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More Stars Debut At Mohawk

Published: April 28, 2017 2:28 pm ET

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Mohawk Racetrack hosted 14 qualifying races on Friday morning under clear and sunny skies with stars out...on the racetrack.

O'Brien Award winner Lady Shadow was out for second qualifier of the season in the Friday morning opener. With James MacDonald again at the controls, Lady Shadow accelerated away from Post 6 and was never challenged. After fractions of :28.2, :57.3 and 1:25.2, Lady Shadow widened an 18-length lead to a charted 23 length margin of victory at the wire with a mile timed in 1:52.4.

"She was awesome this morning," MacDonald told Trot Insider. "Very strong, seems like she is ready for another big year!"

Trained by Ron Adams and owned by David Kryway of Amherstburg, Ont., Carl Atley of Ohio and Philadelphia-based Ed Gold and BFJ Stable, Lady Shadow boasts a career summary of 28-8-3 from 55 starts, a mark of 1:48.1 and earnings in excess of $1.7 million.

Older competitors were also on display in the second qualifier, featuring the first 2017 charted mile for O'Brien Award finalist Shamballa. Trainer-driver Rick Zeron was content to concede the lead to Ellis Park (Randy Waples) in this one and followed along for a solid runner-up finish as Ellis Park tripped the timer in a brisk 1:51.4. Shamballa paced his mile in 1:52.1 with a :27.1 final panel.

Now seven, Shamballa boasts a 24-8-8 record from 63 career starts, a mark of 1:47.1 taken at The Meadowlands and more than $927,000 in purses. Over the winter months, Milton's Brad Grant joined the ownership group of Zeron, Howard Taylor and Cool Cat Racing.

"Shamballa did what I wanted him to," said Zeron. "I knew that Randy was the second week that he was qualifying his horse so I knew that he was going to let him roll along a little bit more. I was real content to just stay in behind him and finish second. My horse was full of himself at the wire but I went as fast as I needed to go.

"He'll come back and qualify next Friday."

Zeron is looking to race Shamballa in the Preferred class at Mohawk before his first stakes event of the season, the Ben Franklin at Mohegan Sun Pocono in June.

Zeron's O'Brien Award winning trotting colt Mass Production made his sophomore debut in impressive fashion with a gate-to-wire 1:58.2 mile. From nine rookie starts, Mass Production assembled a 5-1-1 record capped off with a dominant 1:54.4 score in his Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final. He banked more than $285,000 for Zeron and co-owners Jim Walker, Bruno Dipoce and Rene Allard.

"Mass Production did exactly what I wanted him to do," Zeron told Trot Insider. "I wanted to go 57, 58 with him and he went in 58 and 2.

"He minds his manners, he's much more versatile this year than he was last year. I took the trotting hopples off him, he's full of himself, he knows what he has to do...he gets off a gate much faster now than he did last year. I had to kind of watch him a bit last year leaving the gate but now he can get off the gate as fast as I need him to. That will help put me in a position where I want to be in a race with him."

Zeron reports that Mass Production is ready to race and will be dropped in the box at Mohawk.

A pair of North America Cup-eligible colts also emerged victorious from their respective tests. Stealth Bomber (26-1 in Trot's 2017 Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book) tuned up for next week's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes leg with a 1:54 mile, nine lengths the best for trainer Tony O'Sullivan and driver Sylvain Filion. OSS Super Final Arsenal Seelster (38-1 in Trot's 2017 Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book) was all business for his second qualifier of the season and paced to a 1:53.4 win for driver Jonathan Drury and trainer Colin Johnson.

Arsenal Seelster and Stealth Bomber are among the 53 colts still eligible to the 2017 Pepsi North America Cup, with eliminations slated for Saturday, June 10.

To view all the charts from Friday morning's qualifiers, including winning efforts from stakes winners Easy Lover Hanover, Royal Charm and Emoticon Hanover, click the following link: Friday Qualifiers - Mohawk Racetrack.

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