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Looks Like A Big Weekend

Published: September 9, 2016 9:56 am ET

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It’s been a banner year already for trainer Luc Blais, who has topped $1 million in purses for the first time since he trained for Bayama Farm 15 years ago, and it’s about to get even more busy.

Blais has four horses entered on Friday and Saturday in eliminations of rich stakes events at Mohawk Racetrack.

Three-year-old trotting filly Emoticon Hanover is the stable’s representative in the Elegantimage, two-year-old trotting colt Jake has the call in the William Wellwood, three-year-old trotter Warrawee Roo will try to advance in the Canadian Trotting Classic and four-year-old Lookslikeachpndale will strut his stuff in the Maple Leaf Trot.

“We've had a super year already, now it’s time for the playoffs,” said Blais, who oversees a 21-horse stable for prominent Quebec stable Determination, owned by Serge Godin. It’s his third year heading the Determination string.

Late-blooming Lookslikeachpndale, a son of Muscle Hill who set a track record at Georgian Downs with a 1:51.3 clocking in the $100,000 Earl Rowe Memorial Trot last month, has been one of the bright spots in a season with several, finally fulfilling the promise he’s flashed in spots since his two-year-old season. He’s won his last two starts and has four victories and $129,582 made so far this year.

“We always liked him and had confidence in him,” said Blais. "He won an elimination of the Wellwood at two and was second in the Simcoe at three. The older he got, the better he got. He just lacked strength. We knew he’d be a good horse when he got stronger. We waited on him and he responded. You could see the change when he passed five horses in the stretch to finish fifth in the Hambletonian Maturity (in July), then won a Preferred at Mohawk. I feel very good about him now."

He’ll still have his work cut out for him advancing from a Maple Leaf Trot elimination that includes millionaires and O'Brien Award winners Flanagan Memory, Resolve and Shake It Cerry.

“It’ll be a good test,” said Blais, who scored a huge upset victory in the Maple Leaf Trot two years ago with Intimidate. “René Dion’s horse (Flanagan Memory) is the main worry, I think. He’s unlucky not to have a couple of big stakes wins already this year. He’s always the one closing strongest."

Race 6: Maple Leaf Trot – Elimination #1 – Purse: $40,000

1. Lookslikeachpndale – Sylvain Filion – Luc Blais – 7-2
2. Shake It Cerry – David Miller – Jimmy Takter – 4-1
3. Whiskey Tax – Randy Waples – Tom Durand – 12-1
4. Flanagan Memory – Chris Christoforou – Rene Dion – 2-1
5. Resolve – Ake Svanstedt – Ake Svanstedt – 9-5
6. Musical Rhythm – Mario Baillargeon – Ben Baillargeon – 10-1

Race 9: Maple Leaf Trot – Elimination #2 – Purse: $40,000

1. Il Sogno Dream – Scott Zeron – Chris Beaver – 5-1
2. JL Cruze – John Campbell – Eric Ell – 7-2
3. Etruscan Hanover – Mario Baillargeon – Ben Baillargeon – 6-1
4. Windsun Revenge – Rick Zeron – Jeff Durham – 8-1
5. Hannelore Hanover – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke – 4-5
6. Nahar – Ake Svanstedt – Robert Bergh – 8-1

Post time for Saturday’s sensational 13-race card is 7:30 p.m. To view the harness racing entries for Saturday at Mohawk, click the following link: Saturday Entries – Mohawk Racetrack.

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Paul Delean)

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