by Garnet Barnsdale
If you’re looking for a hot connection to bet that is producing a positive return on investment, look no further than horses driven by Billy Davis Jr. sent out by conditioner Gaetan Hebert at Mohawk Racetrack.
This duo has been lighting it up the past couple of weeks, winning with four of their last nine starters, including three-year-old trotting filly Mrstery Bear, who won her second straight Saturday in the first elimination of the SBOA stakes.
Mrstery Bear, who is also owned by Hebert, is by Majestic Son out of the Muscles Yankee mare Big Wiesy. Saturday, she parlayed some perfect pocket piloting by Davis Jr. to vault past leader Paradise Image late and lower her life’s mark by more than five seconds in trotting her mile in 1:55.4. Davis Jr. was impressed. “Mrstery Bear raced awesome,” he said. “I was a little surprised, but at the same time I really wasn’t. She showed a lot of speed at two. I never got the chance to really drive her, but in her last start at Grand River in the Gold, she trotted her middle half in :56.2 after breaking at the start. If you have a two-year-old that can trot a middle half in :56, you obviously have some speed. I kinda had her in a good position to strike and she finished up real strong.” As seems to be customary with most horses Hebert sends out, Mrstery Bear was pretty much ignored in the wagering despite winning her most recent start. She was the second longest shot in the field of seven, returning $22.30 to her backers. In winning with Mrstery Bear, Davis was recording the 2207th win of his 11-year driving career. The previous night, five-year-old pacing mare Mischieviousgirls was winning her second straight race at Mohawk, this time doing it the hard way despite moving up in class. “She hits the head of the stretch and she hits a whole new gear,” Davis explained of Mischieviousgirls racing style. “Even the other night, I had to come first up with her, which isn’t an ideal trip for any horse, but even though she was struggling a bit on the final turn, as soon as she turned for home, she kicked it into that whole other gear.” So far since the start of the meet, the Hebert/Davis pairing has produced four winners from 15 starters for a flat bet profit of 61% if you bet every horse to win in equal amounts. Not too shabby for a smaller barn. Davis says his familiarity with the horses when they ship in is a big help. “Gaetan’s always been good to me,” Davis said. “For the last few years he’s always put me down on his horses first and it’s kind of worked out well. Maybe it helps knowing I’ve been sitting behind them coming from Flamboro to Mohawk and I stay loyal to him because he’s been so good to me.”
Davis Jr. hasn’t only been winning for Hebert and he himself bears watching as the meet progresses as he seems to be getting more business on the major circuit these days. “I have been lately, it’s been going pretty good; things have been heating up a bit at Mohawk,” he confirmed. “Hopefully it keeps going that way, but I just kinda go wherever I can make the most money.”
Davis Jr. and Hebert get a chance to make some more money and create a buzz with Mrstery Bear next weekend in the SBOA final and the way she has progressed rapidly this spring she deserves a long look before you head to the betting windows.