Crazy Wow now in Melander's barn for Maple Leaf
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"Hopefully we can make the final because I think he will be much better in the final the week after. But I think he's ready to go with these horses. He hasn't raced for seven or eight weeks, he's not going to be on top of his game, but I think he will do a good race."
In the second Maple Leaf Trot elimination, Will Take Charge is the 5-2 favorite followed by Hannelore Hanover at 3-1. The division is completed by Odds On Amethyst, Warrawee Roo, Guardian Angel As, Il Sogno Dream, Ariana G, and Dunbar Hall.
Saturday's card also includes three divisions of the Nassagaweya Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers and three divisions of the Eternal Camnation Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers.
Crazy Wow is owned by Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45, J&T Silva Stables, and Deo Volente Farms. Melander trains multiple other horses for several of the partners.
A son of Crazed out of No Pan No Gain, Crazy Wow has won 21 of 64 career races and one of five this season. His win this season came in a preferred handicap at The Meadowlands. He finished third in the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial, behind Hannelore Hanover and Will Take Charge, and third in the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational, behind Will Take Charge and Marion Marauder.
"He's a very nice horse to be around," Melander said. "Even though he's a stud, he's like a gelding to be around. He's a little lazy in training. I didn't know really where I had him before we qualified because at home he's very comfortable.
"In the qualifier, when we went behind the gate, he really stepped up. You could feel he was the racehorse you thought he would be. But at home he is very laid back."
Melander drove Crazy Wow in his qualifier.
"I always like to drive my horses in their first qualifier, at least," Melander said. "Especially if it's a new horse, so I can feel if I want to do any changes. I didn't really know what to expect from him in the qualifier, but it was a good qualifier. He went a (1):55 mile pretty good and I was happy with him."
Melander has spent the past several weeks getting to know Crazy Wow and tinkering with his equipment.
"We changed a little shoeing," Melander said. "I qualified him with an open bridle. I know he had cups before; maybe we put something on his head as well because he is very laid back. You try to do some changes, do what you think is best. Every trainer trains differently. We trained him the way we train our horses. It feels like he is happy.
"There are a lot of big races left, so I think he could have a good next couple of months." (Ken Weingartner/(USTA)