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Standardbred Canada's Trot Insider has learned that 2016 Triple Crown winner and triple millionaire trotter Marion Marauder has been retired from racing. The decision was announced on Friday (Oct. 23) by his connections, trainers Paula Wellwood & Mike Keeling, and owners Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling. "After consultation with some top equine veterinarians, we have accepted that he will not be able to compete at the elite level. We have also during this period of time explored the possibility of him standing stud, unfortunately his lack of fertility worsened with age and he his not able to breed. "He is a member of the family and will have a home for life. We have reached out to the Kentucky Horse Park in hopes that he may live out his days in their Stable of Champions, he certainly has earned it," said the connections. "It is not without some emotion we make this announcement but we have been so proud and thankful for his accomplishments. He truly is the Horse of a lifetime." With $3.5 million-plus in the bank -- more than any other active Standardbred -- and 21 trips to the winner's circle, Marion Marauder boasts the resume of a racehorse that few can match. He won the Hambletonian, Yonkers Trot and Kentucky Futurity in 2016 to become just the ninth trotter to win trotting's Triple Crown. The son of Muscle Hill - Spellbound Hanover also won the Goodtimes Stakes and a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial at three en route to a season that amassed more than $1.5 million in purses, topping the North American earnings charts for all trotters. As an older competitor, his stakes scores included the 2017 Graduate Final and the Hambletonian Maturity, the Cleveland Trotting Classic, 2018 John Cashman Memorial and the 2018 Caesars Trotting Classic. The majority of those wins came with regular driver Scott Zeron. Marion Marauder was also named the 2016 O'Brien Award winner for Three-Year-Old Trotting Colts/Geldings and 2016 USHWA Dan Patch Award winner for Three-Year-Old Trotting Colts before repeating that honour stateside as the 2017 USHWA Dan Patch Award winner for Older Trotting Horses. He retires with a mark of 1:50.2, taken this year at the age of seven, and sits as the eighth richest North American-based trotter in harness racing history. From Standardbred Canada's Trot Insider

Hightstown, NJ — The waiting is the hardest part. Not so much for harness racing trainer Paula Wellwood, but for Marion Marauder. Marion Marauder, a multiple Dan Patch Award recipient and 2016 Trotting Triple Crown winner, will make his seasonal debut Friday (June 14) in the third round of the Mr Muscleman Series at The Meadowlands. Wellwood was in no hurry to get the 6-year-old stallion’s campaign underway, starting him this year nearly a month later than in 2018, but Marion Marauder looked full of himself and anxious to get going when he arrived at the Big M for his final qualifier last weekend. “Yeah, he’s ready,” Wellwood said, laughing. Marion Marauder, three stablemates, and Wellwood arrived in New Jersey from their Canadian base about a month ago. While the other horses raced, Marion Marauder waited. “When we first got here, he really didn’t care,” Wellwood said. “But after we trained him a couple times and he went faster each time, he knew it was near time to go. When he sees the harness getting arranged (in the barn for a trip to the racetrack) he knows what’s going on. He’s thinking, maybe it’s my turn now.” Marion Marauder faces eight foes in the $40,000 Mr Muscleman. The stallion, with regular driver Scott Zeron, will start from post nine and is 6-1 on the morning line. Guardian Angel As, the Maxie Lee Memorial winner, is the 3-1 favorite followed by Trolley (7-2), Cruzado Dela Noche (4-1), and Pinkman (5-1). Marion Marauder prepped for the race by winning his qualifier last Saturday in 1:53.1. Last year, Marion Marauder won six of 14 races and earned $605,180. He finished no worse than second in his first 10 races, including victories in the Cleveland Trotting Classic and Cashman Memorial, but was no better than fourth in his final four. “We are limiting his starts this year,” said Wellwood, who trains Marion Marauder for owners Marion Jean Wellwood, her mom, and Devin Keeling, her son. “He seems to like maybe a little less starts. We’ll let him tell us.” By starting later, Marion Marauder missed the Cutler Memorial and Maxie Lee, but the bulk of the major stakes for older trotters are later in the year, particularly from late July through November. “We know the heavy end is at the back (of the schedule),” Wellwood said. “That’s why we weren’t in any big rush.” Wellwood, who shares training duties with husband Mike Keeling, said the stallion has continued to mature a bit physically, but little else has changed from last year to this year. “I think he’s a little bit bigger, thicker, like in the girth and the shoulder,” Wellwood said. “His personality is the same, that doesn’t change.” Marion Marauder has won 20 of 52 career starts and $3.14 million. His purse total ranks 10th among trotters in North American harness racing history. “He doesn’t owe us anything so we kind of let him do what he wants,” Wellwood said. “It’s his world and we live in it.” In addition to the third round of the Mr Muscleman, The Meadowlands hosts the third round of the Golden Receiver Series for older pacers. Highlator, who has won four races in a row including the first two legs of the Golden Receiver, is the 3-1 morning-line favorite from post eight. