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No MLT Elims; Gillis Looks To Defend

Published: July 9, 2013 4:29 pm ET

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A total of eight horses were entered to contest the $543,000 Maple Leaf Trot, scheduled for July 20 at Mohawk Racetrack. With only eight horses entered, eliminations will not be required for the 2013 edition of the classic race for open trotters.

Mister Herbie, last year’s defending champion, will look for back-to-back wins in the event for trainer and co-owner Jeff Gillis. The son of Here Comes Herbie has banked $1,312,263 and has recorded 17 career victories. Coming into the historic event, Gillis believes it will be a terrific race for both horses and fans.

Mister Herbie - 2012 Maple Leaf Trot - 1:50.4

“I would say the competition is deeper and maybe more evenly matched than last year," said Gillis. "Last year it seemed like it was us and Chapter Seven. This year there is no Chapter Seven, but there is a bunch of others that all seem to be able to go. A lot of four-year-olds have returned very well and from good connections. It’s going to be a very exciting to race in it and for the fans.”

Mister Herbie has raced just three times this season, which Gillis has taken into account.

“He’s had a hoof issue, which was been well documented so we’re not really as fit as we’d like to be,” he said. “He’s a good horse and has won after long layoffs before. I suppose eliminations will likely favour him as he’d get an extra tightener. I couldn’t risk racing him tonight (Monday) in the Preferred and have to come right back in five days if they have eliminations.

“His hoof issue right now is under control and right now it’s just catching up,” Gillis continued. “He didn’t have a harness on him for two and a half weeks after his last start at The Meadowlands (Arthur Cutler Memorial), so we’re just getting him fit again.”

Gillis claims that Mister Herbie is ‘The Perfect Horse.’

“There is nothing not to like about him. I think it’s very rare to get a good or a great horse that is easy on himself, good to jog and good to work around. I don’t have a bad thing to say about him, so actually he’s the perfect horse.”

The son of Here Comes Herbie has a career record of 17-8-3 from 39 career starts for co-owners Mac Nichol and Gerald Stay. Regular pilot Jody Jamieson will once again be in the driver's seat.

The 2013 Maple Leaf Trot horses are listed alphabetically below.

1) Arch Madness
2) Burnin Money
3) Guccio
4) Knows Nothing
5) Market Share
6) Mister Herbie
7) Uncle Peter
8) Wishing Stone

The post position draw will take place on Saturday evening at Mohawk. The official Twitter 'hashtag' for the 2013 edition of the prestigious Maple Leaf Trot has also been announced. Fans of standardbred racing’s historic event can follow news and updates on Twitter using #MapleLeafTrot.

The $323,500 Roses Are Red Stakes, featuring North America’s top aged female pacers, is also part of the Maple Leaf Trot undercard on July 20 and pair of $35,000 eliminations will be held this Saturday.

The fields will line up as follows:

Race 3
1) Monkey On My Wheel
2) Shelliscape
3) Major Look
4) Anndrovette
5) Rocklamation
6) Camille
7) Swinging Beauty

Race 10
1) Bettor B Lucky
2) Greystone Ladylike
3) Drop The Ball
4) Economy Terror
5) Waasmula
6) Docs Hope
7) Krispy Apple

To view the harness racing entries for Saturday at Mohawk, click the following link: Saturday Entries - Mohawk Racetrack.

(With files from WEG)

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