The $34,000 Preferred Trot at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday night featured a final stride showdown between a pair of last year's four-legged O'Brien Award winners, with Intimidate out-kicking Mister Herbie in the lane en route to victory.
Intimidate, in rein to 2012 O'Brien Award winner Sylvain Filion, got away fifth while Charlie Is A Joker shot to the lead and hustled the field past the quarter pole in :27.3. Race favorite Mister Herbie, who was catch-driven by James MacDonald (after programmed driver Jody Jamieson was taken off the trotter by the ORC Judges after he failed to return to Mohawk in time after driving at Grand River Raceway earlier in the evening) was on the move in the second quarter and he cleared to the top shortly after the opening half flashed up in :55.
Mister Herbie opened up by 2 1/2 lengths on the first-over Take My Picture at the three-quarter pole in 1:22.4, but he drifted off the rail in the lane and came under heavy pressure from Intimidate who kicked off cover and used a :28.2 closing quarter to post the win in a time of 1:52. It was three-quarters of a length back to runner-up Mister Herbie, with Charlie Is A Joker grabbing the show dough in the seven-horse affair.
Sent off at even-money, Intimidate improved this year's record to four wins from five starts for owners Judith Farrow and Les Ecuries Luc Blais Inc. The Luc Blais-trained 4-year-old son of Justice Hall-Fabulous Tag, who was voted Canada's 3-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year in 2012, is now an 18-time winner who has stashed away earnings of $453,590. (SC)