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EDT) at The Meadowlands. For Friday’s complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, November 4, 2018-Yonkers Raceway's all-trot Sunday (Nov. 4th) matinee saw a second-over Lean Hanover (Jordan Stratton, $19.60) winning the featured $44,000 Open Handicap. The six-horse feature went at the flat mile, one race after the seven added-distance 'French' trots. Trying to leave from assigned post position No. 5, Lean Hanover could not match strides early before retreating into a four-hole. It was Gruden (Jason Bartlett, five winners during the 10-race card) vaulting over his quintet of inside rivals. He went past DW's NY Yank (George Brennan) and led through early intervals of :28 and :57.4. Polester Sortie (Brian Sears), as the tepid 3-2 favorite, then moved from third with Lean Hanover hitching a ride behind that one. Sortie drew even with Gruden in and out of a 1:26 three-quarters before being dismissed. Gruden owned a length lead off the final turn, but the walls were closing in. Lean Hanover rolled right by, defeating a third-over Jack Vernon (Dan Dube) by a length-and-three-quarters in 1:55.4. Gruden faded to third, with DW's NY Yank and Sortie relegated to the minor moolah. Bioness (Eric Goodell) misbehaved early and was outrun. For fourth choice Lean Hanover, a 5-year-old Donato Hanover gelding co-owned (as P C Wellwood Enterprises) by (trainer) Paula Wellwood and Karen Carroll, it was his fifth win in 18 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $159, the triple returned $748 and the superfecta paid $1,433. The winner was third as an odds-on favorite in his previous try. Sunday's version of the 'New York, New York Double' featured a chalky winning combination of 1-Big Muddy (Aqueduct's 1st race) and 3-Undici (Yonkers' 3rd race), returning $6.40 for every correct $1 ticket. Total pool was $3,560. Sunday afternoon's 10-race, all-sources handle was $1,092,113. The next Sunday matinee is Nov. 18th (post time TBA). A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Monday evening’s (Nov. 5th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $1,406.29 and a $10,000 guaranteed pool. The guarantee is in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 5 through 9 Monday night. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Sunday afternoon), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Monday‘s program may be downloaded at http://www.empirecitycasino.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/mon_program.pdf. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway    

Trainer Paula Wellwood doesn't mind Smart As Hill's playful streak. His speed more than makes up for it. "He is improving," Wellwood said. "He's still very coltish. He does little colt things. He doesn't really have a care in the world, he's like that. But that's OK -- if they can go fast." "And," she added with a laugh, "he can do that." That speed has gotten Smart As Hill into Saturday's $600,000 Breeders Crown final for 2-year-old male trotters, where he drew post No. 4 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. All 12 Breeders Crown championships, with $6.4 million in total purses, will be raced Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Post time is 5:30 p.m. (EDT) for the first race. Smart As Hill, another in a long line of quality Muscle Hill offspring, out of Smarty Pants, has hit the board in all but one of his nine starts, taking three firsts, three seconds and two thirds for $105,491 in earnings. Owned by the Wellwood family's Dreamville Stable and Steve Organ, the horse was a surprise winner in his elimination, rallying from fifth in the stretch in a lifetime-best 1:53.4 to return $36.80. He was driven by Bob McClure, who had never participated in a Breeders Crown until last weekend. Bettors were surprised, but did Smart As Hill surprise Wellwood? "Yes. Yes he did," she said. "In the last turn I thought, uh oh, we're not too good. Then he got clear sailing. But he's done that before. He did that in the Wellwood too (finishing second). He was just a little far back but he was flying at the end." His effort in the elimination was typical of how the season has gone, as Smart As Hill continues to do the unexpected. "He's been a nice surprise," Wellwood said. "He always was a good training colt, but we didn't know he was going to come to this level. He's just an all-around nice horse. He's got a lot of good attributes -- size, strength, speed, all those things you need." The trainer noted that Smart As Hill was on the small side upon purchase, but had a rapid growth spurt that had to be accounted for. "It took a lot of months to get him to finally fill out and grow up," Wellwood said. "Once he did, he just got stronger and stronger. If you look at his lines, we