CAMPBELLVILLE, September 12 – The $684,000 Canadian Trotting Classic and $593,000 Maple Leaf Trot headline an outstanding $2.1 million card this Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack.
The undercard for Saturday includes the $385,000 Elegantimage Stakes, $256,000 Milton Stakes and three eliminations for the Metro Pace.
The $684,000 Canadian Trotting Classic features a talented field of 10 three-year-old trotting colts and geldings, while 10 of the finest older trotters in the sport will compete in the $593,000 Maple Leaf Trot.
Trainer John Butenschoen swept last week’s eliminations and now looks to finish the job with Bills Man (PP2, Corey Callahan) and Dover Dan (PP3, Brett Miller) in the Canadian Trotting Classic.
Corey Callahan steered both Butenschoen trainees to victory last week and has decided to drive Bills Man in Saturday’s rich final.
“I’ll likely stick with Bills Man,” said Callahan immediately following the eliminations.
“I think he’s the fastest of the two, even though (Dover Dan) went a bigger heat tonight, I think just pure speed wise, Bills Man is just a little bit quicker.”
Bills Man (pictured) won his elimination by a neck in 1:53.2 over longshot Dancer Hall. The son of Credit Winner is three for 14 this season with five runner-up finishes, including a narrow defeat by a nose in an elimination of the Hambletonian.
Bills Man has earned $248,986 earned this season for owners William Wiswell and M And L of Delaware LLC.
Dover Dan won his elimination by almost a length in 1:52.3. The son of Andover Hall came into the Trotting Classic elimination off a victory in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship.
Owned by Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick, Dover Dan is 4 for 14 this season with $229,148 earned. Brett Miller picks up the drive behind the elimination winner.
The Canadian Trotting Classic field also includes Goodtimes Stakes champion International Moni (PP5, Scott Zeron). The Frank Antonacci trainee finished third, beat three-quarters of length, in the elimination won by Dover Dan.
A son of French stallion Love You and the great mare Moni Maker, International Moni is five for eight this season with three of his victories coming at Mohawk in the Goodtimes (elimination and final) and Simcoe Stakes.
Another notable in the Trotting Classic is What The Hill (PP4, David Miller), who was the original winner of this year’s Hambletonian before being disqualified for interference. The Ron Burke trainee finished third in his elimination and was making just his first start since the Hambletonian on August 5.
The Canadian Trotting Classic field is completed by Southwind Cobra (PP1, Yannick Gingras), Seven And Seven (PP6, Doug McNair), Long Tom (PP7, Tim Tetrick), Dancer Hall (PP8, Doug McNair), Victor Gio IT (PP9, Yannick Gingras) and Lindy The Great (PP10, Mark MacDonald).
The $684,000 Canadian Trotting Classic is carded as Race 5.
The Maple Leaf Trot could be the site of a little redemption, as last year’s runner-up Hannelore Hanover (PP5, Gingras) is the probable favourite to win the $593,000 event.
The five-year-old trotting mare captured her elimination impressively by more than two-lengths in 1:52. It was the fifth win in nine outings this season for the Burke trainee.
A winner of over $1.8 million lifetime, Hannelore Hanover sports a stunning career record of 31 wins in 50 starts. She is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino and J And T Silva Stables LLC.
Mohawk has been a favourite spot for Hannelore Hanover over the past two seasons. She is eight for nine at the Campbellville oval, with her only loss coming in last year’s Maple Leaf Trot.
“She likes the track no doubt about it,” said Gingras following Hannelore Hanover’s elimination victory. “She’s a big track mare…she’s a big strong mare, she likes to stretch her legs and she seems to like this place a lot.”
Hannelore Hanover is not the only mare in the field, as Jimmy Takter sends out Pasithea Face (PP3, Tim Tetrick). The five-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill came to North America this summer after finding plenty of success in Sweden.
Pasithea Face has won two of five starts since coming to North America, including posting a 1:50.4 score last month at Tioga. The Takter trainee finished fifth in her elimination, which was her first start against male rivals.
Hannelore Hanover and Pasithea Face will look to become the first mare since Bee A Magician in 2015 to win the Maple Leaf Trot and second since Peaceful Way in 2006.
The other elimination winner with plenty of momentum heading into Saturday is Antonacci trainee Mambo Lindy (PP4, Tetrick). The six-year-old gelding pulled off a 26-1 upset in his elimination, winning in a career-best 1:52.2.
Mambo Lindy (pictured) had raced exclusively this season at Plainridge Park in Massachusetts prior to trying the Maple Leaf Trot. He is currently eight for 11 this season with $84,000 earned for owner Greathorse of Hampden, MA.
Overall, Mambo Lindy is 22 for 36 lifetime with $175,260 earned.
An All-Star field for the Maple Leaf Trot is completed by Windsun Revenge (PP1, Rick Zeorn), Odds On Amethyst (PP2, Pat Hudon), JL Cruze (PP6, D. Miller), Warrawee Roo (PP7, Sylvain Filion), Homicide Hunter (PP8, B. Miller), Musical Rhythm (PP9, Marion Baillargeon) and Gural Hanover (PP10, D. Miller).
The $593,000 Maple Leaf Trot is carded as Race 9.
Saturday’s card features many of the sport’s top trotters, including superstar filly Ariana G. The three-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill headlines the $385,000 Elegantimage Stakes.
Trained by Takter, Ariana G is undefeated against fillies this season, with her only two losses coming against male rivals when she finished second and third, respectively. Last week, she won her elimination by nearly five-lengths in 1:53.2.
Owned and bred by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, Ariana G is 17 for 21 overall with $1.4 million in career earnings. She will start from post-four with driver Gingras in Saturday’s contest.
Pacers will also have a chance to shine Saturday, as a loaded field of 10 older pacing mares will battle in the $256,000 Milton Stakes.
Four-year-old Pure Country (pictured) was one of two elimination winners last week, as she took her split in 1:50. The winner of over $2.1 million is currently riding a three-race win streak and has hit her best stride in the second-half of her four-year-old campaign.
Owned by Diamond Creek Racing, Pure Country will start from post-three with driver Mark MacDonald.
The other elimination winner is Blue Moon Stride, who struck for a mild 7-1 upset last Friday in 1:50. The Mark Harder trained four-year-old is three for 12 this season and a career-earner of $826,421. David Miller will steer the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover from post-two.
Reigning Milton Stakes champion Lady Shadow will look to rebound after a disappointing fifth-place finish in the elimination won by Blue Moon Stride. The six-year-old mare is six for eight this season and has 34 career-wins and $2.1 million in career earnings.
Lady Shadow, who earlier this season won her third consecutive Roses Are Red Stakes, will start from the rail with Gingras in the sulky.
Saturday’s undercard will also feature three eliminations for the Metro Pace.
A total of 25 two-year-old pacing colts and geldings were entered on Tuesday morning. They have been split into three $40,000 eliminations with the top-three finishers in each, plus a fourth-place finisher drawn by lot, advancing to the $816,000 final on Saturday, September 23.
Saturday’s All-Star card gets underway at 7:30 p.m. A free program proof containing the charted lines and entries for Saturday’s $2 million card can be viewed by clicking here.