidden Identity suddenly gave up several lengths, but as the field straightened for home the tandem recovered strong strides and began to chase down the leaders eventually hauling down Broadway Prince, but falling short of the winner who cruised to victory in a North American RUS race record 1:56.4.
Crossing the wire well in hand for the win was Santo Domingo and Belgium Monte legend Masschaele, who added another win to his lifetime total wins which including driving wins are numbered 1376. The duo returned to the chaotic winners circle were trainer Mike Guitard and owners Jalade Investments Ltd, Deanmar Sons Stable and Peter Miskolczi accepted the trophy from Geoff Maltby, trainer of race namesake Harlequin, and family.
Watch the race replay here.
In addition to the trophy and winners share of the purse the connections also received a blanket courtesy of Greenhawk Tack and a gift bag compliments of Jackie’s Mobile Tack.
Hidden Identity was making just his second start under saddle for owners William Cripps, Charles Gazzola and trainer/owner Pat Hudon and is looking good to earn his way into the $10,000 RUS Ontario Finale being held October 31 at Flamboro Downs with the second place finish tonight. Rounding out the win, place, show spots were Broadway Prince and Swedish Monte star Stephanie Werder for owner Tor Jan Larsen and trainer Per Henrickson. The remaining checks were taken by Wine Photo for owners Rebecca & Jeffrey Williamson and Twin B Excalibur for owners Randall Fulmer and Phillip Katcher.
While presenting the beautiful crystal trophy to Santo Domingo’s owners Geoff Maltby and family received a framed double photo of their prize trotter Harlequin from RUS Ontario President Julie Walker.
RUS racing continues on Saturday October 3rd at Flamboro Downs, where the $100,000 Ellamony Mares Invitational and the Horse Festival will be taking place with a first post of 6:00 p.m.