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Trotting Mares Ready To Take 'Flight'

Published: June 19, 2015 10:06 am ET

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“It’s going to be a hell of a race. I don’t say I’m going to beat Bee A Magician because she is one of the better mares I’ve ever seen."

For the first time in 43 years, two horses with Trotter of the Year honors to their credit will meet when Bee A Magician and Shake It Cerry clash in Saturday’s $272,000 Armbro Flight Stakes for older female trotters at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario.

Both mares were elimination winners last week; five-year-old Bee A Magician in a Canadian-record 1:51.1 and four-year-old Shake It Cerry in 1:52.4.

It will mark the first time since 1972 that two horses with Trotter of the Year awards already on their resumes face each other in North America. Fresh Yankee, the inaugural Trotter of the Year winner in 1970, and her successor Speedy Crown met six times that season.

Bee A Magician, who received the 2013 Trotter of the Year and Horse of the Year awards, has won five of six races this year and earned $284,910. She will start the Armbro Flight final from post five with driver Brian Sears and is the 3-5 morning line favourite.

Shake It Cerry, the 2014 U.S. Trotter of the Year, has won three of six starts this season and earned $68,738. She brings a three-race win streak to the Armbro Flight final, where she will start from post three with driver Yannick Gingras. She is the 5-2 second choice.

The field also includes Classic Martine, a Dan Patch Award divisional champion in 2014, who leaves from post two with Tim Tetrick in the sulky. She is third best on the morning line, at 8-1.

“It’s a great field, a fantastic field,” said Richard “Nifty” Norman, who trains Bee A Magician for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee. “You couldn’t ask for more.

“(Bee A Magician) seems great. She looks good and is nice and relaxed. I’m really happy with her going into the race. She was fantastic last week. If she can repeat that kind of performance this week, she should be in good shape. I think it will be a pretty honest race. We’ll see how it shakes out.”

Earlier this year, Bee A Magician beat the boys to become the first female trotter to win the Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands. Her only loss this year was a second-place finish to Father Patrick in the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational. She has won three times this year in 1:51.3 or faster -- the three fastest win times of any female trotter this season.

Shake It Cerry and Armbro Flight finalist Frau Blucher are not far behind, both with a 1:51.4 victory in the books. Rockin With Dewey and Allie Labrook, two more Armbro Flight contenders, each has a mark of 1:52 this year.

“Shake It Cerry is one of the better mares I ever saw too. The trip could work out for her," said Jimmy Takter, who trains Shake It Cerry for the Solveig’s Racing Partners ownership group. "She can open as fast as you want and maybe if she can get into position behind Bee A Magician it could be a good horse race.

“I might try to make (Shake It Cerry) a little faster this week, lighten her up a little bit. We need another second to beat Bee A Magician.”

Following is the Armbro Flight field in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds:

1. Bax Of Life, Chris Christoforou, Jerry Duford, 20-1
2. Classic Martine, Tim Tetrick, Chris Oakes, 8-1
3. Shake It Cerry, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2
4. Rockin With Dewey, Mario Baillargeon, Benoit Baillargeon, 10-1
5. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, Nifty Norman, 3-5
6. Charmed Life, Jody Jamieson, Dave Menary, 12-1
7. Frau Blucher, Corey Callahan, Chris Oakes, 12-1
8. Harley Momma, Sylvain Filion, Richard Moreau, 30-1
9. Handover Belle, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 20-1
10. Allie Labrook, Dan Shetler Jr., Brad Maxwell, 20-1

The Armbro Flight is part of Mohawk’s fantastic Saturday card with the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup as its main event. The card also features the $479,000 final of the Fan Hanover Stakes (which will showcase three-year-old pacing fillies), the $350,000 final of the Roses Are Red (pacing mares), the $233,000 final of the Armbro Flight (three-year-old trotting colts), the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup (invitational pacers) and the $75,000 North America Cup consolation.

TSN1 will televise the N.A. Cup final on Saturday. The race will also be featured on Sirius XM satellite radio during an edition of the ‘Saturday Night at the Races’ series. First-race post time for Mohawk’s Saturday card of racing is 6:30 p.m. The N.A. Cup has been slotted as Race 12 on the 15-dash card and has an approximate post time of 10:40 p.m.

To view the entries for Saturday's card at Mohawk or a free program for Mohawk’s Saturday card, courtesy of TrackIT, click on one of the following links: Saturday Entries -- Saturday Program Pages.

This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit

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