raced him in (the Define The World Series) and brought him along very slowly. He's typical of what we do, where two or three weeks between races is not an issue. That's just how we're going to approach it." New York Sire Stakes champion Gimpanzee won the division's other elimination to remain unbeaten in eight career starts, and drew post five in the final. He overcame a four-week absence and the difficult tuck-then-first-over trip to finish in 1:54.4. Trainer Marcus Melander was not surprised at how his horse, who has earned $291,358 this year, handled the first-over situation with Brian Sears in the sulky. "He has a lot of stamina, he's a very strong horse," Melander said. "He can do a lot of work in the races. The eight hole (in the elimination) is never good, so that was a little concern because you never know what kind of trip you will get. But it worked out good." As it has all season. "I'm very happy with him," the trainer continued. "He's got a great attitude. He goes out there like an older horse. You can leave with him and then you can just sit with him two fingers and he never gets overanxious. His technique is amazing. If you look at those half-mile tracks in New York, he just lays down in the turns like a car. I like everything about him. He's just a very nice horse." The son of Chapter Seven out of Steamy Windows, Gimpanzee served notice of his abilities with a track-record 1:55.4 win in a New York Sires Stakes event at Saratoga's half-mile track July 31. "If you go (1):55 at Saratoga as a 2-year-old, it's a special horse," Melander said. "Of course, like always, the New York horses don't get as much credit as the other ones. But I've been feeling he's a very nice horse. He just does it very easy out there. He's very strong, he's got a lot of speed, he's got a great attitude, and he's been fresh and sound all year." Gimpanzee is owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. "He feels very sharp," Melander said. "I'm very confident in my horse. The final will be tougher, of course, but I'm very confident in him." Melander has a second horse in the final with Green Manalishi S, a Swedish-bred colt that Anders Strom purchased for a Swedish auction-record 3 million kroner ($265,000 U.S.). Named after a Fleetwood Mac song, Green Manalishi S has five firsts and four seconds in his nine starts, earning $372,557. Tim Tetrick drove him to a second behind Smart As Hill in his elimination. "He was very good," Melander said. "I was very happy with him. He was a little grabby, so we went a little fast on the backside there, but I was very happy with him." He hopes to be just as happy on Saturday. "I think he will be much sharper (this) week," Melander said. "He had some sickness problem when he got home from Lexington, so I was very happy with how he raced. We could have drawn a little better (post eight for the final). But he's a very good horse. It will make things more difficult, of course, but he's good enough to win anyway." For Saturday's complete card, click here. Following is the draw for the Breeders Crown final for 2-year-old male trotters. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Hudson River-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 2-Chin Chin Hall-Peter Wrenn-Melanie Wrenn 3-Prospect Hill-Andy Miller-Julie Miller 4-Smart As Hill-Bob McClure-Paula Wellwood 5-Gimpanzee-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander 6-Super Schissel-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 7-Trix And Stones-Scott Zeron-Carl Jamieson 8-Green Manalishi S-Tim Tetrick-Marcus Melander 9-Kings County-Brian Sears-Domenico Cecere by Rich Fisher, for the Breeders Crown

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, October 4, 2018- The fact that Marion Marauder found himself invited to participate in the 40th International Trot was unrelated to any new North American harness racing trade agreement. He's just pretty good. Three million dollars takes care of a lot of tariffs on any side of the border. The million-dollar Yonkers International Trot @ Empire City Casino goes Saturday afternoon, Oct. 13th (first post 1 PM), and you couldn't legally assemble a field of 10 world-class trotters without including Marion Marauder. "He's made that money for a reason," driver Scott Zeron said. Actually, any number of reasons. "He's always resilient, has never thrown out a bad race, does his job, can take air and knows where the finish line is." The Great White North won three of the first dozen Internationals (Tie Silk-1962, mares Armbro Flight-1966 and Fresh Yankee-1970), but it's been a long time waiting for a fourth. "I wasn't even born when those happened," the 29-year-old Zeron said (Some of us were. Just sayin'). (Author's aside...The late addition of Will Take Charge gives Canada two legitimate chances in this International) Marion Marauder, a 5-year-old son of Muscle Hill, is Canada-driven, Canada co-owned (Marion Wellwood & grandson Devin Keeling) and Canada co-trained (Devin's parents, Mike Keeling & Paula Wellwood, with Paula listed as stateside trainer). "I have a great rapport with Paula and Mike," Zeron said. "They're laid back and love their animals." Despite bleeding all