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Val Taurus To Maple Leaf Trot Elims

Published: September 12, 2008 10:15 am ET

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At this time last year, Val Taurus was at the top of his game. The son of Taurus Dream was fresh off a life's best 1:53.2 mile in his Canadian Trotting Classic elimination and was second favourite to Donato Hanover in the $1 million final.

Though there was major disappointment when Val Taurus would go on to break stride behind the gate in the Canadian Trotting Classic, he was still put away with a very impressive seasonal resume. Eight wins from ten starts, $244,836 in purses and a mark of 1:53.2 -- solid in anyone's books. He was then shipped south to the barn of top trotting conditioner Jimmy Takter in preparation for a four-year-old career.

Val Taurus 2007 CTC Elim

Fast forward to current day and Val Taurus is anything but the dominant force he proved to be last year. Simply put, Takter couldn't get the horse to go. Val Taurus qualified for Takter four times and made one pari-mutuel start in an Open Handicap at Chester Downs in mid-July, where he ran early.

Resurfacing in Quebec in mid-August, Val Taurus qualified over Hippodrome de Montreal, victorious for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Richard Moreau. Val Taurus then showed speed when qualifying at Mohawk Racetrack on August 22, as he wired a field with a 1:54.1 win.

Val Taurus raced in an overnight September 1 at Mohawk and caught a tough trip. Parked the mile from the seven-hole, he finished eighth, beaten five lengths, trotting in 1:55.1.

This Saturday, Val Taurus will be returning to face stakes competition in the first of two $50,000 eliminations for the Maple Leaf Trot. The brown four-year-old has drawn Post 7 with Filion driving. The duo has been pegged at 12-1 in the morning line.

"I had seen him race and obviously knew who his was from last year, but I didn't know much about the horse and how he raced when I got him," Moreau told Trot Insider this morning. "He has a very big engine, and he has shown the world the type of speed he can go. I was very pleased with the way that he qualified at Mohawk."

Being realistic, Moreau told Trot Insider that Val Taurus will be facing a tough task with the field he has to face Saturday.

"He is facing a short field, and, again, we all know he has the engine," Moreau explained. "Things are just going to have to work out for him in there."

To view the entries for Saturday's card at Mohawk, click here.

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