Mohawk Trail Wins the Grade 3 Ontario Colleen


Mohawk Trail had three horses beat with a quarter mile to the finish but negotiated through traffic in the stretch to run down 6-5 favorite Queen Picasso (GB) and upset the Grade 3 Ontario Colleen by a length-and-a-half Saturday at Woodbine. Queen Picasso was three lengths clear inside the final furlong and a length-and-a-half in front while passing the sixteenth pole but could not hold off the Florida-bred Mohawk Trail and jockey Adam Beschizza, who finished the mile on the firm turf in 1:34.68.

Queen Picasso was second, a head faster than third-place finisher Love to Shop. Ryder Ryder Ryder, Last Call, Blind Spot, Preliminary, Violet Gibson (Ire) and Born to Boogie completed the order of finish.

The triumph against seven other 3-year-old fillies was the second straight stakes victory at Woodbine for Mohawk Trail after she won the CA$100,000 Alywow going six-and-a-half furlongs on the grass on June 25.

The daughter of Pioneerof the Nile won the CA$150,000 Ontario Colleen for owner NBS Stable and trainer Kelsey Danner to increase her career earnings to $204,897 from four wins in nine starts. She was also second in the $150,000 Horseshoe Indianapolis Handicap going a mile on the grass on May 17 and third in the $103,000 Sanibel Island over six-and-a-half furlongs on the turf at Gulfstream on April 1.

Beschizza, who was aboard for both Woodbine victories, said he and Danner had discussed how the Ontario Colleen created two hurdles for Mohawk Trail with the additional distance against better competition.

Adam Beschizza – Coady Photo

Adam Beschizza – Coady Photo

“I had a discussion with Kelsey [Danner], and she [asked], ‘Do we stay where we are or do we stretch her out a little bit?’ And the discussion was to go, obviously, a mile.” Beschizza said. “[Mohawk Trail is] starting to mature a lot more. She has a great will to win which stacks up in her favor. So that’s half the battle with these horses.”

“When she had a target in front of her there the last eighth of a mile, she dug deep. Like I said, she is definitely maturing in the right direction. Good on Kelsey. She’s done a great job with her and congrats to NBS as well.”

Let go at odds of 11-1 in the Ontario Colleen, Mohawk Trail paid $25.60 to win.

Mohawk Trail is out of the stakes-placed mare Iroquois Girl, by Indian Charlie and was bred by Alfonso and Nora Figliolia’s Westbury Stables LLC located in Reddick, Fla. Mohawk Trail sold for $180,000 to John Ballantyne and NBS Stable at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale where she was consigned by Four Star Sales.

Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck’s Summerfield purchased Iroquois Girl for Alfonso Figliolia at the 2015 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale where she was consigned by Denali Stud, paying $160,000. A month later, she finished third in the Lightning City at Tampa Bay Downs in the final start of her career.

Mohawk Trail is the second foal and only winner for Iroquois Girl. She has an unraced 2-year-old colt, Justify Charlie, by Justify, who was bought back by Carl Deville for $27,000 at the Texas Thoroughbred Association April Sale.

Loyalty Cuts The Corner To Win Grade 3 Hendrie
Florida-bred Loyalty – Michael Burns Photo

Florida-bred Loyalty – Michael Burns Photo

Florida-bred Loyalty raced in fourth, a length-and-a-half behind the frontrunning Clitheroe (GB) with a half-mile to run before using a ground-saving trip in the turn and take the lead in the final furlong to win the Grade 3 Hendrie by two-and-a-half lengths at Woodbine Saturday. Ridden by Kazushi Kimura for trainer Jose Carroll, Loyalty finished the six-and-a-half furlongs on the synthetic main track
in 1:15.61.

Clitheroe was second, a length-and-a-half in front of 40-1 longshot Talk to Ya Later in third. Miss Speedy was fourth, followed by Hard Edge, Hazelbrook and Baby No Worries. Sweet Enough (GB) was scratched.

“I would say that she was the best in the field,” Kimura said. “She’s quite easy to ride. She was able to stay close and also if there’s space, she’s able to go in the lead. There were so many options for me. She was feeling comfortable, so comfortable behind the frontrunner. She was able to take a step outside and find a hole and just showed me an amazing race. It was perfect.”

Having won three of her last four races including the $100,000 Lady Erie at Presque Isle Downs in August, the CA$125,000 Duchess at Woodbine in October and an CA$80,000 optional claiming at Woodbine on June 25, Loyalty was the 6-5 favorite in the Hendrie and paid $4.30 to win.

Loyalty is owned by Antony Beck’s Gainesway Stable and LNJ Foxwoods and increased her career earnings to $296,572 from six wins and a third in eight starts.

The dark bay filly is by Hard Spun out of the unraced Elusive Quality mare Slew’s Quality and was bred in Florida by Best A Luck Farm LLC and Godolphin LLC. Solis/Litt purchased Loyalty for $270,000 out of the Gainesway consignment at the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Loyalty is a half-sister to 2018 Champion Female Sprinter and Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint-winner Shamrock Rose, by First Dude; stakes-placed Bet On Mike, by Biondetti; and stakes-placed My Friends Beer, by Stay Thirsty.

Slew’s Quality has seven winners from nine starters and has an unnamed yearling colt by Authentic. She was purchased by Best A Luck Farm for $35,000 out of the Warrendale Sales Agent consignment at the 2007 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.