Daylon Magician, with harness racing driver Jack Moiseyev, didn't need any smoke and mirrors Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack, as he powered his way to a one and three-quarter length triumph in the $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic for three-year-olds.
Taking over from Hambletonian winner, who faded to last after an opening quarter in :27.2, , owned and trained by David Lemon of Komoka, Ontario, got to the half in a leisurely :57.1, then made the three-quarters in 1:25.2.
From there, he wasn't threatened down the lane, getting to the wire in 1:53, as pocket-sittertried to stay with the winner but faded late to fourth while going off-stride. A 31-1 longshot, Whatever It Takes, came on for second, with third.
The son of, who won this race in 2002, had been enjoying much success in the Ontario Sires Stakes program this year, winning a Gold final in August at Flamboro and the Canadian Breeders final in July at Mohawk.
But last week, he really stepped up his game, taking on the sport's best in his elimination, defeating the aforementionedby a neck. It was his first outing in a month and he proved he was even fitter Saturday night with his most important win yet, his ninth victory in 11 starts this year and 12th overall.
"He's just a great horse," said Moiseyev, celebrating his first Canadian Trotting Classic win. "He raced against the best and proved he can go with them tonight. He always throws a good race in. When I trained him the first time for David, I just loved him right away.
"George's (Brennan) horse () must have been no good because he was pulling up at the half and I made the front easy. Got away with cheap fractions and once he gets away with cheap, he's not getting beat."
, who went postward the 3-1 second choice behind 9-5 , joined an illustrious group of recent Classic winners, like (2009), (2008) and (2007).
"We bred his mother (Daylon Marvel), we had his grandmother, raced his mother and now we've got the best one yet," recalled Lemon, who said he did more (media) interviews this week than he has in his whole life. "He wasn't eligible (for the Breeders Crown, October 29 at Woodbine) but we said, depending on how he did here, we might have to supplement him.
"We thought maybe it was over then (whenwent to the front before the half) because he was pretty sharp tonight," continued Lemon. "He was off for four weeks before the elimination and that race got him tight. He really felt good tonight.
"Right from when he was a yearling, before we even broke him, I thought he was going to be good."
It was clearly not's night, but trainer Noel Daley said his charge had a reason for his lacklustre effort..
"We ran some tests following the race and after a while it was confirmed that he has an irregular heart beat. That's what the veterinarian said to us following the test results," said Daley.
, who earned $500,000 for the victory, paid $8.90, $5.20 and $4, combining with Whatever It Takes ($19.80, $7.10) for a $294.30 (2-7) exactor. A 2-7-5 ( , $4) triactor was worth $1,100.50
$1 million Canadian Trotting Classic
Jeff Timson - WEG Communications