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Wellwood colt wins Wellwood

September 19, 2006

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Laddie won the $525,000(C) William Wellwood Memorial Trot for 2 year olds Monday night at Mohawk, giving trainer Paula Wellwood her second straight victory in the race named in memory of her late father.

In 2005, Wellwood scored the surprise victory with Was It A Dream, who was driven by Paul MacDonell. On Monday she caught lightning in a bottle once again, as MacDonell reigned supreme in the obviously personal stake with 7-2 Laddie, an Angus Hall colt who had gone off at odds of 45-1 and 32-1, respectively, in his two wins heading into the big dance.

In the final, which was contested over a very sloppy track rated two seconds slow, Laddie sat seventh for the entire mile and was positioned fourth-over by MacDonell heading for home. Racing through the homestretch widest of all, Laddie closed with a burst, collared his rivals and drew off to win by three lengths in 2:00, leaving many, Wellwood included, stunned.

“It’s kind of surreal. I can’t believe that it actually happened again. I’m just speechless,” said a wide-eyed and visibly shocked Wellwood during a post-race interview with Woodbine Entertainment’s Greg Blanchard. “I was confident he’d be a factor because he came into (the race) well; he warmed up phenomenally tonight and his mind was on his business. I knew that if the weather didn’t hamper him he’d be right there.”

It may have been the weather, but something seemed to have been hampering Quite Easy, the 4-5 post time favorite driven by John Campbell, who was looking to notch another win on his impressive resume. The colt received a second-over trip but seemed uncharacteristically flat when shown a clear lane late.

Libre Vita, who raced a very game first-over for driver Steve Condren, finished second with Think Gold and driver Jody Jamieson third.

“I thought he was too far back, just like Paul said, but then all of a sudden I saw his white (saddlepad) coming and he was trotting fast, so I knew he had a shot at reaching,” Wellwood said about Laddie, now a $333,583 career earner who is the fourth foal out of the Valley Victory mare Victory Dreamer.

“He’s been brought along and prepped along for this particular race,” MacDonell said about Laddie, a $50,000 yearling purchase who has now notched three wins from five starts, including a divison of the Champlain Stakes. “Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t, but her here we are now two years in a row and it’s worked out nicely.

“I didn’t want to get involved in any sort of early speed, but I was a little worried at one point that I was too far back with the spray and everything from the track, but he overcame that and he was full of trot. He always has good trot down the laneway, and I knew that if I could get him in gear that he’d have lots to get by in the lane.” (WEG)
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