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Gingras: Wolfgang Is In Tune

Published: June 12, 2018 2:06 pm ET

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Wolfgang will try to continue his rise among Hambletonian Stakes contenders when he faces nine rivals in Saturday’s $266,000 Goodtimes Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

The Goodtimes is one of the stakes stops on the road to August’s $1.2 million Hambletonian, which is the sport’s premier race for three-year-old trotters.

Two of the past four winners of the Goodtimes have gone on to capture the Hambletonian (Marion Marauder in 2016 and Trixton in 2014). In addition, last year’s winner, International Moni, won an elimination of the Hambletonian.

Saturday’s Goodtimes is part of a stakes-filled card at Woodbine Mohawk Park, headlined by the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup for three-year-old male pacers. The night also includes the Armbro Flight for older female trotters, Roses Are Red for older female pacers, and Fan Hanover for three-year-old female pacers.

Wolfgang, who was ranked No. 9 in last week’s Road to the Hambletonian, compiled by Meadowlands Racetrack announcer and analyst Ken Warkentin, is among seven Hambletonian-eligible trotters in the Goodtimes. The others are Alarm Detector, Cruising In Style, Hat Trick Habit, Hill Street, Lawmaker, and Missle Hill.

Alarm Detector, who was No. 3 in last week’s Hambletonian rankings, and Wolfgang each won his Goodtimes elimination. Wolfgang, making his first start of the season, captured his division by two and three-quarter lengths over Lawmaker in a career-best 1:52.2.

“I’m very happy with the way he went last week,” said Yannick Gingras, who drives Wolfgang for trainer Jimmy Takter. “It was his first time out and he was loaded with trot. I think he did it the right way and I think he’s got a big chance.”

Last year, Wolfgang won three of 10 races and earned $316,275, which ranked fifth among two-year-old male trotters. The colt’s victories included the Matron Stakes, and he finished second in the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship and season-ending Valley Victory Stakes.

Fourth Dimension, who was last year’s Dan Patch Award winner for two-year-old male trotters and was No. 1 in last week’s Road to the Hambletonian, won the Valley Victory. Fourth Dimension is yet to race this year.

“I think if I got loose a little earlier in the Valley Victory I could have given Fourth Dimension all he wanted,” said Gingras, who has driven Wolfgang in his past four starts. “Even before that, I watched him race and he looked like a horse that could go a long ways.

“I thought coming into the year he was probably the best trotter I had to drive for the Hambletonian. Jimmy said all along he was coming back strong. We couldn’t be any happier with where he’s at right now.”

Wolfgang, who hails from a family with chef-inspired names, is a son of My MVP out of Summer Savory. He was purchased for $60,000 at the 2016 Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Brixton Medical Inc., Goran Falk, Hatfield Stables, and breeder Fair Island Farm.

Alarm Detector, who was the O’Brien Award winner for best two-year-old male trotter in Canada, won his Goodtimes elimination by three-quarters of a length over Breeders Crown champion Fiftydallarbill in 1:53.1. Alarm Detector also was making his seasonal debut.

“I was okay with it, mile in (1:) 53, it’s getting a little cooler right now at this time and you can train them as much as you want, but it’s not like racing,” trainer Ben Baillargeon said after the win. “He was ready and up to the task.”

Alarm Detector, a son of Chapter Seven out of Final Countdown, has won seven of eight career races and earned $237,032. His victories last year included the William Wellwood Memorial at Woodbine Mohawk Park. He was purchased for $110,000 at the 2016 Standardbred Horse Sale and his family includes Dan Patch and O’Brien awards winner Ken Warkentin, who was named in honour of the Meadowlands’ announcer.

The colt is owned by Thomas Rankin, Elizabeth Rankin, Claude Hamel, and Santo Vena.

Following is the field for the Goodtimes Stakes. The connections of Wolfgang and Alarm Detector, as elimination winners, selected their respective post positions.

(Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer)
1-Stormont Ventnor-Phil Hudon-Kevin Benn
2-Hill Street-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter
3-Alarm Detector-Trevor Henry-Benoit Baillargeon
4-Wolfgang-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter
5-Lawmaker-Anthony MacDonald-Jason McGinnis
6-Hat Trick Habit-David Miller-Domenico Cecere
7-Fiftydallarbill-Trace Tetrick-William Crone
8-Run Director-Sylvain Filion-Benoit Baillargeon
9-Missle Hill-Doug McNair-Tony Alagna
10-Cruising In Style-James MacDonald-Kevin McMaster

(USTA)


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