that Canadian, Marion Marauder had not once been in the penalty box. "I've never had to use him hard, go down to the half in 54 seconds or some crazy number," Zeron "His schedule (the International is just Marion Marauder's 11th race of the season) has always been planned to give him time off between starts," Zeron said. "He purposely skipped (the) Dayton (Trotting Derby) and didn't go to Lexington because Paula and Mike were hoping Yonkers would invite him. In fact, Marion Marauder has made his $3,080,380 in only 48 career starts (20 wins, 15 seconds, 5 thirds), with six of those wins and four seconds this season ($544,680). His Westchester resume reads three wins-including the 2016 Yonkers Trot en route to the Trotting Triple Crown-and a pair of seconds in five starts. He's come away with a pay envelope in 45 of those 48 starts. Marion Marauder enters the International 22 days between races, the last a come-from-behind win in Hoosier's $200,000 Caesars Trotting Classic. A year ago, Marion Marauder was runner-up in the International, some 5½ lengths behind stakes- and world-record-setting Twister Bi's 2:22.1 frolic for the mile-and-a-quarter distance. "He (Marion Marauder) was very good, but the winner was amazing," Zeron said. Last season's race did provide some teachable moments for Zeron. "I've driven a lot of the added-distance overnight races here (Yonkers), but that race was completely different," Zeron said. "In the overnights, guys want to find the pylons as quickly as possible to save ground. In the International, with the best trotters coming over, those drivers aren't looking for any shortcuts. They don't mind sitting outside. They won't leave anything to chance as far as getting locked in. "Honestly, if Marion Marauder wins (the International), it wouldn't mean as much to me personally as it would for people to say he's the best trotter in the world. Not bad for the one originally named Marion Monopoly, who sold for $37,000 at Lexington (2014) and, according to Zeron, "was so mentally not there when he started out, he'd get to the gate and try to bite the horse next to him. "Then, he figured it out. "The horse deserves all the credit," Zeron said. "Me, Mike and Paula, we're just along for the ride." by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

East Rutherford, NJ- August 4, 2018 - The 2016 Hambletonian winner Marion Marauder returned to the scene of his greatest harness racing victory to win the $286,650 John Cashman Memorial for open trotters, the sixth race on Saturday afternoon at the Meadowlands. He is the first Hambletonian winner to take the Cashman, formerly known as the Nat Ray Trot, since Mack Lobell, who won the Hambletonian in 1987 and the Cashman in 1988. He trotted the 1 1/8 mile distance in 2:06 with a mile time of 1:51.4, matching his Hambletonian clocking. I Know My Chip (Victory Kirby) got to the 26.1 first quarter at the head of the dozen horse pack, soon overtaken by Marion Marauder, who then led the field to the 54.2 half. The 2017 Horse of the Year and the sole mare in the race, Hannelore Hanover, was three-wide and moving to the lead, going three wide, and held it to the 1:23.2 three quarters. As the field turned to go home, Will Take Charge (Tim Tetrick) came off the rail to challenge Hannelore and while those two were battling it out in deep stretch, Marion Marauder ranged up on the outside to win by a neck over Will Take Charge in 2:06. Hannalore Hanover was third by a half-length. "He just has the will to win," said winning driver Scott Zeron. "It's just a matter of me getting him into the race, which has been difficult some places. But when he's within reaching distance, doesn't he always seem to get up? "The trip couldn't have worked out any better," Zeron added. "He needed that whole quarter to get to the front. When he did, (In Secret) was at my wheel and I noticed that Yannick had made that three-wide move, which was even better. To follow him through the back half of the race was great. It was good for my horse not to have to cut the entire mile and an eighth. I couldn't be any happier with the way it went." Marion Marauder returned $10.40 $4.60 $3.00, the exacta with Will Take Charge ($5.20 $3.20) was $41.60 and the 8-1-12 trifecta with Hannelore Hanover ($2.10) was $140.00. The winner is owned by Ontario residents Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling and is trained by Paula Wellwood. From the Meadowlands Publicity Department

