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Peck: CTC Should Be Canada's Hambo

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Published: September 8, 2009 4:13 pm ET

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Muscle Hill will be racing for the first time on Canadian soil this weekend in the eliminations for the Canadian Trotting Classic, and trainer Greg Peck has discussed the son of Muscle Yankee with the Woodbine Entertainment Group publicity office.

Muscle Hill has drawn Post 9 in the first of two $40,000 CTC elims. The top five finishers from each elim will gain entrance to the $1 million final, scheduled for Saturday, September 19 at the Campbellville, Ont. oval. The connections of elim winners will be able to select their charges' post positions for the final.

“He will be arriving on Thursday (September 10) from Lexington,” Peck said. “We drew Post 9 in the first of the two eliminations, but that doesn’t bother me -– he’s gone very well all his life and sooner or later you’re going to get an outside post.”

Peck told WEG that he had planned on a reduced schedule for the colt after the Hambo, “but the Canadian Trotting Classic was always on our radar. It really ought to be Canada’s Hambletonian. It’s the premier race north of the border for trotters,” Peck said.

Muscle Hill’s most recent start was in the World Trotting Derby on September 5, an event he won by one length over Southern Rocketop with an unfamiliar driver (Luke McCarthy) in the bike. The 'Derby' was delayed by several hours, as rain played havoc with the clay track, but after crews worked tirelessly on the surface all afternoon, the result was “miraculous” according to Peck.

“It was an anxious few hours watching them work,” he admitted, “and at one point it looked like the race wouldn’t go at all, so I couldn’t blame Brian Sears (Muscle Hill’s regular driver) for heading up to Mohawk (where he won a division of the Simcoe Stakes with Neighsay Hanover, as well as the Metro Pace consolation with Dr Dreamy).

“Muscle Hill is pretty user-friendly, so the driver change didn’t rattle him. But Brian has been with him from day one, so it will be nice to have him back on board for Saturday.”

To view a full Trot Insider preview of Mohawk's Saturday night card of racing, click here.

Click here to view Mohawk's harness racing entries for Saturday, September 12.

(With files from WEG)


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