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Frosh Record Lowered In Wellwood Elims


Published: September 9, 2011 11:07 pm ET

Last Comment: September 10, 2011 9:38 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Twenty freshman trotters contested a trio of $30,000 William Wellwood Memorial eliminations Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack, but it was The Game Plan and American Gangster who stole the spotlight after they each took turns lowering the track record.

After stopping the teletimer in 1:54.4 in the third and final elimination, Chris Oakes pupil American Gangster claimed the title of track record holder for two-year-old male trotters from The Game Plan, who had already lowered the former 1:55.1 mark, set by Broad Bahn in September 2010, just three races earlier.

Uncle Peter (Ron Pierce) was the tempo-setter, cutting splits of :28, :57.4 and 1:25.4, but American Gangster (Brian Sears) was tipped off the rail from third in the final turn.

In deep stretch, 2-5 favourite Uncle Peter switched gaits and started to pace, which caused American Gangster to inherit the lead. In a career-best clocking, the brown colt scored the half a length victory over Prestidigitator (Sylvain Filion) with Appomattox (Luc Ouellette) finishing third. Heres The Magic (Scott Zeron) was fourth.

“He was very good last week [at Vernon Downs] and he was comparable to last week,” said Sears following the win. “Last week we tracked the horse the whole way and he had somebody to follow. He knew where he wanted to go. He had something to point to. Tonight he did wander a little on me the last few steps, but I knew he had a lot of trot.

“I don’t know how much it took out of him,” he said of American Gangster’s track record performance. “He is a big strong horse. He is real easy on himself and very relaxed. He has all the makings of a real good horse.”

The son of Andover Hall-Four Starz Lindy has four wins and two second-place finishes in six career starts with $77,875 in lifetime earning for owners Hauser Bros RCNG Ent LLC, Vincent Tudisco and Matt Tudisco.

American Gangster paid $8 to win as the second choice.

In the second William Wellwood Memorial elimination, the John Kopas-trained The Game Plan lowered the track record for the first time this evening with a 1:55 performance. While colt American Gangster was faster for the overall male record, the time stands as a gelding track and Canadian record.

Money On My Mind (Andy Miller) held the lead through fractions of :28.2, :57.2 and 1:26.2.

As the two-year-olds entered the final turn, driver Jack Moiseyev pulled The Game Plan from third and launched a first-over attack. The 5-2 third choice battled with the even-money favourite in the stretch. The Game Plan dug in to score in a new lifetime mark by half a length over Money On My Mind. Nothing But Class (Jimmy Takter) rounded out the triactor.

“He was good and safe,” said Moiseyev following the victory. “The last couple of weeks he’s been jumping for no reason in the first turn, but John [Kopas] made a couple changes on him and it helped him a lot. He qualified real well and tonight he was perfect.”

The gelded son of Kadabra-Image Control has five wins, one second and one third-place finish in eight career starts, boasting $165,800 in lifetime earning for Kopas, LLK Stable, Gary Grieve and Anthony Wagner.

The Game Plan paid $7.40 to win.

In a 6-1 upset, Little Brown Fox captured the first elimination by half a length in a maiden-breaking score for trainer Jimmy Takter and driver Ron Pierce.

Takter’s other starter, Weingartner, who he opted to steer, cut the mile through splits of :28.4, :58.4 and 1:28.3. Before the half, Mr Chicago (Yannick Gingras), who was parked out, attempted to take the lead before breaking stride.

In the final turn, Little Brown Fox came first-up from fourth to challenge his stablemate. Just steps before the wire, Little Brown Fox got the better of the 2-5 favourite, stopping the teletimer in a new lifetime mark of 1:56.3. Weingartner held on for second and Power Play (Andy Miller) finished third.

“I kind of just let this colt more or less do what he wanted to do,” said Pierce in the winner's circle. “He was fussing a little bit about me taking him off the gate. He wanted to get out of there early. Finally I got him back and he followed along, until going into the last turn.

“He wanted to come out and trot, so I just sat him on the outside and he moseyed on up there all by himself. He felt good so I tipped them plugs out and he dug in.”

The son of Muscles Yankee-Malvictorian has one win and one second-place finish in four career starts with $37,133 in lifetime earning for owners Christina Takter, Toronto's Jim and John Fielding and Brittany Farms.

Little Brown Fox paid $14.30 to win as the upsetter.

Elimination winners Little Brown Fox, The Game Plan and American Gangster have earned the right to select their post positions for the final. The top three finishers plus one fourth-place finisher, drawn by lot, advance to the $469,000 William Wellwood Memorial Trot slated for Saturday, September 17.

Here’s how the two-year-olds will line up behind the gate:

1. Power Play
2. The Game Plan
3. American Gangster
4. Little Brown Fox
5. Nothing But Class
6. Appomattox
7. Weingartner
8. Heres The Magic
9. Money On My Mind
10. Prestidigitator
AE. No Less Than Magic

For results from Friday's harness racing card, click on the following link: Friday Results - Mohawk Racetrack.

(With files from WEG)

September 10, 2011 - 9:38 amKudo's to the Kopas

Jan Riley SAID...

Kudo's to the Kopas brothers. Yep, I still keep track and watch all the races from here in Texas. I think of you all often and sometimes even wish I was still in Canada grooming for the Kopas stable. Those were the good days, yeh. Ya'll take care and know that you have a avid fan in the south. I see that there are two yearlings in the sale with well known bloodlines, Armbro Bramble and Armbro Feather. The best to both of you and Jack and Alice. Jan

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