Twenty-Three To Contest Wellwood Elims


Some of the continent's top three-year-old trotting colts will be contesting a lone elimination for the Canadian Trotting Classic this Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack

. What many people seemed to have missed is that on Friday the track will be hosting the elims for the William Wellwood Memorial Stakes.

The two-year-old trotting colt and geldings will be strutting their stuff over the Campbellville, Ont. course during three elims, which have been carded as Races 2, 4 and 6. The program will kick off with a 7:30 p.m. first-race post time.

The $515,000 (estimated) final of the William Wellwood Memorial will take place September 18 along with the rich Canadian Trotting Classic and Peaceful Way Stakes.

The first elim, arguable the most contentious on paper, will house a filed of seven. The group will include $200,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes and $103,000 Champlain Stakes winner Leader Of The Gang (PP4, R. Pierce, 8-5). The Jimmy Takter-trained Muscles Yankee colt has won four of his six starts, has finished on the board in every race, has over $231,000 in earnings, and has been gauged at low odds for his Friday assignment.

The colt which has been established as the early choice in the opening elim is not Leader Of The Gang, though. That distinction has been handed to the Ben Baillargeon-trained Conway Hall colt Talespinner (PP6, M. Baillargeon, 6-5). The 2010 Bridger Trotting Series winner has won three of his four starts and taken a mark of 1:56.2. He is coming into his elim after having run early and often in his division of the Champlain Stakes last Friday.

The third morning line choice for the opening elim is the Blair Burgess-trained Blue Porsche (PP7, T. Ritchie, 5-2). The bay son of Glidemaster has won two of his four starts and has earned over $54,000. The colt put his best foot forward last Friday at Mohawk when he cruised through the slop to record a six-length, mark-lowering win in 1:56.2.

The second elim, which will showcase a filed of eight, will be highlighted by a pair of Champlain Stakes winners, both of which will be starting out from inside posts. The Jimmy Takter-trained Cantab Hall colt Pastor Stephen (PP1, Y. Gingras, 7-5) is the slight second choice in the early odds from the rail. Big Rigs (PP2, J. Campbell, 6-5) has got top billing early, as he has shown a knack for hitting the wire first in his three career trips to the post.

Elimination three will feature both the James Campbell-trained Credit Winner colt Neal (PP2, B. Sears, 2-1) and the Jimmy Takter-conditioned Glidemaster colt Not Nice (PP5, Y. Gingras, 3-1). The former will be heading into his elim off a dead-heat win in a New York Sire Stakes event at Vernon Downs, while the latter will be heading in after having recorded an open-length victory in the $200,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championships at Chester Racetrack.

The card will also feature the return of the O'Brien Award-winning pacing mare Dreamfair Eternal, who last raced a game fourth in the $257,000 Golden Girls at the Meadowlands Racetrack on August 20. The lass will contest the $38,000 Open Pace, which has been carded as Race 10.

To view the entries for the Mohawk's Friday night card of racing, click here.