Cecere Duo Sets Out To Complete Wellwood Mission

International Man winning at Woodbine Mohawk Park
Published: August 24, 2022 03:37 pm EDT

There is little mystery surrounding International Man, which makes working with the colt a pleasure for trainer Domenico Cecere.

International Man has won two of three races this year, including an elimination of the William Wellwood Memorial for two-year-old trotters last weekend at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Lindy Farms-owned homebred, from the first crop of stallion International Moni, will start Saturday’s (Aug. 27) $665,000 Wellwood final from post six with Yannick Gingras in the sulky.

His sire, International Moni, was bred and raced by the Moni Maker Stable, which includes members of Lindy Farms’ Antonacci family as well as David Reid. International Moni was a multiple winner on the Grand Circuit, including the Goodtimes Stakes at Mohawk in 2017.

“He reminds me a lot of his father because he’s so laid back with a nice gait,” said Cecere. “I really like him. It’s enjoyable to train a horse like him. International Moni was a pleasure to train too. We love International Moni and it looks like we have a nice son of his. It’s very nice to see them go the right way.”

International Man, out of the mare Birthright, is a half-brother to filly Raised By Lindy, who last year at age two won three times on the Grand Circuit and lost by a nose to Joviality S in the Breeders Crown.

“He’s got a lot of pedigree,” said Cecere. “I’m very happy with him.”

International Man won his debut in 1:55 in a division of the Kindergarten Classic Series at The Meadowlands then was beaten by a neck in a third-place finish in the second leg of the event. He won his Wellwood elim by a half-length over Southwind Coors in 1:56.

“He won the first start from off a helmet and then in his next start, he got stuck on front, but I liked that he fought until the end,” said Cecere. “He’s still a little bit green, but he’s improving. We made some changes with his bridle at Mohawk after talking with Yannick and he responded. He had a nice race. I know they went slow [1:00.1] the first half, but I’ll take it. I think we’re in good shape.”

In addition to International Man, Cecere will send out Winners Bet in the Wellwood final. The colt also won an elimination, besting Tuscan Prince by a neck in 1:56.3. The son of Walner-Side Bet Hanover was purchased for $200,000 at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and is owned by Lindy Farms and Robert Rudolph.

Winners Bet winning at Woodbine Mohawk Park

Winners Bet debuted with a third-place finish in a leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes then got a three-week respite before finishing second in the New Jersey Sire Stakes Consolation. Two weeks later, he won a second-round division of the Kindergarten in 1:55.

Dexter Dunn will drive Winners Bet in the Wellwood final, leaving from post four.

“In the beginning, he could get a little bit hot, a little bit anxious,” said Cecere. “We took our time with him and went easy. He’s a very powerful horse. He always showed he had a lot of speed and class, but he wanted to do so much so quick. I’m very proud of him. He’s really come around.”

The third of the three Wellwood eliminations was won by Oh Look Magic in 1:55.1, the fastest time of the season for a two-year-old trotter in Canada. Oh Look Magic, the winner of three of five races this year, will have James McDonald at the lines for trainer John Bax and starts from post five.

Saturday’s card at Mohawk also includes the Peaceful Way Stakes final for two-year-old female trotters, two divisions of the Nassagaweya Stakes for two-year-old male pacers, two divisions of the Eternal Camnation for two-year-old female pacers, and eliminations of the Canadian Pacing Derby for older male pacers. 

The William Wellwood Memorial is Race 10 on the 12-race card, which begins at 7 p.m. (EDT). The winner of the Wellwood receives the final starting spot in the Mohawk Million, which is Sept. 24.

“It’s exciting,” said Cecere. “Both of our horses looked nice. It looks like the plans we made for them are going the right way. Hopefully, it continues that way.

“Now, we’ll try to finish the job.”

The full Wellwood field is listed below.

$665,000 William Wellwood Memorial Trot

Post - Horse - Driver - Trainer 

1. French Wine - Andy Miller - Julie Miller

2. Ghostly Casper - Sylvain Filion - Ben Baillargeon

3. Gaines Hanover - Louis-Philippe Roy - Richard Moreau

4. Winner’s Bet - Dexter Dunn - Domenico Cecere

5. Oh Look Magic - James MacDonald - John Bax

6. International Man - Yannick Gingras - Domenico Cecere

7. Tuscan Prince - Bob McClure - Luc Blais

8. Southwind Coors - Mike Saftic - John Bax

9. Snowpiercer - Paul MacDonell - John Bax

10. Dahlquist Hanover - Trevor Henry - Desiree Jones

To view Saturday's complete harness racing entries, click the following like: Saturday Entries - Woodbine Mohawk Park.


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