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Mr. Muscleman romps

September 18, 2005

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Mr. Muscleman romped to an easy 1:52.1 victory in the Maple Leaf Trot Saturday night at Mohawk, and the race did not include a battle with the mare Peaceful Way, as the mare broke stride early in the race.

Going down the homestretch for the start, the recall lights on the starting gate blinked a couple of times, prompting announcer Frank Salive to say "there's a recall," and then quickly add "maybe not" as the lights were turned off.

Nevertheless, all of the horses were on the gate for the start except for the rough-gaited Elegant Man and Nelson November, who trailed him at the rail from post 11.

Ron Pierce got away in the pack stacked up in the outer tier in the first turn, but once everyone had settled for a spot he rolled his 1-2 betting favorite to the front. After the first quarter was passed in :27.4 and Mr. Muscleman had cleared, Trevor Ritchie and Peaceful Way were left uncovered.

As Peaceful Way trotted up alongside Mr. Muscleman she broke stride, with Ritchie later saying t he mare was simply too fired up.

Mr. Muscleman continued on to his overhwleming victory, but as soon as he hit the wire the announcer indicated the judges would be reviewing the start of the race.

During what seemed like at least a 15-minute period, the judges interviewed the starter and all of the drivers in the race to learn about why the recall lights were flashed and how it affected the start.

Finally, it was announced that refunds would be given to those who bet on four horses--Peaceful Way, JM Van Gogh, Hellava Hush and Hez Striking--because their drivers said they took their horses up because of uncertainty at the stsart. those horses were driven by Ritchie, Hall of Famers Catello Manzi and Ron Waples, and Paul MacDonell.
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