MILTON, ON – August 31, 2019 – Guardian Angel As continued his dream harness racing season with a Canadian record equaling victory in Saturday's $600,000Cat Woodbine Mohawk Park.
The Anette Lorentzon trained five-year-old was moved to the top in the second-quarter by driver Tim Tetrick and never looked back to win by half a length in 1:50.4.
"I got away in a real good spot there early, and then I had to make a decision," said winning-driver Tetrick. "I thought my horse was the best tonight, I really did off last week's performance and he proved that he was."
The betting public couldn't separate elimination winners Guardian Angel As and Crystal Fashion, sending the trotters off as co-favourites at 9/5.
The opening-quarter action saw mares Manchego and Emoticon Hanover blast from the outside towards the lead. Manchego held top spot through an opening-panel of :26.4 before Guardian Angel As leaped from third to first and led by the half in :55.
Crystal Fashion was angled out from fourth at the half and trotted first-up to the leader's wheel on the far turn. Despite never seeing the rail after starting from post-10, World champion Atlanta was situated second-over by driver Yannick Gingras and set to deliver another gritty performance.
After a three-quarter clocking of 1:23, Guardian Angel As led the field into the lane and attempted to create separation on his rivals. Atlanta tipped off cover and did all she could to track down the leader. Fans roared as the trotters stormed home with Guardian Angel As recreating last week's elimination victory over Atlanta by refusing to budge for a Track, Stakes and Canadian record equaling time of 1:50.4.
Guardian Angel As, who earlier this season set a World Record on a half-mile track, held off Atlanta in last Saturday's elimination by three-quarters of a length.
"When he's on the front he relaxes a lot and then when he sees one coming, he keeps going," said Tetrick. "I can let him relax up there and when he sees one, he fights off and wants to go, so I was very confident."
Triple-millionaire Marion Marauder spent most of the mile on the outside and rallied from fourth-over to finish third. Crystal Fashion crossed the line fourth.
Guardian Angel As has led the older trotting division this season and now sports stunning numbers of seven wins and $699,434 earned in 10 starts. The Maple Leaf Trot victory pushes the now 23-time winner over $1 million in career earnings for breeder/co-owner Acl Stuteri Ab and co-owner Kjell Johansson.
Trainer Lorentzon becomes just the second female trainer to win the Maple Leaf Trot, joining Hall of Famer Linda Toscano (2013, Market Share).
Guardian Angel As returned $5.80, $3.00, $2.60. A $2 Exacta with Atlanta paid $28, while the $2 Trifecta including Marion Marauder returned $128.40. The Superfecta, completed by Crystal Fashion, paid $146 for a $1 winning ticket.
by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment