Mohawk Racetrack Hosts Stellar Card on Saturday Night

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Ted Black

September 16th, 2016

This Saturday night Mohawk Racetrack will host a quartet of lucrative stakes finals and a pair of eliminations for another one, while Yonkers Raceway will host a trio of Open races, two for pacers, while standardbred fans gradually turn an eye toward the Monday card at Harrington Raceway featuring the Bobby Quillen Memorial.

Saturday's third race at Mohawk is the $360,000 Peaceful Way Stakes for two-year-old filly trotters and the race attracted the best one on the continent. Ariana G (Yannick Gingras) has won all six of her starts and banked over $285,000 for trainer Jimmy Takter, including an elim win last weekend in 1:53.2 and prior scores in the Champlaign here and the Jim Doherty Memorial at the Meadowlands. Another Takter trainee, Thats All Moni, owns a 3-2-1 slate from six starts and tallied last week in 1:54.4.

Two races later on the card the two-year-old colt trotters will be on display in the $350,000 William Wellwood Memorial, although the early division leader did not earn a spot in the final.

Trainer Ron Burke will send out What The Hill, who boasts a solid 3-3-0 slate and $240,000 bankroll from seven starts and an elim score in 1:55.3, while Seven And Seven tallied last week in 1:56 and owns a 3-1-0 slate from six starts for trainer Tom Durand. Victor Gio It was the beaten favorite in his elim, while Signal Hill owns two wins and a pair of second-place finishes from five outings.

Then two races later on the card it will be the top older trotters on display in the $650,000 Maple Leaf Trot. Elim winners Resolve (Ake Svandstedt) and Hannelore Hanover (Gingras) will vie for favoritism. Resolve owns a 3-3-1 slate and $500,000 bankroll from nine starts this year, including a handy 1:51.1 score in his ML Trot elim. Hannelore Hanover has won 14 of 15 starts this year for trainer Ron Burke and prevailed last week in 1:52.

Then two races later in the $435,000 Elegant Image for three-year-old filly trotters, Caprice Hill looms the solid choice with a 7-3-0 slate and $460,000 bankroll from 10 starts this year, while Celebrityeventsy will look to rebound from a second-place finish in the Hudson Filly Trot as the odds-on choice. Both Flowers N Songs (Gingras) and Emoticon Hanover (Sylvain Filion) merit respect in this spot. Flowers N Songs brings a solid 9-6-2 slate and $360,000 bankroll from 23 outings this year, while 'Emoticon' has a 5-2-2 slate and $275,000 banked from 10 seasonal outings.

Then one race later in the $685,000 Canadian Trotting Classic, Hambletonian and Yonkers Trot hero Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) will seek to secure divisional honors and remain on the short list for horse of the year candidates when he starts from post four. Marion Marauder has won nine of 11 starts and banked nearly $1.2 million for trainer Paula Wellwood and rates the top sophomore colt in the land and is among the serious contenders for horse of the year honors with the Kentucky Futurity and Breeders Crown still on tap.

At the outset of the season, railbound Southwind Frank (Gingras) was the prohibitive
mohawk favorite to secure divisional honors among sophomore trotting colts for Burke. But after sharp scores early in the campaign, Southwind Frank was second in the Hambo elim and final behind 'Marion' and then was a listless second last week in his ML Trot elim. He owns a solid 6-4-0 slate and $920,000 bankroll this year and 17 wins and four second-place efforts from 21 career tries, but Southwind Frank is on the outside looking in regarding divisional honors and horse of the year with three months remaining on the schedule.

Last weekend Bar Hopping (Tim Tetrick) easily overhauled Southwind Frank to capture his ML Trot elim in 1:52.4 and now owns a 4-2-3 slate and $450,000 bankroll from 12 starts this year for Takter. He won his Hambo elim in such sharp fashion that he was made the favorite in the final that afternoon, but Bar Hopping wilted under the pressure provided by Marion Marauder and now will seek redemption this weekend. Bee In Charge has raced well in recent weeks and looms an upsetter.

The eighth and 11th races on the card are the two eliminations for the Milton Stakes for older pacing mares. In the first split, Solar Sister looms the choice against Venus Delight and Waasmula, while division leader Lady Shadow rates the odds-on choice in the second split against Bedroomconfessions, Storm Point and Anndrovette. Lady Shadow is the early favorite to capture Maryland-bred harness horse of the year honors.

A trio of Open races highlight the Yonkers card on Saturday night. Obrigado gets assigned the outside in the sixth, the $45,000 Open Handicap for trotters against Melady's Monet. One race later PH Supercam seeks his second straight Open Handicap tally against Bit Of A Legend and The Real One, then three races later Artistic Major and Blood Brother will clash in the 4YO Open for pacers.

Then on Monday night, Harrington Raceway will host the tenth edition of the $150,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial Invitational for older pacers, where reigning horse of the year Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague) drew the rail for this event and seeks immediate atonement following his second-place finish to Always B Miki last weekend in the $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial at Scioto Downs. Luck Be Withyou drew post four for trainer Chris Oakes, just outside of defending Quillen hero Mach It So (Tetrick), a 1:51.2 winner at Yonkers last weekend. Mel Mara (Corey Callahan) prepped for this event with a handy score in 1:50.1 on Monday for trainer Dylan Davis but had the misfortune of drawing post eight for the Quillen.