Southwind Chrome is still finding his way as a harness racing horse, but trainer Paula Wellwood likes the direction he is heading. Unraced at age 2 because of an injury, Wellwood has tried to expose the colt to a variety of racing styles in preparation for Saturday's appearance in the 93rd Hambletonian at The Meadowlands Racetrack. Southwind Chrome has won once in seven races and finished second on four occasions. One of his runner-up efforts came in the final of the Empire Breeders Classic, which was won by Six Pack by a half-length. Six Pack is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the second of Saturday's two $100,000 Hambletonian eliminations. Southwind Chrome is in the same division and is 5-1. The top-five finishers from each elimination return later in the day for the $1 million final. Coverage of the Hambletonian and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters will air live from 4-5:30 p.m. (EDT) on CBS Sports Network. First-race post time for Saturday's stakes-filled card at the Meadowlands is noon. "We're maybe not as seasoned as the other horses," said Wellwood, who won the 2016 Hambletonian with Marion Marauder. "It's only his eighth lifetime start. But what he did in the Empire Breeders (final) in his third start was unbelievable. He's a pretty quick study, but he is still a little green and trying to figure out his style of racing. We've tried to expose him to all different styles, so we'll see how that goes. "That's up to the driver." That would be Scott Zeron, who will drive Southwind Chrome in his elimination. Zeron, who won for Wellwood with Marion Marauder on their way to the Trotting Triple Crown, may not be available for the final as he also will be driving filly Atlanta in the first elimination. Atlanta, the lone filly in the race and 3-1 second choice in her heat, is trained and co-owned by Zeron's dad Rick. "If we get lucky enough to make the final I know we'll be looking for a driver, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it," Wellwood said. "(Zeron) likes Chrome, too. He commented that he's got two nice horses. He's not underestimating him." Southwind Chrome is owned by Dreamville Stable, which is Wellwood, her husband Mike Keeling, son Devin Keeling, and mom Jean Wellwood. Devin and Jean are the owners of Marion Marauder. Southwind Chrome, a son of Chapter Seven out of Counter Pointe, was purchased for $60,000 at the 2016 Lexington Selected Sale. "We had some of the family and always liked the mare," Wellwood said. "We looked at (Southwind Chrome) and really liked him. He was our first Chapter Seven that we bought, and the fact he was a Chapter Seven was an added bonus." Southwind Chrome was lightly staked, but it was not because of a lack of talent. "We gave him a lot of time and brought him back and he struggled a little bit," Wellwood said. "That's why he's not heavily staked. He had a couple of struggles in the winter training down with his gait, but once he got to qualifying, he just changed. He started to excel. "We wanted to make sure the Hambletonian was on his card because he always showed a lot of ability. We started him out and he exceeded our expectations, he's never let us down." He also never gets down. "He's a very honest, happy horse," Wellwood said. "He's just a very pleasant horse. He's not a big horse but he's a very strong horse. He doesn't seem to get tired. That's one of his keys. He's just done everything right, so we thought we would take a chance. He's raced very well. We felt he deserved a shot." And hope he finds his winning style. * * * * * * Another horse that is still learning is Classichap, from the stable of 2004 Hambletonian winner Trond Smedshammer. Classichap, a half-brother to 2012 Hambletonian champ and two-time Dan Patch Award honoree Market Share, was winless in four races in 2017, but finished second to Fourth Dimension in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Saratoga. Three of Classichap's starts were on the New York circuit. "I knew he had a lot of talent," said trainer Smedshammer, who also drives Classichap for owner Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables. "He wasn't staked too much; I wasn't planning on racing him on the Grand Circuit. I raced him a few times in New York and he showed me enough to back off and give him some time to mature." Classichap is 6-1 in the second Hambletonian elimination. His most recent three races were at the Meadowlands in preparation for the event. He was third-placed-second in a conditioned race and then posted his first win with a gate-to-wire 1:51.1 triumph by a head over Tactical Landing in a conditioned race on July 6. His final start prior to the Hambletonian was a second-place finish to Wolfgang in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial on July 14. "He was good the start before the Dancer and he was pretty good in the Dancer," Smedshammer said. "I didn't think he was as good in that race, but he's getting some experience. I think the big track suits him better, the Meadowlands-style racing, than up in New York in his previous starts earlier in the year. "He's still green and learning, but he's got a big engine. If he gets the right trip and things work out, he's shown he can cut a mile in (1):51 on his own. Not every horse can do that. We'll see where he fits in with those top horses." In addition to Classichap, Smedshammer trains Hambletonian Oaks contender Phaetosive. The filly won her Oaks elimination and is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line behind Manchego. Smedshammer trained 2008 Hambletonian Oaks winner Creamy Mimi. * * * * * * Hat Trick Habit has raced four times for new connections, with mixed results. But trainer Scott DiDomenico is hoping the trotter has got it figured out after a second-place finish behind Crystal Fashion in his final Hambletonian prep, the Reynolds Memorial. The horse went off stride in his two prior