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A Monday Trotfest At Mohawk

Published: August 1, 2013 10:05 pm ET

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The second wave of Mid-Summer Challengers arrives at Mohawk Racetrack on Civic Holiday, Monday, Aug. 5, in the form of 40 two-year-old trotting colts and fillies.

Among the qualifiers for the two-year-old trotting colt main event is Muscle Matters, who scored a win in the Gold Series season opener at Mohawk Racetrack on July 4 and finished fourth in the July 22 skirmish at Grand River Raceway to rank sixth in the point standings.

“He wasn’t at his best at Grand River,” says Ben Baillargeon, who conditions Muscle Matters for his partners Nunzio Vena of Bolton, Santo Vena of Brampton and Richard Thompson of London. “He came back sick the next day, with a high white (blood cell) count.”

The Rockwood resident is looking for a stronger effort from the colt on Monday, when he takes on the division’s best from Post 4 in the $150,000 Challenge.

“We drew the four-hole, right in the middle of the pack,” notes the trainer, who will hand the lines over to his brother, driver Mario Baillargeon of Milton. “We’re happy with that.”

A $17,000 purchase from the 2012 Canadian Yearling Sale, Muscle Matters was easy to break, but Baillargeon says the son of Muscle Mass and Sister Mary Lindy is still feeling his way through the ins and outs of the racing business.

“He’s a big dummy. He has no clue what he’s supposed to do yet,” says Baillargeon with a chuckle. “He’s racing now, but he has no idea he’s a racehorse.”

Baillargeon adds that he and his long time partners have been pleased with the progress the colt has shown and are willing to wait for his full potential to emerge, whether it develops this season or next.

“We’ve been around for a long time. We’re in no rush,” he explains. “We like to make money, but the horse is first and second is us.”

The top point earners are ranged out across the starting gate, with the undefeated Mr Lover landing Post 9, second ranked Utopia and See The Wind getting Post 5 and 7, respectively, and the colts tied for fourth, Jitterbug and Dream Rocker, benefitting from Posts 2 and 1 in the seventh race.

In the two-year-old trotting filly challenge undefeated Marcella Hall was also saddled with an outside post, getting the 10-hole in Race 5. The position may be irrelevant to the Deweycheatumnhowe daughter however, as she scored a 1:58.1 victory from Post 9 at Mohawk Racetrack in the July 5 season opener.

Trainer Jimmy Takter will steer Marcella Hall for his wife Christina Takter of New Jersey, John and Jim Fielding of Toronto and R A W Equine of Burlington.

The trotting fillies ranked eleventh through twentieth will battle in their $50,000 Consolation in Race 2 and the trotting colts in Race 3.

Mohawk Racetrack’s Civic Holiday Monday program gets under way at 7:25 p.m., with the Mid-Summer Challenge battles featured in Races 2, 3, 5, and 7.

(OSS)

To view entries for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Entries – Mohawk Racetrack.


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