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O'Brien Profiles - Three-Year-Old Trotting Colts/Geldings

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Published: January 24, 2009 5:23 pm ET

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With the 2008 O'Brien Awards less than two weeks away, the SC website will shine the spotlight on the finalists in each O'Brien division.

Today we profile the three-year-old trotting colt division.

CLERK MAGISTRATE - Clerk Magistrate was a relative unknown coming into the 2008 season but it didn’t take long for the strapping son of Andover Hall - Weather Bird to make a name for himself against the top trotting colts in North America.

His coming out party was in the Goodtimes Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack in June where he took his $30,000 Elimination in 1:54.1 and then trounced rivals a week later by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:54.

The Per Henriksen trainee would surface next in the Dancer Memorial Eliminations at The Meadowlands in early July where he finished a credible second behind the great Deweycheatumnhowe. He would finish third to Dewey in the $350,000 Final one week later.

After finishing fifth in the $1.5 million Hambletonian, Clerk Magistrate made the trek to Balmoral Park in Chicago where he took the $200,000 American National for regular pilot Trevor Ritchie in 1:53.2 - a clocking that stands as his lifetime mark.

He continued his outstanding form into the latter half of the season, winning his $40,000 Canadian Trotting Classic Elimination at Mohawk on September 6 and then finishing second behind Deweycheatumnhowe the next week in the $1 million Final.

DEFINE THE WORLD - Define The World is another trotting colt who flew under the radar early in the 2008 season. Trained by top trotting conditioner, John Bax, for owner-breeder Al Libfeld, the son of Duke Of York did not hit the board in four starts as a rookie but matured tremendously coming into his sophomore campaign.

He won at first asking in an overnight at Georgian Downs and it wasn’t long before he started to assert himself against stakes competition. In the Goodtimes Stakes Final at Mohawk Racetrack, he finished third and was ultimately placed second.

Define The World continued to improve during the season and he became a dominant force in the Ontario Sires Stakes, winning seven of 10 starts in the provincial program, including a World Record 1:54.2 score in a Gold Final at Flamboro Downs and the $300,000 Super Final on November 15, his final start of the year.

Define The World was also competitive against Grand Circuit company as evidenced by victory in his $132,327 division of The Simcoe Stakes at Mohawk and his closing fourth-place finish in the second heat of the Kentucky Futurity at Lexington’s Red Mile.

He ended his three-year-old campaign with 14 wins from 24 trips postward and more than $750,000 in earnings to his credit.


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