CAMPBELLVILLE, May 26 – Trotting Triple Crown champion Marion Marauder made his return to the racetrack Friday morning in qualifying action at Mohawk Racetrack.
The now four-year-old son of Muscle Hill turned in a strong performance in his first qualifier of 2017 with a 1:56.1 victory over a track listed two-seconds “off” and still recovering from significant rainfall on Thursday.
Roger Mayotte sat behind Marion Marauder for the qualifier. The star trotter floated out to the early lead and posted an opening-quarter of :30. Six-year-old trotter Maximuscle, who was parked on the first turn, rushed up to take command in the second-quarter, which allowed Marion Marauder to get a two-hole trip through the majority of the middle-half.
Maximuscle reached the half in :58.4 and three-quarters in 1:28.2, while Marion Marauder followed closely behind and was tipped out just before the third-marker.
In the stretch, Marion Marauder displayed his impressive final-quarter abilities and trotted home with powerful strides in :27.3 to win by 16 lengths.
Trained by the team of Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling, Marion Marauder moves up to join the older ranks this season after winning 10 of 15 starts during his magical three-year-old season.
The champion son of Muscle Hill carries career numbers of 11 wins, a mark of 1:51.3 and over $1.9 million earned into his four-year-old year for owners Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling.
Marion Marauder’s four-year-old debut could come on home soil in next week’s Graduate Series leg at Mohawk. The Triple Crown champion is eligible to the event restricted for four-year-olds.