Marion Marauder Conquers All In Cashman

Published: August 4, 2018 02:30 pm EDT

Once again showing a flair for the dramatic on Hambletonian Day, Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder captured the 2018 $286,650 John Cashman Memorial in a tight photo finish.

A field of 12 older trotters went postward in the Cashman, with 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover favoured from trailing post 12. Driver Yannick Gingras would get her away mid-pack as I Know My Chip (Vic Kirby) and Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) were hustled away from the outside of the gate. I Know My Chip cleared to the top but Marion Marauder forged on and made the top through a :26.1 opener to the 1-1/8 mile event.

Gingras would loop three-wide around first-over contender in Secret (George Brennan) to take control of the race through a :54.2 half. In Secret continued that first over pressure with Will Take Charge (Tim Tetrick) tipping from second over to loop In Secret and face Hannelore Hanover bridle-to-bridle as the three-quarter mile time flashed up in 1:23.2. Those horses started to separate from the pack to give pocket-sitting Marion Marauder daylight to tip into the three path in the stretch.

As the front-runners trotted through a 1:51.4 mile, Marion Marauder and Will Take Charge began to edge past Hannelore Hanover. In the final strides, Marion Marauder lunged past Will Take Charge and had his nose on the wire a neck in front of Will Take Charge, with Hannelore Hanover a resolute third. The time of the race was 2:06.

“He just has the will to win,” said winning driver Scott Zeron. “It’s just a matter of me getting him into the race, which has been difficult some places. But when he’s within reaching distance, doesn’t he always seem to get up?

“The trip couldn’t have worked out any better,” Zeron added. “He needed that whole quarter to get to the front. When he did, (In Secret) was at my wheel and I noticed that Yannick had made that three-wide move, which was even better. To follow him through the back half of the race was great. It was good for my horse not to have to cut the entire mile and an eighth. I couldn’t be any happier with the way it went.”

Trained by Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling of Cambridge, Ont., Marion Marauder (Muscle Hill - Spellbound Hanover) now sports a record of 4-3-0 in seven seasonal starts. The win, his 18th lifetime, pushes the five-year-old's lifetime bankroll past the $3 million plateau for owners Jean Wellwood of Stratford, Ont. and Devin Keeling of Cambridge.

Be sure to check out the rest of the coverage from Hambletonian Day in the 2018 Hambletonian Day News Centre.

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