Promising youngsters Talbotcreek Armani and Up Up And Out showcased their talent in a pair of $20,000 opening-round divisions of the Dream Maker Pacing Series on Monday evening at Mohawk.
Talbotcreek Armani (New Image Media)
The John Pentland-trained Talbotcreek Armani delivered as the 8-5 favourite in the first dash for driver Jack Moiseyev.
The homebred son of Dragon Again - Luck Of Michelle was fifth past the :27.2 opening panel, which was put up by Meetbehindthebarn (Scott Zeron).
As soon as a parked-out Traumatized (Rick Zeron) cleared to the front, Moiseyev and Talbotcreek Armani were on the move. The two-year-old colt took command before the half in :57.1 and didn’t look back, charging by the three-quarters in 1:26.3.
Talbotcreek Armani got under the wire in 1:54.1, one and a half lengths ahead of Meetbehindthebarn. Traumatized finished third.
“I like that Jack (Moiseyev) didn’t fire him right out of there that he just kind of let him roll out and maybe drove a little more aggressive,” said Pentland. “When he moved to the front, it was a nice second quarter. It wasn’t fast. It didn’t make him tired. It didn’t bottom him out. Geez, did he ever finish strong.”
Pentland, who trained Talbotcreek Armani’s dam, Luck Of Michelle, says the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.
“She was a great horse,” he said of Luck Of Michelle. “She was the best horse I ever had and there are a ton of similarities like their body type. He (Talbotcreek Armani) is kind of a small horse, but he is well built and they have the exact same gait.
"Right off the bat I was kind of excited because he had the same gait as his mom. However there was a little time around 2:15, 2:10 where I thought maybe he might not want to go ahead as much as I wanted. But I thought once you get a real driver on him, he was going to be ok and that’s exactly what’s happening.”
The first-time winner lifted his earnings to $11,440 for Karen Carroll and Natalie Pentland, who both bred and own the colt.
Up Up And Out snuck up the rail to capture the second Dream Maker division for trainer Erv Miller and driver Jody Jamieson.
Cool Like That (Randy Waples), who was parked going into the first turn, drove on to take the lead as he passed the first quarter in :27.3. Varadero Hanover (Sylvain Filion) advanced first-up from fourth to clear before the mid-way point in :57.4 and held command past the three-quarters in 1:27.1.
Up Up And Out, who was on the rail in fourth at the head of the lane, found a seam up the cones in deep stretch to score by one and a quarter lengths in 1:55. Cool Like That and Varadero Hanover finished second and third, respectively.
“He has a quick turn of foot,” said Jamieson of the gelding’s star qualities. “He can snap off the gate, he can leave a little bit and is very good gaited at this point.
"He is very willing and has a great attitude because when the rail opened up he didn’t hesitate. He shot right through. It didn’t take a lot of urging to get there so I am encouraged for the next couple weeks.”
The gelded son of Jeremes Jet - Mellow Out increased his earnings to $12,250 with the maiden-breaking score for owners Ervin Miller Stable Inc. and Roger Hammer.
Live racing returns to the Campbellville oval Thursday evening with the opening-round of the Whenuwishuponastar Pacing Series and Summertime Pacing Series. The 12-race programme gets underway at 7:10 p.m.