Milton, ON — Forbidden Trade and Green Manalishi S headline a field of nine for this Saturday’s (Sept. 14) C$605,000 Canadian Trotting Classic at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
A total of nine sophomore trotters were entered Tuesday morning for this year’s edition of the Canadian Trotting Classic. The C$605,000 race headlines a C$2 million card that includes the C$376,000 Elegantimage, C$405,000 Peaceful Way and C$370,000 William Wellwood Memorial.
Hambletonian winner Forbidden Trade (PP2) leads the field for the Canadian Trotting Classic. The Luc Blais trainee and winner of C$1.1 million has home track advantage in his attempt for another signature victory. The son of Kadabra is owned by Serge Godin’s Determination of Montreal, Quebec and is driven by Bob McClure, who currently ranks second in earnings and third in wins at Woodbine.
Forbidden Trade is looking to become the first Hambletonian winner since Pinkman in 2015 to also win the Canadian Trotting Classic. The Blais trainee most recently finished second in the Yonkers Trot and sports a record of six wins and top-three finishes in all 10 starts this season
Marcus Melander trainee Green Manalishi S (PP4) is undefeated in three career starts at Mohawk Park and full of confidence following a victory in last Friday’s Simcoe Stakes.
Owned by Courant Inc, Green Manalishi S has won four of eight starts this season and his only time missing the board was a fifth-place finish in the Hambletonian final. Tim Tetrick will guide the son of Muscle Hill.
Green Manalishi S, who is a little less than C$55,000 away from millionaire status, captured last year’s William Wellwood Memorial. He is attempting to become the first Wellwood-Trotting Classic back-to-back winner since Father Patrick in 2014.
The field for Saturday’s main event also includes Goodtimes Stakes winner Pilot Discretion (PP5, Andrew McCarthy). The Tony Alagna trainee hasn’t won since capturing the C$247,000 event on Pepsi North America Cup night, but does have a runner-up finishes in the Stanley Dancer Memorial, a pair of Kentucky Sires Stakes divisions and was a Hambletonian finalist.
Forbidden Trade is one of three Ontario sired trotters in the field. Knight Angel (PP1, Doug McNair) and Only For Justice (PP9, Chris Christoforou) have each won an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division this season.
Completing the field for the Canadian Trotting Classic is the much-talked-about Swandre The Giant (PP3, David Miller) for trainer Ron Burke, Hambletonian finalist Don’t Let’em (PP8, Yannick Gingras) for trainer Nancy Johansson, recent winner Gerry (PP7, Corey Callahan) for trainer Melander and Goodtimes finalist Smart As Hill (PP6, Paul MacDonell) for trainer Mike Keeling.
The C$605,000 Canadian Trotting Classic is carded as Race 8 on Saturday’s C$2 million card.
The C$376,000 Elegantimage Stakes attracted 13 sophomore trotting fillies. The top-10 money earners will race in Saturday’s event with the other three entrants receiving a refund of their stakes payments.
Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry leads the field with C$328,054 earned this season and comes in off a Simcoe Stakes division victory last Friday. The daughter of Muscle Hill and driver Simon Allard will start from post-three for trainer Carmen Auciello.
Ohio Sires Stakes champion Only Take Cash will face her toughest challenge to date in the Elegantimage. The Bob McIntosh trainee crushed her rivals in the Buckeye State this season and holds a record of six wins and C$308,811 earned in eight starts as a three-year-old.
A daughter of Cash Hall, Only Take Cash won her Grand Circuit debut two starts back in a division of the Casual Breeze. Trevor Henry will guide the filly from the rail.
A trio of notables didn’t have luck on their side in the post-position draw.
Simcoe winner Sisters Promise (PP8, Tim Tetrick) for trainer Linda Toscano, last year’s Peaceful Way winner The Ice Dutchess (PP9, Yannick Gingras) for trainer Johansson and New Jersey Sires Stakes champion Evident Beauty (PP10, David Miller) for trainer ‘Nifty’ Norman drew posts eight through ten.
The C$376,000 Elegantimage has been carded as Race 10.
Rookie trotters will also be on display for the C$405,000 Peaceful Way and C$370,000 William Wellwood Memorial.
Linda Toscano’s Dip Me Hanover (PP3, David Miller) and Johansson’s Panem (PP4, Dexter Dunn) captured last week’s Peaceful Way eliminations for two-year-old trotting fillies.
The Peaceful Way is carded as Race 4.
Trainer Melander is set up nicely to capture his second consecutive Wellwood Memorial for two-year-old trotting colt and geldings. He swept last week’s eliminations with Back Of The Neck (PP3, Mattias Melander) and Capricornus (PP4, Tim Tetrick).
The William Wellwood Memorial is carded as Race 6.
Saturday evening’s card will also feature the eliminations for the Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady.
A group of 14 two-year-old pacing colts and geldings have been split into a pair of $40,000 Metro eliminations, while 12 two-year-old pacing fillies were separated into two C$35,000 eliminations for the Shes A Great Lady.
Capt Midnight has been steamrolling through stakes events this summer at Mohawk Park and will now look to add the prestigious Metro Pace to his collection. The Alagna trainee most recently won a division of the Champlain Stakes by 7-3/4 lengths in a stakes-record equaling time of 1:50.2.
A son of 2012 Metro winner Captaintreacherous, Capt Midnight is four for six with C$192,819 earned and a mark of 1:49.4. Driver Andrew McCarthy will team up with the freshman from post-seven in the second elimination.
Johansson trainee Tall Dark Stranger enters the Metro eliminations with a perfect four for four record. The son of Bettors Delight has crushed Ontario Sires Stakes rivals in his previous two starts to bring his earnings to C$104,533.
Tall Dark Stranger, whose average margin of victory is nearly three-lengths, holds a mark of 1:51.1 and will be driven by Yannick Gingras from post-two in the first elimination.
The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the C$750,000 Metro Pace final on September 21. The eliminations have been carded as Races 3 and 9.
The Alagna barn will also send out the top contender in the Shes A Great Lady eliminations.
Identical to Capt Midnight, Reflect With Me has cruised through her series and stakes at Mohawk Park over the last six weeks, including a stakes record 1:51.1 victory in last weekend’s Champlain Stakes.
The daughter of Captaintreacherous is four for six with C$139,068 earned and a mark of 1:50.3. Alagna will again have the driving services of McCarthy and the duo will start from post-three in the second elimination.
Bettors Delight filly Alicorn has turned many heads this season with multiple Ontario Sires Stakes records. The Chantal Mitchell trainee has won four of seven starts, including a division of the Eternal Camnation, and holds a mark of 1:50.3.
Alicorn established an Ontario Sires Stakes record of 1:51 on July 19 and broke her own record in her most recent start on August 30 with the 1:50.3 mile.
Louis Philippe Roy will drive the Mitchell trainee from post-four in the first elimination.
The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the C$540,000 final on September 21. The eliminations have been carded as Races 1 and 2.
The Milton Stakes for older pacing mares will not require eliminations this weekend with 10 pacing mares entered. All 10 advance to the C$250,000 final on September 21.
Superstar Shartin N is the star attraction for this year’s Milton Stakes. The Jim King trained six-year-old has won 14 of 15 starts this season and is currently the top-ranked horse in the Hambletonian Society-Breeders Crown Top 10 poll with all 35 first-place votes.
The group of 10 for the Milton Stakes is listed below in alphabetical order.
Apple Bottom Jeans
Double A Mint
Kissin In The Sand
Seaswift Joy N
Post time for this Saturday’s C$2 million card is 7:30 p.m.
For more information, visit www.WoodbineMohawkPark.com.