MILTON, September 11, 2021 – King Of The North got up in the final strides to take down Duly Resolved in tonight’s $640,000 William Wellwood Memorial and earned a ticket to the Mohawk Million. The stake is for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings and was the second richest race on the undercard of the $1 million North America Cup at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
The winner of the Wellwood final earns an automatic berth into the Mohawk Million which will take place on September 25. The other nine starting spots were purchased for $100,000.
There was lots of speed from the outside early as Letsdoit S and Dexter Dunn overcame post nine to grab the lead well before the :28.3 opening quarter. Tim Tetrick gave Temporal Hanover a lane and they cleared the top before the :57.2 half. Periculum attempted a challenge but broke stride.
Paul MacDonell pulled elimination winner Duly Resolved out to mount their challenge and they were in control past the 1:25.3 three-quarters. As they trotted for home Mark MacDonald and King Of The North, who had been second up behind Duly Resolved, were in the middle of the track and making up ground. Duly Resolved dug in but was caught just before the wire reached in 1:54.2. Duly Resolved, one of three Ontario-sired colts in the field had to be content with the bridesmaid spot this night while Letsdoit S, Temporal Hanover and Esplosione completed the top five.
King Of The North, a son of Walner, had been undefeated coming into the Wellwood elimination last week but in his first start north was caught late and had to settle for second to Periculum. He now has a summary of 6-1-0 in seven tries to date for $601,000 earned. Ray Schnittker, who raced the colt’s very talented dam Check Me Out (a winner of $1.9 million), trains the homebred he co-owns with Arden Homestead, Nolamaura Racing and Steve Arnold.
MacDonald, whose brother James won the Champlain stake in the previous race, noted he was happy to be back at Mohawk where he spent many years before moving south of the border. As for the trip he said: “He got bearing out on me a little again. We had taken the head pole off and he was still bearing out a little bit, we’ll have to address that. But go wise, he had tons of go and I was really happy with the way he trotted.
“Last week he raced well and like I said, we tweaked him a little bit and changed his shoes tonight and I thought he trotted a little cleaner. He was just kind of on that line again, so we just have to tweak him a little bit more and try and get him really good for the Mohawk Million, we’re pretty excited to be into that.”
The William Wellwood Memorial is in named in honour of one of the most respected and talented horsemen who made his career on the WEG circuit and beyond. Inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2001, William Wellwood passed away two years later. His widow, Jean, approached WEG about naming a race in his honour and thus the former Campbellville Stakes became the William Wellwood Memorial in 2005.