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Dali Wins First Qualifier Back

Published: March 14, 2014 7:55 pm ET

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Nine-year-old pacer Dali returned to the track on Friday and recorded his first charted line in over three years during Woodbine Racetrack's qualifying session.

Reuniting with the millionaire pacing stallion, driver Luc Ouellette steered him to a 1:55.4 qualifying win over the fast track with a one second variant.

Leaving from the outside post five, Dali took the lead into a :29-second opening quarter before 2013 Valedictory Series champion Yucatan swept by from the pocket. Dali played follow-the-leader through middle splits of :58.1 and 1:27.2 before kicking home in :28.1 for the one and a quarter length victory. Yucatan finished second with third-place finisher Real Infusion over 19 lengths in arrears.

"He bred a few years in Indiana, and with Ohio slot money increasing and Indiana's decreasing, he was brought back here to support breeding in Ontario," trainer Isaac Waxman recently told Trot Insider. "We brought him back here in the middle of November. He looked so good, we thought 'let's try jogging him for a month and see how he feels' and when we turned him he just felt like he hadn't missed a beat. So we were taking our time with him, but he didn't want to take his time with us."

In December it was announced that Dali would stand stud in Ontario for the 2014 breeding season and that 10 per cent of all proceeds from stud fees collected will be donated to the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. Waxman confirmed that Dali will be performing both breeding and racing duties.

The son of Real Artist out of Armbro Tea is leased by Equus Standardbreds Inc. of Hamilton, Ont. He's earned 21 wins in 75 career starts and has amassed $1.4 million in purse earnings. Dali boasts a lifetime mark of 1:48.2 -- a world record at the time on a five-eighth mile track -- taken in the Matron Stakes at Dover Downs during his sophomore campaign in 2008.

Friday also marked the return of trotter Hes A Demon, who stood stud in Indiana the last two years.

To read more on Dali's comeback, click here.

To view Friday's qualifying results, click on the following link: Friday Results (Qualifiers) - Woodbine Racetrack.

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