Kallas Remarks by Steve Kallas – Marion Marauder was installed as the 3-1 favorite after drawing the coveted post position one in the 40th edition of the $1,000,000 International Trot to be held this Saturday afternoon at Yonkers Raceway at Empire City Casino. A winner of over $3 million lifetime representing Canada, Marion Marauder will be driven by Scott Zeron for trainer Paula Wellwood and owners Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling of Ontario.
Zeron, who drove Marion Marauder to a second-place finish in last year’s International, told the crowd at the world famous 21 Club in Manhattan: “It’s difficult driving in a race with ten competitive horses. I had to adapt last year and you always need a little bit of luck.” Of course, it’s a big advantage to draw post position one at the Yonkers half-mile racetrack.
Trainer Paula Wellwood has great hope for Marion Marauder, a five-year-old son of Muscle Hill, the top trotting sire in the world. After the draw, she told The Daily News: “It’s hard to race a four-year-old against older trotters but he raced really well last year. We limited him to ten starts last year, but now, at five, he’s even better than he was last year.” When questioned about the additional quarter mile to race (most races are at a mile; the International is at a mile-and-a-quarter), Ms. Wellwood told The News: “We’ve always trained him to go longer [than a mile], so the extra distance won’t be a problem.”
In his last start, Marion Marauder won the $200,000 Caesars Trotting classic at Hoosier Park in Indiana.
Listed as the 4-1 second favorite from post position four is Italy’s Ringostarr Treb for driver Wilhelm Paal and trainer Jerry Riordan. The New England-born Riordan trained last year’s International winner, Twister Bi (out this year due to injury), but is back this year with a different horse who has lifetime earnings of over $1.5 million.
Driver Wilhelm Paal, pinch-hitting for trainer Riordan who had not yet arrived in the country, told the crowd: “I have driven him since 2015. He’s a very smart horse. He can handle all types of tracks.” Ringostarr Treb is the winner of the prestigious Elitlopp in Sweden this year.
Rounding out the field (by horse, country, driver, post and morning odds), in addition to Marion Marauder (post 1, 3-1) and Ringostarr Treb (post 4, 4-1) are:
Up and Quick (France), Jason Bartlett, post 2, 10-1
Ariana G (U.S.A.), Yannick Gingras, post 3, 5-1
Pastore Bob (Sweden), Johan Untersteiner, post 5, 8-1
Cruzado Dela Noche (Sweden), Brian Sears, post 6, 12-1
Will Take Charge (Canada), Tim Tetrick, post 7, 6-1
Arazi Boko (Italy), Alessandro Gocciadoro, post 8, 15-1
Lionel (Norway), Goran Antonsen, post 9, 10-1
Slide So Easy (Denmark), Flemming Jensen, post 10, 15-1
The first race on Saturday starts at 1 PM with the International scheduled to go off at 3:40 PM.
© Copyright 2018 by Steve Kallas. All rights reserved.