Day At The Track

Marion Marauder wins $175,000 Cleveland Classic

02:09 PM 01 Jul 2018 NZST
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Marion Marauder, harness racing
Marion Marauder and Jordan Stratton scored in the $175,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic at Northfield Park
JJ Zamaiko photo

Marion Marauder trotted home a winner in Saturday's $175,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic, dethroning last year's champion Crazy Wow, and continues his march through the national trotting ranks. He trotted the one mile race in 1:52.4.

The 2015 trotting Triple Crown Champion, Marion Marauder entered the Classic off a 1:55.1 victory in a $44,000 Open Handicap at Yonkers Raceway despite being parked the entire mile. He again had to take a considerable amount of air to grind out a first-over victory in the Classic's Grand Circuit event. The Trotting Classic was scratched down to a field of six, with #7 Homicide Hunter and #8 Will Take Charge withdrawing from the race due to illness.

Marion Marauder ($2.20) was heavily favored by the betting public and started from post two. He sat third through the: 27.4 opening quarter. Driver Jordan Stratton pulled Marion Marauder first-over in the second turn and remained parked the remainder of the mile despite the leader, Crazy Wow, going off stride at the half.

"I'm not sure what happened to Crazy Wow. That sure was an uncharacteristic break," said Stratton. "But it sure worked out for me."

In Secret, who sat the pocket through the opening quarter battled with Marion Marauder through fractions of: 56.2 and 1:23.4 before weakening at the top of the stretch. "I was a little worried about In Secret. I have seen him race several times and know he is a tough horse," commented Stratton. "But Marion Marauder just trotted through and overcame tonight." He took the lead at the top of the stretch and bested his competition by 1 ¾ lengths.

Saturday marked the second time Jordan Stratton traveled to his native state of Ohio this month. On June 2, he piloted Bit Of A Legend to victory in Northfield's $200,000 Battle Of Lake Erie.

Saturday's win is Marion Marauder's third win this year and 17th lifetime score, increasing his bankroll to $2,705,200 for owners Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling, and trainer Paula Wellwood. Completing the Classic field were I Know My Chip, In Secret, Dia Monde, Another Breath and Crazy Wow.

by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

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