MILTON, ON – SEPT. 28, 2021 – You Will Be Queen scored her first win of 2021 and harness racing driver Tyler Jones got his first-ever Gold Series win in the last regular season event on the three-year-old trotting filly calendar Tuesday night (Sept. 28) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
The purse was a rich $156,400 for the single dash and Jones rewarded his backers at odds of 43-1, paying a whopping $89.70 to win.
The pair started from Post 6 in the field of seven top trotting fillies and Jones choose to float off the gate and settle in sixth behind last year’s Super Final champion Dashing Muscle. Dicentra controlled the tempo, ringing up a :27.4 quarter, and heading for the :57.4 half driver James MacDonald edged Dashing Muscle into the outer lane, waiting for a wind break from one of the favourites in front of him.
Jones kept You Will Be Queen on MacDonald’s helmet and when driver Doug McNair tipped Up And Ready out from third the two fillies were quick to close the gap. Up And Ready started to challenge Dicentra past the 1:26.4 three-quarters and once the field squared up in the stretch MacDonald and Jones moved their fillies into an open lane.
Both trotters took aim on the leaders, but it was You Will Be Queen who found the biggest gear and swept by her peers to a three-quarter length win in a personal best 1:54.4. Favourite Up And Ready finished second and Dashing Muscle was third in the $156,400 contest.
“When the cover moved she followed the helmet good, and going around the last turn I thought, ‘Man she’s doing everything that we need to, she’s tight on James’s helmet and she’s going good.’ We waited for the stretch, and James tipped off the first-over cover, and I tipped off of his back and pulled the plugs, and she started trotting. Halfway down the lane I went by James and I was like, ‘No way, no way’, and she just kept going and kept going and then I went by Doug and I was like, ‘We got it’, and I couldn’t believe it,” said Jones. “When I was halfway down the stretch and I knew I was going to win, it was a big rush of adrenaline. It was unbelievable. I almost fell down when I got off (the race bike).”
The 27-year-old Waterdown, ON resident engineered the win for his father, trainer Dustin Jones of Waterdown, who shares ownership of the Royalty For Life filly with Hebert Horses Inc. of Montreal, QC.
The younger Jones had driven You Will Be Queen in both of her pre-season qualifiers and in a July 26 overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park, but Tuesday was the first time he had climbed into her race bike for a stake event.
“That was sort of the plan. I was going to get to drive maybe in the overnights and for the Sires Stakes it would be a regular WEG (Woodbine Mohawk Park) driver or, like the Elegantimage last week (Sept. 18), an American driver, which for me, starting out my first year back in Ontario, I was happy with that plan,” said Jones. “We thought we had her really good last week so we tried Yannick (Gingras) and it just didn’t work out, and then I got my shot.”
YOU WILL BE QUEEN REPLAY
Jones made his debut in the Ontario driving colony in 2016, and in recent years had been combining a part-time driving career at Rideau Carleton Raceway in Ottawa and Hippodrome 3R in Trois-Rivieres, QC with a full-time career as a case worker in youth protection services in Sherbrooke, QC.
This spring he made the decision to focus on harness racing full-time and returned to Ontario, where he works full-time in his father’s stable while building his driving career. Tuesday’s win was his first in the 2021 Ontario Sires Stakes program, but Jones has amassed a record of 27 wins, 51 seconds and 30 thirds through 272 starts this summer, steering his mounts to earnings of $201,621.
The win bumped You Will Be Queen from sixth to fourth in the three-year-old trotting filly standings with 92 points and she will head into the Oct. 16 Super Final with confidence from Tuesday’s victory and the support of a new regular driver.
“My dad sort of confirmed it there after the race that I would get the Super Final drive, so that’s a bonus,” said Jones. “But it was a bonus tonight, we were just hoping for a cheque and she got the win, which was unbelievable really.”
Imextraspecial leads the three-year-old trotting fillies into the Super Final with 183 points, followed by HP Mama B and Up And Ready. The top 10 point earners will compete in the $225,000 season finale on Oct. 16 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
On Thursday, Sept. 30 Woodbine Mohawk Park hosts the two-year-old Grassroots Semi-Finals, with the top young trotters and pacers hoping to earn a spot in the Grassroots Championships next weekend. The Semi-Finals are slated for Races 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11 on the Thursday evening card, which gets under way at 7 pm. Fans can download a program and watch the live stream on the Woodbine Mohawk Park website.
For full race results, click here.
From the Ontario Sire Stakes
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