Breeders Dr. Maurice and Maureen Stewart, of Leduc, Alberta, were all smiles as a filly they bred and raised - Wrangler Magic - would more than double her career earnings after capturing the $479,000 Fan Hanover Final for three-year-old pacing fillies last Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario.
Dr. Stewart still co-owns the filly with Thomas Kyron, Brian Paquet and Bayama Farms Inc., while she's trained by Stephan Larocque and driven by Sylvain Filion.
"This is a tremendous feeling," said Stewart after the huge victory. "I was confident in her!"
Wrangler Magic fired off the gate from post seven and was on top at the opening quarter in 26 seconds flat. She'd then let Sassa Hanover assume command at that point - following in for a pocket ride until she'd make her final move, at the top of the stretch, turning for home. The filly would finish up strong with a final quarter in 27 seconds flat to secure the win in a lifetime best of 1:50.2.
"If you look at her last (race) lines - they've (trainer and driver) looked after her," says Stewart. "They've been conservative with her... She's raced huge, but they've looked after her... They haven't raced her tough and again tonight - it was the same thing and they're just doing a wonderful job with her."
Well-known Quebec horseman Yves Filion, of Bayama Farms Inc., broke and developed the filly and he's been very high on her since the start.
"It’s always a thrill to win a big race like this. I knew she’d be tough with a trip, and for the first time, she got one. She’s a big mare, not perfectly sound, but she’s good right now and she looks to be improving every start,” said Filion.
The veteran Filion usually picks out his own stock, but he accepted Wrangler Magic as a yearling because he knew breeder Maurice Stewart from their time at Standardbred Canada and has owned horses before with Quebec City’s Brian Paquet, a friend (and co-owner) who approached him about taking her.
The daughter of Mach Three, from the Rustler Hanover dam Ja El Shamrock, now boasts a 3-4-2 record from just 13 starts - good for over $460,000 in career earnings.
The next stop for Wrangler Magic is the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold series scheduled at Mohawk Racetrack on July 2. After that, the connections say that she’ll likely get a month off to prepare for the balance of the 2015 campaign, which is expected to include the rich and prestigious Breeders Crown event.