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'Bigtime' Return From Year Absence

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Published: September 2, 2011 11:16 am ET

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After a one-year absence from charted races, Bigtime Ball, Canada's 2009 Older Pacing Horse of the Year, made his return to the track Friday, September 2 at Mohawk Racetrack during the raceway's qualifying session.

Paired with his regular pilot, Paul MacDonell, Bigtime Ball, a career winner of 35 races and $1.38 million in purses, lined up in Post 5 for Race 2. A total of seven races went postward during the session, which was raced over a 'fast' track.

The Gord Irwin trainee darted off the wings and led the eight-horse field into the first turn before clicking off the quarter pole in a modest :28.1. From there, it was purely academic for Bigtime Ball.

The 1:48.2 Open pacer jogged past the half mile marker in :57.2 before gearing up a little on the final turn. The seven-year-old Presidential Ball gelding went on to trip the three quarters timer in 1:25.2 and fire home with a :27.1 final frame. He had an 11-length lead at the head of the lane and finished with a 14-length margin of victory. Bigtime Ball's victorious mile was covered in 1:52.3.

Race 3 saw the Linda Toscano-trained and Tim Tetrick-driven Chapter Seven record his first charted mile since finishing fourth in the Hambletonian on August 6 as the second post-time choice.

Tetrick and the three-year-old Windsongs Legacy colt started from Post 4 and got away third. The duo occupied the three hole through the :28.4 opening quarter and :58.3 opening half mile. The outer flow came calling on the final turn, and Tetrick then pulled his mount first over. The winner of eight of 11 races then got rolling on the outside. After having battled for the lead at the head of the stretch, Tetrick stepped on the gas in the lane and Chapter Seven was all business. He opened up daylight on his foes as he motored home to a six-length, 1:57.3 victory. He finished off his mile with a :28.1 final quarter mile.

A nine-horse set faced the gate for Race 6, and when it was all said and done a trio of sub-1:50 three-year-olds finished one, two, three.

After having drawn the Post 9 starting assignment, the Dr. Ian Moore-trained and Paul MacDonell-driven Rockabillie fired to the lead and diced the fractions in :28.3, :58 and 1:26.2. The Casie Coleman-trained and Scott Zeron-driven Betterthancheddar took a pocket ride throughout the mile, while the Ryan Maxwell-trained and Aaron Byron-driven Hare Craft sat sixth early and came first over on the final turn.

When all was said and done, Betterthancheddar was one and a quarter-lengths the best at the wire, which the three-year-old Bettors Delight colt nailed in 1:53. Rockabillie held on for second, while Hare Craft finished third.

To view the charted harness racing results from Mohawk's Friday qualifying session, click the following link: Friday - Mohawk Racetrack (Qualifying).


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