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Melander Pupils Sweep Wellwood Elims

Published: September 6, 2019 11:58 pm ET

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A group of 14 two-year-old trotting colts and geldings were split into a pair of $30,000 William Wellwood Memorial eliminations Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park, with the top five finishers from each division booking their ticket to next Saturday’s $370,000 final.

Back Of The Neck was a coast-to-coast winner in the first elimination for the Team Melander. The Ready Cash colt and driver Mattias Melander set fractions of :28, :58.3 and 1:26.4 before trotting home in :28.1 for a 1:55 victory.

“Every start he races he’s been developing more,” said Mattias Melander about Back Of The Neck. “I was on him a little bit, but I think he had some left.”

Trained by Marcus Melander, Back Of The Neck didn’t face pressure until Beyond Kronos pushed first-up going to three-quarters. The margin of victory was a length and a half with Beyond Kronos finishing second and Port Perry finishing third off a two-hole trip.

Nylander and Hetalkstoangels completed the top-five to advance to next week’s final.

A $150,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Back Of The Neck is now three for five with $56,845 earned for owners Howard Taylor, Order By Stable and Judith Taylor. He paid $5.80 to win.

Marcus Melander completed the sweep of the Wellwood eliminations with Capricornus holding off a push from longshot Hp Royal Theo to win the second split in 1:55.1

Driven by Tetrick, Capricornus angled out from third on the far turn to make a first-up bid against leader and race-favourite Synergy. The public’s choice couldn’t deliver in the lane after a three-quarter clocking of 1:27. Capricornus overtook the lead and dug in to hold off HP Royal Theo by a neck.

“I really liked what I saw and he really dug in all the way,” said Melander of Capricornus. “He’s got a really good attitude and that’s really important and he’s a really nice gaited-horse and a pleasure to drive.”

Moon Bridge and Blue Cupertino completed the Superfecta. Synergy did make the final by finishing fifth.

An $110,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Capricornus is now three for six with $96,770 earned for owner JJ Stable. The Melander trainee shaved a fifth of a second off his previous career best with the victory.

Capricornus paid $4.10 to win.

The post position draw for next Saturday’s (September 14) $370,000 final took place following the eliminations. The Melander stable had their choice of positions following the victories by Back Of The Neck and Capricornus.

$370,000 William Wellwood Memorial
1. Blue Cupertino
2. Hetalkstoangels
3. Back Of The Neck
4. Capricornus
5. HP Royal Theo
6. Nylander
7. Moon Bridge
8. Port Perry
9. Beyond Kronos
10. Synergy
AE. Your Still Up

(Woodbine Mohawk Park)

To view results for Friday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Friday Results – Woodbine Mohawk Park.


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