Pilot Discretion cruises to Goodtimes win
Milton, ON — Tony Alagna-trainee Pilot Discretion soared by a pair of dueling leaders to remain unbeaten in six starts with a 1:52.4 mile in the C$247,000 Goodtimes final on Saturday night (June 15) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Driver Andrew McCarthy positioned the son of Muscle Hill fifth as Swandre The Giant powered to the top approaching a :27.3 opening quarter. Knight Angel, starting from post 10, got stuck wide and progressed towards the leaders before stalling towards a :55.2 half.
Moving to the far turn, McCarthy then pulled off the pylons to race third over and fanned to the center of the track passing three-quarters in 1:24.3. From there Pilot Discretion slid past Swandre The Giant into the final sixteenth to win over pocket-popping Forbidden Trade. Super Schissel, catching cover fourth over, finished third.
“I was having a little trouble seeing up the back,” McCarthy said after the race. “I was looking up to see whether Sylvain (Filion on Knight Angel) made it or not and I ended up third over but it worked out. This horse loves a target; you just have to remind him after he clears.”
Owned by Robert LeBlanc, David Anderson and John Fodera, Pilot Discretion has now earned C$164,500 from his six starts — two as a freshman and four as a sophomore. The Hambletonian hopeful returned $3.00 to win.
“I always think it’s amazing that any colt so lightly raced at two can come back and step right into this level,” Alagna said after the race. “My owners and I talked about it all the way and we always hoped our first stake race would be the Goodtimes because it’d be a nice flow into the stakes company without having to take on all the top colts like Greenshoe and Gimpanzee.”
With a win in the Goodtimes, Pilot Discretion has the potential to give Canadian native Robert LeBlanc a shot at harness racing’s biggest prize, the Hambletonian.
“I’ve watched the Goodtimes for years and years and to even be part of it was great,” LeBlanc said after the race. “(The Hambletonian is) a bucket-list item. If you can have a horse that can compete in the Hambo; as an owner that’s the ultimate thing.”