CAMPBELLVILLE, June 2 – The stars of today and the stars of tomorrow converged on Mohawk Racetrack for qualifying action Friday morning.
A total of nine qualifiers were held under ideal conditions, with the final three being the Campbellville oval’s first two-year-old qualifiers of the season.
Marion Marauder, the 2016 Trotting Triple Crown champion, turned in his second qualifying effort of the season and stopped the clock in 1:54.2 for an 11 ½ lengths victory.
The four-year-old son of Muscle Hill was unhurried in the early stages and calmly took his time trotting up and clearing to the lead just after an opening-quarter of :29.1. Roger Mayotte sat behind Marion Marauder and allowed the superstar trotter to post middle-fractions of :58 and 1:26.4, before storming home confidently in :27.3 for the win.
Trained by Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling, Marion Marauder now has back to back qualifying victories and appears ready to tackle the older trotting division. The winner of over $1.9 million carries a career record of 11 wins in 28 starts and a mark of 1:51.3 into his four-year-old season.
Marion Marauder is owned by Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling.
The Triple Crown champ was not the only horse with over a $1 million on its record to qualify Friday, as five-year-old pacing mare Solar Sister made her return to Mohawk.
The Gregg McNair trainee was a gate-to-wire winner in 1:54 for driver Doug McNair.
Solar Sister qualified three-times during the spring at Pompano Park, but Friday’s qualifier was her first charted line since April 22. The former Ontario Sires Stakes star charged home in a solid :27 to score the qualifying victory Friday.
Owned by David Willmott and Clay Horner, Solar Sister enters her five-year-old season with 14 wins and over $1.1 million in career earnings. Last year, the McNair trainee won four-starts and banked over $400,000 during her first season in the older ranks.
Solar Sister is eligible to the Roses Are Red Stakes, which has eliminations scheduled for next Saturday (June 10).
Friday morning’s baby race action saw Atthebeach Hanover, a Somebeachsomewhere colt, post a good-looking 1:58.3 victory for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Gino Toscani.
A $92,000 purchase out of the Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Atthebeach Hanover went gate-to-wire for the victory, pacing quarters of :31.3, :29.2, :28.4 and :28.4. He is the third-foal out of former star pacing mare A And Gs Confusion, who banked over $1.4 million and was a Breeders Crown champion during her racing career.
Toscani’s barn had a pair of two-year-old winners Friday morning, as Big Jim gelding One Man Army was victorious in 1:59.3. The rookie pacer went gate-to-wire and paced a last-quarter of :29.3 for the victory.
One Man Army was a $30,000 purchase at last year’s Canadian Yearling Sale.
The lone baby race for trotters saw Amy and Anthony MacDonald’s barn send out five of the six starters. Muscle Mass colt Cruising In Style overcame a break caused by interference just after the quarter to win in 2:01 for the MacDonald’s and owner/breeder Terry Devos.
Louis Philippe Roy guided Cruising In Style to victory. The MacDonald stable’s four other starters rounded out the top-five finishers.
Baby race action will continue next weekend with two-year-old qualifiers scheduled for Friday (June 9) and Saturday (June 10). The entry box for baby races closes on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.