Milton, ON — The field is set for next Saturday’s (Aug. 31) C$600,000 Maple Leaf Trot after a pair of eliminations were contested Saturday evening (Aug. 24) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 13 older trotters, including five mares, competed in a pair of C$40,000 eliminations. The top five finishers from each punched their ticket to next Saturday’s rich final.
Guardian Angel As fought off Atlanta with a :27.1 final-quarter to win the first elimination in 1:51.4. The 5-year-old and driver Tim Tetrick rejected a seat in the first turn, worked up to the top and never looked back for his sixth win nine starts.
“I was thinking about (tucking), but Atlanta I thought would want to follow my horse and lucky it worked out that way,” said Tetrick. “My horse has raced good every start this year…my horse is strong.”
Atlanta cut an opening-quarter of :28 before Guardian Angel As moved to the lead. The Anette Lorentzon trainee got a favorable half time of :57.1, which allowed Tetrick to pull the plugs and put his charge into sprint mode for a back-half of :54.3.
Guardian Angel As fended off Atlanta in the lane to win by three-quarters of a length. Speeding Spur N finished third, while Dream Together and Dancer Hall rounded out the top five.
Guardian Angel As has banked C$399,434 this season to bring his career earnings to C$921,116 for owners Acl Stuteri Ab and Kjell Johansson. The Lorentzon trainee picked up his 22nd career victory with the elimination score.
A $2 win ticket on Guardian Angel As returned $3.70.
Crystal Fashion rushed to the top at the half and kept the momentum going to win the second elimination in 1:52.1. David Miller guided the 4-year-old gelding to his fifth win in nine starts this season.
“I feel very good about this horse (going into the final) because he’s been such a good horse, we’ve been blessed to have a horse like him,” said trainer Jim Campbell. “He gives it a good effort every time we put him out there. He’s a very versatile horse, you can race him any way you want.”
Marion Marauder made a rally from fifth to finish second by two lengths. Six Pack, who was the favorite, didn’t fire off a second-over trip and finished third. The top five was completed by Manchego and Emoticon Hanover.
Hannelore Hanover, who won the 2017 Maple Leaf Trot, sprinted out to be the early leader and made a rare break when sitting on the winner’s back going to three-quarters.
Crystal Fashion has banked C$450,775 this season to bring his career totals to 18 wins and C$1.7 million earned for owner Fashion Farms. The Campbell trainee’s only other start at Mohawk Park prior to Saturday was a victory in last year’s Canadian Trotting Classic.
A $2 win ticket on Crystal Fashion returned $6.40.
The draw for next Saturday’s C$600,000 final took place following the eliminations. The connections of Crystal Fashion and Guardian Angel As were able to select their post.
1. Six Pack
2. Crystal Fashion
3. Guardian Angel As
4. Speeding Spur N
5. Dancer Hall
6. Dream Together
8. Marion Marauder
9. Emoticon Hanover
AE: Run Director