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Atlanta Ascends In Maple Leaf Trot

Published: September 5, 2020 9:53 pm ET

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Off a rare miscue when racing in the Armbro Flight, Atlanta sat off quick fractions and advanced late down the center of the track to win the $560,000 Maple Leaf Trot at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday (Sept. 5).

Crystal Fashion cleared command to a :26.3 first quarter with Lindy The Great challenging for the lead in second and Manchego—from the second-tier starting spot—tracking tightly on cover. Lindy The Great slid to the top into the backstretch before yielding control to Manchego, who motored clear from competition to a :54.3 half and to three-quarters in 1:22.

Manchego owned an open-length spinning into the stretch. Guardian Angel As chased first over but began to tire as Atlanta and even-money favourite Gimpanzee fanned wide off cover. Atlanta scooped the lead from a tiring Manchego moving to the final eighth and extended her lead to the finish of a 1:50.4 mile with Lindy The Great holding second from Gimpanzee in third. Crystal Fashion finished fourth.

“Honestly all the credit goes to [trainer] Ron Burke,” Gingras said after the race of Atlanta’s return to form. “He knows the horses. It’s amazing—a guy like him with the brain he has; he has 300 horses and right away after the race last week he called me and said ‘I know what the problem is. We changed her shoes four starts back, she raced good first start. The next start it was a little worse, and it was a little worse and then last week she made a break. The memory that guy has is unreal and all the credit is to him tonight because she definitely bounced back big.

“[Manchego] definitely looked pretty strong there at the five-eighths and even going around the last turn, but mine felt so strong… she really did. I had a handful of trot in the last turn, and when I tipped her she came off the cover like a sportscar; she was trotting so fast. I knew right then at the top of the stretch—even though [Manchego] was up by five—I knew I’d catch him. She was tremendous.”

Winning her 23rd race from 46 starts, Atlanta has now banked $2,515,160 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor. The five-year-old Chapter Seven mare returned $7.60 to win.

The Maple Leaf Trot was one of the handful of major stakes events on the Saturday card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Recaps from the other races are available at the following links:

To view the results from Saturday's card of harness racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park, click the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.


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