Canadian Trot Classic headlines Mohawk card
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Father Patrick enters the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic with career earnings of more than $1.5 million.
Trixton (PP5), this year’s $1 million Hambletonian winner, is looking to defeat his stablemate once again in a rich stakes event and continue his dominance at Mohawk.
Driven by trainer Jimmy Takter, Trixton captured this year’s Hambletonian on August 2 at the Meadowlands, but never got the chance to go head-to-head with his stablemate as Father Patrick made a break at the start. A son of Muscle Hill – Emilie Cas El, Trixton has had plenty of success at Mohawk this season. He won the $272,100 Goodtimes Stakes on June 14 and most recently captured the $218,076 Simcoe Stakes on August 30. He also holds the Mohawk Track Record for a three-year-old trotter of 1:51.3. Trixton has won 12 of 18 career starts and is approaching millionaire status with $961,876 in career earnings.
Takter is seeking his third Canadian Trotting Classic title as a trainer and second as a driver. He trained and drove Red Xing to victory in 1997 and conditioned the great Kadabra in 2002.
While most of the fanfare will surround the Tatker duo, local standout Harper Blue Chip will be looking to steal the spotlight. Trained by Mark Steacy, Harper Blue Chip (PP2) has dominated the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit this season and has held his own against Grand Circuit company.
Harper Blue Chip finished third in the Hambletonian, won by Trixton, and fourth in the $500,000 Beal Memorial at Pocono, which was won by Father Patrick. Steacy will be looking for his second ‘Trotting Classic’ crown after he won the 2006 edition with Harper Blue Chip’s sire, Majestic Son.
Most recently, Harper Blue Chip made a rare appearance off the board when he finished fourth in the Simcoe Stakes, but driver Sylvain Filion was happy with the way his colt raced.
"I thought he raced really well. He had a real bad post (post position ten),” said Filion. "He trotted large down the lane and had lots of trot at the wire.”
The luck of the draw was on Harper Blue Chip’s side in the Trotting Classic as he will start from post two and Filion hopes to build off that luck. "There’s a lot of good horses in there, but we drew good and with a lucky trip you never know.”
As for what kind of trip Harper Blue Chip will need, Filion believes in a small field of seven the closer the better.
"I think you’ve got to try and be close, especially in a short field like that. If you stay back there probably won’t be a lot of early speed, so you will need to be close to the front.”
The son of Majestic Son – Winning Jonlin has won eight of 18 career starts and has a bankroll of $547,749.
The other four starters in this year’s Canadian Trotting Classic are EL Titan (PP1 – Chris Christoforou), Muscle Matters (PP3 – Mario Baillargeon), Il Sogno Dream (PP4 – Aaron Merriman) and Damfoolrmillionair (PP7 – Randy Waples).
The Canadian Trotting Classic is carded as Race 9 this Saturday night.
The $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes, which has normally been contested in June, will be making it’s Canadian Trotting Classic night debut with 11 of the sport’s best sophomore trotting fillies., Just like the ‘Trotting Classic’, Jimmy Takter sends out the favorite in the Elegantimage.
Shake It Cerry (PP7) has won 16 of 21 career starts and banked over $1.2 million in career earnings. A daughter of Donato Hanover – Solveig, Shake It Cerry was a Breeders Crown champion as a two-year-old and this year has won events such as the Del Miller Memorial and Zweig Filly Trot.
Takter will also send out Scream And Shout (PP6 – Brett Miller) and has already won the Elegantimage three times with Southwind Allaire (’03), Pampered Princess (’07) and Lantern Kronos (’08).
Completing the field are Demanding Sam (PP1 – Paul MacDonell), Tosca (PP2 – Per Henriksen), Riveting Rosie (PP3 – Paul MacDonell), Vanity Matters (PP4 – Scott Zeron), Chivaree Hanover (PP5 – Doug McNair), Sweetie Hearts (PP8 – Randy Waples), Heavens Door (PP9 – Ake Svanstedt), Muscle Babe (PP10 – James MacDonald) and Designed To Be (PP11 – Sylvain Filion).
The Elegantimage Stakes is carded as Race 7.
The top freshman trotters will also be on display Saturday night. The $385,000 Peaceful Way Stakes, for two-year-old filly trotters, features a World Champion in the group of ten that will line up behind the gate.
Mission Brief, a daughter of Muscle Hill, won her elimination last week in a World Record time of 1:52.1. Trained by Ron Burke, Mission Brief had equaled the World Record in the Merrie Annabelle Stakes on August 2 at the Meadowlands, but in her Peaceful Way elimination she took sole possession of the World Record with her 3 ¾ length victory.
Following the elimination, driver Yannick Gingras said she could’ve gone even faster. "She had plenty left, she is scary scary fast,” said Gingras. "When she raced in the Merrie Annabelle I told Ronnie (Burke) after the race I still have another second…believe me she could’ve won in 1:51 and change tonight.”
Mission Brief’s connections selected post position five as her starting spot on Saturday night.
The other elimination was won by Jolene Jolene, a daughter of Muscle Hill trained by Jonas Czernyson, in a career best equaling 1:55.1. Driven by David Miller, Jolene Jolene has won three consecutive starts and finished second to Mission Brief in the Merrie Annabelle. She will start from post position three on Saturday evening.
Completing the field for the Peaceful Way Stakes are Stubborn Belle (PP1 – Paul MacDonell), Danielle Hall (PP2 – Jody Jamieson), Elegant Serenity (PP4 - Roger Mayotte), Southwind Champane (PP6 – Steve Byron), Dynamite Dame (PP7 – Sylvain Filion), Amoureuse Hanover (PP8 – Doug McNair), Juanitas Fury (PP9 – Steve Condren) and Lady Caterina (PP10 – Phil Hudon).
The Peaceful Way is carded as Race 3.
Two eliminations were contested last Saturday to decide which ten two-year-old colts and geldings would advance to the final of the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial.
Completing the field for the William Wellwood Memorial are Gifted Way (PP1 – Scott Zeron), Dont Rush (PP4 – Chris Christoforou), Aldebaran Eagle (PP5 – Doug McNair), Habitat (PP6 – Yannick Gingras), Jetpedia (PP7 – Mike Saftic), Southwind Stryker (PP8 – Steve Condren), Wheels Ah Smoking (PP9 – Ake Svanstedt) and Big Rich (PP10 – Steve Condren).
The William Wellwood Memorial is carded as Race 5.
The other seven mares in the field are Charisma Hanover (PP1 – Yannick Gingras), Radar Contact (PP2 – Jack Moiseyev), Voelz Hanover (PP3 – Randy Waples), Ferrari Sena (PP4 – Sylvain Filion), Yagonnakissmeornot (PP5 – Jody Jamieson) and Shelliscape (PP6 – Tim Tetrick).