Favorites Prevail in Saturday Features

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

September 4th, 2016

Harness racing fans were treated to several hours of excellent efforts in lucrative stakes at Yonkers Raceway and Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night and most of those events proved very formful.

Yonkers hosted a pair of Grade I, $500,000 races on Saturday night and the odds-on favorite prevailed in each of the respective Triple Crown events, one each for trotters and pacers.

In the Yonkers Trot, Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) continued his bid for the trotting Triple Crown and champion three-year-old colt trotting honors when he brushed to command and led throughout and just outlasted Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley) for a head victory in 1:56.1.

A Muscle Hill colt trained by Paula Wellwood, Marion Marauder has won 8 of 10 starts and banked over $1.1 million this year after winning just once in 13 tries. Marion Marauder had won the Grade I Hambletonian last month and now needs a victory in the Kentucky Futurity at the Red Mile to sweep the Triple Crown.

Then one race later in the $500,000 Messenger Stakes, the middle jewel of pacing's Triple Crown, Racing Hill (Brett Miller) quarter moved to command and then led throughout to score by three lengths in 1:53 as the 1-9 favorite.

A sophomore son of Roll With Joe trained by Tony Alagna, Racing Hill now owns a 5-5-1 slate and $1.1 million bankroll from 11 starts this year. He will be headed to the Little Brown Jug later this month where he will look to take two legs of the Triple Crown and perhaps stake his claim to a division title.

But at Mohawk on Saturday night Betting Line (David Miller) maintained his status as the best sophomore colt pacer in the land when he cruised home to a 1:49.3 score in an  Ontario Sire Stakes split.

A sophomore son of Bettors Delight trained by Casie Coleman, Betting Line has won 10 straight starts and 10 of 11 overall and banked $1.2 million. Like Racing Hill, Betting Line is likely headed to the Little Brown Jug later this month and will do so as the clear cut division leader.

One race later Idyllic Beach (Yannick Gingras) lived up to her role as the 2-5 favorite in the $427,000 She's A Great Lady final in 1:50.4. Then one race later Pure Country (Gingras) regained her status as the division leader by edging Darlinonthebeach in 1:49.2 in the Simcoe Stakes.

Several races later on the card, Beyond Delight (Sylvain Filion) rallied from well off the pace to capture the $615,000 Metro Stakes final. Beyond Delight had been winless until taking the Metro elim one week earlier.

But the best performance of the night was appropriately delivered by reigning horse of the year Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague) gained command soon after the start and led throughout by rebuffing Always B Miki (David Miller) twice en route to. Two-length score in 1:49 in the $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby.

Wiggle It Jiggleit has now won 12 of 19 starts and banked $1.4 million this year and maintained his status as the best horse of any age and either gait in the land. Wiggle It Jiggleit will return home to Harrington Raceway in Delaware for the $200,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial on September 19.