Milton, ON — Rookie trotters will take the spotlight Saturday (Aug. 20) at Woodbine Mohawk Park for the eliminations of the William Wellwood Memorial and Peaceful Way.
The Saturday evening program will feature five elimination races, including three for the Wellwood Memorial, which offers a slot in the Mohawk Million to the horse that wins the final.
A group of 25 freshman colt and gelding trotters have been split into three C$30,000 eliminations for the Wellwood Memorial (races four, seven, nine).
Walner colt Winners Bet is the 9-5 morning line choice in the first elimination. The Domenico Cecere trainee arrives at Mohawk off a maiden-breaking 1:55 victory in a division of the Kindergarten at The Meadowlands on Aug. 5. Dexter Dunn will steer the $200,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale graduate.
The first split will also see John Bax trainee Lowry return to Mohawk after a pair of starts in Kentucky Sires Stakes competition. The gelded son of Father Patrick won a leg of the Millard Farms Series in his last start at Mohawk and reunites with driver Chris Christoforou.
Lowry will be the first of five Bax trainees to compete in the Wellwood eliminations.
The second elimination offers an intriguing matchup between Millard Farms Series winner Lukes Bar and Kentucky Sires Stakes star French Wine.
Dave Menary trainee Lukes Bar dominated in the second leg and final of the Millard Farms to improve his rookie record to two for three. The gelded son of Bar Hopping teams with leading driver James MacDonald, who returned from a recent injury just in time to drive the Menary trainee in the Millard final.
French Wine is also a son of Bar Hopping and has been hopping around North America with great success recently. The Julie Miller trained colt has won three starts in a row, posting victories in a Pennsylvania Sires Stakes contest and two KYSS divisions. Andy Miller will take his usual position behind French Wine.
Team Miller captured the inaugural Mohawk Million in 2020 with Venerate and could find themselves back in the lucrative race should French Wine capture the Wellwood.
The third elimination is headlined by early Ontario Sires Stakes star Osceola. The Gregg McNair trained son of Muscle Mass has won back-to-back OSS Gold divisions, including a 1:56.1 score last Friday at Mohawk. Doug McNair guides the youngster for his father.
OSS Gold winner Snowpiercer will also compete in the third elimination. The Bax trainee was upset in last Friday’s Gold leg, but like many of the starters was racing for the first time in a month. Paul MacDonell, who has won the Wellwood twice, will drive Snowpiercer.
The top three finishers, plus a fourth-place finisher drawn by lot, will advance to the rich Wellwood Memorial final on Aug. 27.
The Peaceful Way eliminations will see a pair of seven-horse C$30,000 divisions contested.
Tactical Planner, who scored a 67-1 upset in the Pure Ivory Series final, will lead the first elimination from the rail for trainer Dustin Jones and his son, driver Tyler Jones. The daughter of Tactical Landing broke her maiden in the Pure Ivory final.
The first split also has a pair of starters from the Bax Stable, who send out four across the two divisions. Proud To Be Lindy and Sound Advice both recently ventured down to Lexington for Bax to compete in a KYSS leg.
The second elimination is loaded with talent, including two-time OSS Gold winner Righteous Resolve. Another Bax trainee, the daughter of Resolve recently posted a near three length score in a Gold division on Aug. 11 for her third win in four starts.
Righteous Resolve will face her toughest test to date on Saturday, as the Tony Alagna trained Heart On Fire is the 8-5 morning line choice. The daughter of Father Patrick enters off back-to-back wins at The Meadowlands, including a 1:54.1 Kindergarten division win on Aug. 5.
The top five finishers from each Peaceful Way elimination advance to the final on Aug. 27. The Peaceful Way eliminations are carded as races three and six.
A free past performance program page for Saturday’s card will be available Thursday afternoon for download at WoodbineMohawkPark.com.
Post time for Saturday’s 11-race card is 7 p.m.