MILTON, ON – August 27, 2019 – Harness racing’s heavyweights will clash this Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park for the $600,000and $525,000 .
Over $1.6 million in purses will be up for grabs on a stakes-filled program, including the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacers and Ontario Sires Stakes Gold for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings joining the co-main events.
The Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters has been carded as Race 5, while the Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers will go as Race 8.
The Canadian Pacing Derby is the oldest stakes race in Canadian harness racing and this year’s edition will feature a field of nine with $14.2 million in combined career earnings, including the defending champion and the co-fastest Standardbred of all-time.
Casie Coleman trainee McWicked is returning to defend his ‘Pacing Derby’ title. The eight-year-old captured last year’s edition in convincing fashion en route to being named the Horse of the Year in both Canada and the US.
McWicked continues to add to incredible legacy with over $500,000 earned this season to bring his career earnings to $4.5 million for owner Ed James’ S S G Stables. The superstar pacer led all Standardbreds in earnings last season, becoming the oldest horse in 43 years to top the money standings. He is also the oldest horse in harness racing history to receive Horse of the Year honours.
David Miller, who steered McWicked to victory in last year’s race, will sit behind the Coleman trainee for the first-time this season. The duo will start from the outside post-nine.
Lather Up, the co-fastest Standardbred of all-time, will return to the site of his richest victory and attempt to add another lucrative victory to his dream season. The four-year-old captured last year’s $1 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Park and earlier this season matched Always B Miki’s world record of 1:46 at The Meadowlands.
Trained by Clyde Francis, Lather Up is undefeated in six career starts at Mohawk Park. The son of Im Gorgeous is currently riding a four-race win streak, which includes victories in the Dan Patch, Sam McKee Memorial, Haughton Memorial and Graduate Series, to bring his season record to eight wins in 11 starts and career record to 23 wins in 36 starts.
Montrell Teague will team up with the career-earner of $1.7 million to start from post-five.
The Canadian Pacing Derby field also includes This Is The Plan (PP1, Yannick Gingras), Done Well (PP2, Andrew McCarthy), Western Fame (PP3, Louis Philippe Roy), Jimmy Freight (PP4, Scott Zeron), Courtly Choice (PP6, James MacDonald), Filibuster Hanover (PP7, Gingras) and Casimir Richie P (PP8, Sylvain Filion).
The Maple Leaf Trot will feature an ‘All-Star’ field of ten older trotters, including four mares, competing for a purse of $600,000. Eliminations winners Crystal Fashion and Guardian Angel As carry the momentum into Saturday’s final.
Jim Campbell trainee Crystal Fashion will be looking to pull off the Canadian Trotting Classic-Maple Leaf Trot back-to-back. The four-year-old captured last year’s marquee event for sophomore trotters and returned to Mohawk Park to win his elimination last Saturday by a pair of lengths in 1:52.
Crystal Fashion is currently on a three-race win streak to bring his four-year-old record to five wins and $450,775 earned in nine starts. His career numbers sit at 18 wins and $1.7 million earned for owner Fashion Farms.
David Miller will guide the Campbell trainee from post-two.
Anette Lorentzon trainee Guardian Angel As has been putting together a fantastic five-year-old season and enters the Maple Leaf Trot final off a game 1:51.4 elimination score.
The five-year-old has won six of nine starts and earned just shy of $400,000 this season.
Guatdian Angel As has competed in many marquee events over his career. A victory in the Maple Leaf Trot would mark his first classic victory and push him over $1 million in career earnings for owners Acl Stuteri and Kjell Johansson.
Driver Tim Tetrick has the assignment behind Guardian Angel As and the duo will start from post-three.
A quartet of accomplished mares will compete in Saturday’s Maple Leaf Trot.
World champion Atlanta was just short to Guardian Angel As in last Saturday’s elimination and will now have to overcome post-ten. The Ron Burke trainee captured the Armbro Flight earlier this year at Mohawk in Track Record fashion.
Luc Blais trainee Emoticon Hanover will compete in her second Maple Leaf Trot final. The two-time Breeders Crown champion is the second-richest horse in the field with over $1.7 million earned. She will start from post-nine.
Blais will also send out mare Dream Together, a career-earner of $835,250, from post-six.
Manchego completes the mare quartet and will start from post-seven. The Nancy Johansson trained four-year-old has a pair of victories this season and will be looking to add to her career-earnings of $1.7 million.
The richest horse in the Maple Leaf Trot field is six-year-old Marion Marauder at $3.3 million. The Mike Keeling trainee is winless in five starts this season but rallied in his elimination to finish second.
The Maple Leaf Trot field is completed by millionaire Six Pack (PP1, Ake Svanstedt), Speeding Spur N (PP4, Jody Jamieson) and Dancer Hall (PP5, Bob McClure).
Saturday’s program also includes the return of Pepsi North America Cup winner Captain Crunch to Mohawk Park for the $171,503 Simcoe Stakes.
Captain Crunch will tackle Meadowlands Pace winner Best In Show and five other rivals in the Grand Circuit contest.
Trained by Nancy Johansson, Captain Crunch will be making his first start since winning the Cane Pace on August 3. The son of Captaintreacherous has won five of seven starts this season and earned $777,027 for owners 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms.
The Simcoe Stakes is carded as Race 9.
A trio of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings will also take place on Saturday’s program. The second division will see the undefeated Johansson trained colt Tall Dark Stranger search for his fourth consecutive victory.
The OSS Gold divisions are carded as Races 2, 3 and 6.
Post time for Saturday evening’s $1.6 million card is 7:10 p.m. Visit www.WoodbineMohawkPark.com for full event details.
by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment