Pemberton Powerful In 2024 Debut

Published: February 16, 2024 11:42 am EST

The session of qualifiers on Friday, Feb. 16 at Woodbine Mohawk Park featured some notable names, but none more accomplished than award-winning trotter Pemberton.

Making his return to action after a two-month respite from racing, the seven-year-old gelding faced five foes in his Friday fracas and looked solid for his connections. With Eternally Hanover (Louis-Philippe Roy) keyed up and setting a solid tempo on top, Pemberton and Bert Renaud plodded along patiently in third through fractions of :28.4, :57.2 and 1:27. Seven lengths off the leader at the three-quarter mark, Pemberton narrowed that margin to 4-1/2 lengths at the head of the lane and continued to close on the leader through the stretch. A 28-second final quarter gave Pemberton a half-length lead at the wire over Eternally Hanover, with the mile timed in 1:56.2 — the fastest of either gait through the eight-dash session.

Julie Walker is handling the winter maintenance on Pemberton (Wheeling N Dealin - Dayshifter) for owners Christine & Brenda Walker. An O'Brien Award winner as Canada's Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year in 2020, Pemberton sports earnings exceeding $509,000 with 15 wins and a mark of 1:52.1 taken as a six-year-old to make him the fastest from his sire.

Trainer Bob McIntosh had two qualifying winners on the morning, a pair of debuting sophomore prospects with intriguing pedigrees.

Catch My Breath and driver James MacDonald closed to pick off D A Pac Man (Jody Jamieson) and win by a head in 2:03.2. That daughter of Thinking Out Loud - Breathtacular is a half-sister to 2023 O'Brien Award finalist Moment Is Here, owned by her trainer/breeder and Frank Baldachino.

Convoy Hall teamed with driver Sylvain Filion for a 2:01.3 score in his first appearance. The gelded son of Muscle Mass is from former McIntosh pupil Constance Hall, a $275,000 winning sister to the great Cantab Hall. McIntosh co-owns Convoy Hall, a $52,000 Lexington yearling, with his brother Doug, Randy Liepa and Bev Snobelen.

The full video stream from Friday's qualifiers is available below. 

For results from the qualifying session, click the following link: Friday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park (Qualifiers).

(Standardbred Canada)

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