The Diplomat Series Continues

Published: May 2, 2015 11:09 pm EDT

Three-year-old pacers The Wayfarying Man and Star Cover were each victorious in Saturday night's second leg of The Diplomat Series at Mohawk Racetrack.

Pepsi North America Cup eligible The Wayfaring Man delivered as the 4-5 favourite in the first $20,000 split with a 1:51.4 career-best performance. His time of the mile was also a new Canada's season record for the division.

Away fourth early on through a :27.3 first quarter, driver Jack Moiseyev sent
The Wayfaring Man in motion down the backside and took over the lead from Nobettorplacetobe (Doug McNair). The bettor's choice reached the half-mile mark in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:25 before sprinting home in :26.4 for the two and a half length victory. Nobettorplacetobe was the runner-up as he chased the winner home from the pocket while Good Friday Three (Chris Christoforou), another Cup eligible colt, came on for third.

The Dragon Again colt was a $62,000 Lexington Select Sale yearling purchase and is trained by Nicky Comegna for owner Bruno Comegna of Burlington, Ont.

The Wayfaring Man banked nearly $50,000 in seven starts as a freshman. He earned his two wins in the final two legs of the Dream Maker Series and was fourth-place finisher in subsequent divisions of the Nassagaweya, Bluegress and International Stallion Stakes.

Trot Magazine's pre-season 2015 Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book rankings list The Wayfaring Man at odds of 50-1.

In the second division, Star Cover also took a new career mark as he defeated the 3-2 favourite Dialamara in the final strides of a 1:52.1 mile.

With the inside post advantage, Dialamara (Sylvain Filion) established the lead while 5-2 second choice Star Cover and driver Doug McNair left from post five and tucked into the two-hole as the field headed into the first turn. The favourite carved out fractions of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:25. With the backfield on the move, McNair pulled Star Cover from the pocket nearing that third quarter mark and charged up to challenge Dialamara into the stretch. They battled head-to-head with Star Cover eventually getting by to win by a neck. Windsong Lightning (Mike Saftic), the 33-1 longest shot on the board, came on for third.

Trainer Blake MacIntosh co-owns the Royal Mattjesty gelding with Stuart McIntosh of Essex, Ont. and Brett Authier of Wheatley, Ont. A $4,500 Forest City Sale yearling, Star Cover went on to win three of his 10 freshman starts, including the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Championship, and also earned close to $50,000.

Star Cover finished third and The Wayfaring Man was fourth in last week's opening round of the series, which featured just one division won by J Js Delivery (who was not entered in this leg).

The Diplomat Series is for sophomore pacing colts and geldings that are non-winners of $100,000 in 2014. The $50,000 (added) final is scheduled for next Saturday, May 9.

This week's $34,000 Preferred Pace was won by Nickle Bag, who circled a nine-horse field to post a 26-1 upset in rein to Moiseyev. The Bill Robinson trainee equalled his lifetime mark of 1:49.4 with his eleventh hour heroics.

After trailing the field through fractions of :26.1, :54.2 and 1:21.3, Nickle Bag sprinted his final quarter in :26.3 to prevail by a neck on the far outside in a blanket finish. Ultimate Beachboy (Randy Waples) was second and Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson) finished third.

The five-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding has hit the board in 13 of his 16 starts this year (five wins) against Preferred company and has banked $145,860 in purses for owners Linda Loyens of Denfield, Ont. and Harry Loyens of Ilderton, Ont.

With a training triple on the 12-race card, two-time O'Brien Award winner Richard Moreau became the first conditioner to reach 100 wins this year on Canadian soil -- and third to that mark in all of North America after Ron Burke and Virgil Morgan Jr. The Puslinch, Ont. horseman teamed up with driver Sylvain Filion for his victories with trotter Hldontghttoyurdrms ($11.30), the back-to-back winning mare I Am Special ($5.90) and Yonkers invader Track Master D ($4.50), a first time starter for Moreau.

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Mohawk Racetrack.

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