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Atlanta, Lather Up Take Graduates

Published: June 1, 2019 9:10 pm ET

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Some of the sport’s finest, four-year-old superstars trucked to Woodbine Mohawk Park for a set of Graduate Series events – one for trotters and one for pacers – on Saturday’s stakes-filled program.

Atlanta toyed with the trotting foes she squared off with in the $99,000 tilt. The four-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip cruised to an easy victory for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke.

Gingras got away third with Atlanta while Custom Cantab shot to the lead and carved out the opening quarter in :28.3. As soon as the field entered the backstretch, Atlanta was brought first over by teamster Gingras. The pair easily claimed the lead, and the mare proceeded to slice out middle fractions of :57.4 and 1:25.2. She used a :27.3 closing quarter to win by 2-1/2 lengths over Mission Accepted in 1:53. Taking home the show dough was Custom Cantab.

Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor share ownership on the 14-time winner who is now perfect in her first two starts of the 2019 season. The lion’s share of the loot lifted Atlanta’s bankroll to $1,270,977 with the win.

Lather Up parlayed a perfect, second-over trip into a 1:50.1 triumph in the $99,000 Graduate Series division for the pacers.

Jody Jamieson got away fifth with last year’s Pepsi North America Cup champion while The Downtown Bus and Jimmy Freight tussled to the quarter pole in :27.1. Jimmy Freight worked his way to the top and had the field chasing him through middle fractions of :56 and 1:23.2. Dorsoduro Hanover came first over on the leader before tiring, but Lather Up was swelling up on that foe’s cover. Lather Up swung off cover in the lane and used a :26.1 closing quarter to prevail by a head over Thinkbig Dreambig. Jimmy Freight was third.

“I was a little worried when they got a half in :56 and we were sitting there fifth and I knew the guys at the front were going to be sprinting the whole way,” said trainer Clyde Franics. “I didn’t know if he would catch them or not, but he’s got a lot of guts.

“I think he can go with just about any horse out there if he behaves himself. That’s the problem and is the only thing that worries me more than anything.”

The homebred son of Im Gorgeous-Pocket Comb is now 3-for-4 this season for owners Gary and Barbara Iles of Harrington, DE. The 18-time winner lifted his lifetime earnings to $1,192,197 with the triumph.

(With quotes from Woodbine Mohawk Park)

To view results for Saturday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Saturday Results – Woodbine Mohawk Park.


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