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O'Brien Winners, Cup Eligibles Qualify

Published: April 12, 2012 1:26 pm ET

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On Thursday, April 12 at Mohawk Racetrack, a pair of O'Brien Award winners and a handful of glamour boys continued to prep for their 2012 racing campaign during the 10-dash qualifying session at the Campbellville, Ont. oval.

The first to make an impact on the morning was the Travis Umphrey-trained millionaire Monkey On My Wheel, last season's three-year-old pacing filly of the year in Canada. In rein to pilot Jody Jamieson, the Mach Three lass left from Post 3 and worked out a two-hole trip for the mile. Every Day (driven by Luc Ouellette) did the work on the engine through fractions of :27.2, :55.3 and 1:24.1. Coming on in the final eighth of a mile, Jamieson and Monkey On My Wheel utilized a :27.1 closing panel to notch a one and a quarter-length win in 1:52.4. The victory was the second qualifying win in as many tries this year for Monkey On My Wheel, who won seven of 17 starts last year, banked $816,034 in purses and only missed the board on two occasions.

Last season's three-year-old trotting colt of the year in Canada, Daylon Magician, was up next, as the student of David Lemon paired with pilot Jack Moiseyev for Race 2. The duo opted for the pocket after having left from Post 7. When 'Jackie Mo' asked his mount after the opening panel (:29), the four-year-old son of Kadabra responded, as he went on to click off the opening half-mile in 58 seconds and the three-quarters timer in 1:25.4. The career winner of $1.29-million in purses finished off his mile with a :28.4 final quarter. The win time was 1:54.3 and the margin of victory was more than 10 lengths. The 2011 Canadian Trotting Classic winner had made his seasonal charted debut two weeks ago during Mohawk qualifiers, where he finished second and trotted in 1:57.2.

The next two dashes saw Pepsi North America Cup eligibles take to the track. Thunder Steeler, a Lis Mara colt trained by Bruce Goit and driven by Luc Ouellette, broke stride off the gate in Race 3 after having started from Post 9. The $20,000 yearling purchase was making his first charted mile of the season. He ended up finishing fifth, beaten more than 12 lengths. Thunder Steeler, who has been ranked at odds of 100-1 in Trot Magazine's NA Cup Spring Book, was individually clocked in 1:57 (Gable Blue Chip won the qualifier in 1:54.3). Race 4 saw Twin B Wrangler, a 48-1 shot in Trot's Spring Book, individually timed in 1:55.2. After leaving from Post 4, the Travis Umphrey-trained Mach Three gelding tripped the opening quarter-mile timer in :28.4. Driver Randy Waples opted to cover up his mount after that, which lead to a second-place finish, just one length in arrears of the victorious Winbak Warrior, who got the job done in 1:55.1.

Fast forward to Race 7 and it was Coach Cal (110-1 in Spring Book) who was putting forth some effort on the front end. In rein to Jody Jamieson for trainer Ryan Maxwell, Coach Cal, a son of Camluck, came first-up from third on the final turn and engaged in a stretch battle with eventual winner Blue Chip Sunshine (Billy Davis Jr.). Coach Cal was ultimately edged out by nose after having thrown down a :27.4 final quarter. Blue Chip Sunshine's win time was 1:55.4.

Race 10, the final dash on the docket, saw a pair of NA Cup eligibles do battle. The Ben Wallace-trained and Jody Jamieson-driven Special Blend (60-1 in Spring Book) came off the pace in what was his second qualifying effort of the season. After having been sixth at the three-quarters pole, Jamieson and the son of The Panderosa marched home with a :28.2 final quarter to get up and post a half-length victory in 1:57.2. Lightly-raced The Goat (100-1 in Spring Book) fought for the lead at the half, but faded to finish seventh in the mile, and was individually clocked in 1:59.2 for driver Randy Waples and trainer Igor Vrablic.

To view the harness racing results for the Thursday qualifying card at Mohawk, click the following link: Thursday Results - Mohawk Racetrack (Qualifiers).

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