Lady Shadow, the top pacing mare in both Canada and the US last season, along with Easy Lover Hanover and two O’Brien Award nominees, Emoticon Hanover and Sports Column, will make their first 2017 starts Friday morning in qualifiers at Mohawk.
A six-year-old daughter of Shadow Play, Lady Shadow was 12-2-1 from 20 starts last year for $945,000 in earnings. She ended her 2016 season on a three race winning streak which include the TVG free for all and the Breeders Crown final and elim. She also swept the Milton series in September.
Trained by Ron Adams for owners David Kryway, Carl Atley, Ed Gold and BFJ Stable, Lady Shadow sports life earnings of $1.7 million. James MacDonald is listed to drive from post nine in the first test on Friday.
Easy Lover Hanover (New Image Media)
Also starting for the first time in 2017 will be Easy Lover Hanover in the second race. The now four-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding owned by Brad Grant and trained by Ben Wallace, won $359,000 last year at two. He has post six in the second race.
Emoticon Hanover, a winner of $604,000 last season and $823,000 lifetime, has post two in the 10th qualifier of the morning. Trainer Luc Blais has tapped Sylvain Filion to guide his star daughter of Kadabra owned by Determination Stable.
Emoticon Hanover’s OSS Super Final win. (New Image Media)
Emoticon was bred by Linda Wellwood, Tammy Aspden, Anne Shunock and Diane Ingham, all of Ontario, who campaigned her dam Emmylou Who, a winner of $660,000 in her career. They sold Emmylou Who, a daughter of Ken Warkentin, to Hanover Shoe Farms while she was in foal with Emoticon.
In her final four starts last year at three, Emoticon won an OSS Gold, then the OSS Super Final at Mohawk and then finished second in both the Breeders Crown elim and final at the Meadowlands to Broadway Donna, who is also qualifying, the following day (hers at the Big M). Emoticon was the O’Brien Award nominee in her category last year, losing to Caprice Hill.
The 11th race finds Sports Column leaving from post five for Chris Christoforou. Blake Macintosh trains the Sportswriter three-year-old who was 4-2-0 in six starts last year at two for $222,000 earned. Macintosh co-owns with Hutt Racing Stable and Daniel Plouffe.
Sports Column winning the Battle of Waterloo. (Iron Horse Photo)
The talented youngster won two Ontario Sires Stakes Gold events (second by a neck in another) and swept the Battle of Waterloo elim and final before being sidelined. His last race was August 11 but he was still the O’Brien nominee in the rookie pacing colt division won by Beyond Delight.
“We had to shut him down because he popped an osselet on the left front ankle and we just couldn’t get it to cool out. It seems to have healed up and he looks great,” Macintosh told The Edge when we visited him to discuss his two-year-olds earlier this year.
All of Friday’s entries may be viewed here.