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Dali, Windsong Espoir win Mohawk qualifiers

May 19, 2008
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Trainer Duane Marfisi has declared all systems go\' for his pacing colt Dali, who trounced rivals with a sparkling 1:54.2 qualifying win on Monday morning at Mohawk Racetrack. The 3-year-old son of Real Artist scored by 15-1/4 lengths for Luc Ouellette on a cool, blustery morning at the Campbellville oval.
 
\"We were very happy with him again this morning,\" said Marfisi. \"Luc said he was steering well and that was a big mile this morning considering the weather. We still plan for him to make his first start of the year in the Burlington (Stakes).\"
 
Dali was one of last season\'s top rookie pacers with five wins in 10 starts, including a victory in the $415,000 Woodrow Wilson Final.
 
This morning also marked the return to the Mohawk oval of the O\'Brien Award-winning Windsong Espoir.Canada\'s top 2-year-old colt trotter from last season had been
wintering at the Hawkinsville Training Centre in Georgia under the tutelage of Ryan Maxwell. Now back in the care of father Brad, the strapping son of Kadabra won by just over four lengths in his test for driver Steve Condren in 1:58.4.

\"He was fine,\" said the elder Maxwell. \"We\'ll definitely qualify again next Monday. He\'s kind of a big, lazy colt and today was his first time behind the gate this year. We weren\'t concerned about time at all this morning. He tells us when he\'s ready. He\'s grown this year and is a big, strong colt coming into this season.\"

After losing his first career start as a rookie, Windsong Espoir did not taste defeat again, winning nine of his 10 starts overall. His biggest wins came in the $533,000 Wellwood Memorial and the $300,000 OSS Super Final. (WEG)
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