races. "We're going to give it a shot," DiDomenico said. "I think he is on the way up again. We've been having trouble with his feet, they've been aggravating him some, and I think that's been part of the reason he's been jumping. That's been one of my biggest concerns and I think we've sort of got it under control. I hope it works out OK." Hat Trick Habit debuted for new owners John McGill and Brian Carsey with a career-best 1:52.3 win at the Meadowlands on July 7. He was acquired by McGill and Carsey at the end of June. The horse was owned previously by Fred Monteleone, who passed away in October. For his career, Hat Trick Habit has won six of 17 races and earned $205,054. The colt is 12-1 in the first Hambletonian elimination, starting from post eight with three-time Hambletonian-winning driver Brian Sears. "All things considered, it's probably a little bit of a shot, but how many times are you going to have a shot to race a horse of this caliber in this kind of race," DiDomenico said about racing in the Hambletonian. "We're excited about it and getting the shot to make some money in there. That's a pretty neat feeling. It's cool. I've never been there before, never had a horse that I even considered putting in that race. Now that I do, it's special." * * * * * * Met's Hall, who is 10-1 in the first Hambletonian elimination, was slow to return to the races for his 3-year-old season, not making his debut until July 14. He qualified three times prior to that race, twice in June and once in July. "It's been challenging," trainer Julie Miller said. "He had a lot of health issues starting out the year that made my job difficult. But hopefully it's coming together at the right time. I'm very fortunate that (owner) Natalia Stroy has been patient with me and the horse. "We'll just point him toward next week and hope all our efforts pay off. We're going to need a lot of luck, too. Met's Hall was a stakes-winner in 2017, with his victories including a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Red Mile, where he trotted a career-best 1:52.4. He followed that win with a second-place finish behind Fourth Dimension in a track-record 1:54 mile in their Breeders Crown elimination at Hoosier Park and a week later was second to Fiftydallarbill in the $600,000 final. He made his 2018 debut in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial at the Meadowlands, where he finished fourth with regular driver Andy Miller, Julie's husband. His next start resulted in a third-place finish in the Tompkins-Geers at the Big M before notching his first win of the year in a division of last weekend's Reynolds Memorial. He won in 1:53 with a :26.4 final quarter and :55.2 back half after a :57.3 first half. "Off that slow half, I thought it was a good back half," Miller said. "When Andy had to kind of check him in the lane he was real handy there. "Every time Andy gets off the bike, after each qualifier, after each race, he says I'm getting there. Now if I can just shed three seconds in the next week," she added with a laugh. Met's Hall has won six of 14 career races and $311,908. The Millers have had consecutive top-three finishes in the Hambletonian, with Devious Man third-placed-second in 2017 and Sutton third, beaten only a neck, in 2016. by Rich Fisher, for the USTA Following are the fields for the Hambletonian eliminations. Hambletonian Elimination One PP-Driver -Trainer-Morning Line 1-Shoshie Deo-George Brennan-Dewayne Minor-10/1 2-Evaluate-Orjan Kihlstrom-Marcus Melander-15/1 3-Met's Hall-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-10/1 4-Lawmaker-David Miller-Andrew Harris-8/1 5-Wolfgang-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/2 6-Crystal Fashion-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell-7/2 7-Atlanta-Scott Zeron-Rick Zeron-3/1 8-Hat Trick Habit-Brian Sears-Scott DiDomenico-12/1 9-Zephyr Kronos-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter-10/1 Hambletonian Elimination Two PP-Driver -Trainer-Morning Line 1-Fashionwoodchopper-David Miller-Jim Campbell-10/1 2-Patent Leather-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell-15/1 3-Classichap-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer-6/1 4-Alarm Detector-Trevor Henry-Benoit Baillargeon-10/1 5-Fourth Dimension-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-10/1 6-Southwind Chrome-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-5/1 7-Tactical Landing-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter-4/1 8-You Know You Do-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-8/1 9-Six Pack-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-2/1  

CAMPBELLVILLE, May 26 - Trotting Triple Crown champion Marion Marauder made his return to harness racing Friday morning in qualifying action at Mohawk Racetrack. The now four-year-old son of Muscle Hill turned in a strong performance in his first qualifier of 2017 with a 1:56.1 victory over a track listed two-seconds "off" and still recovering from significant rainfall on Thursday. Roger Mayotte sat behind Marion Marauder for the qualifier. The star trotter floated out to the early lead and posted an opening-quarter of :30. Six-year-old trotter Maximuscle, who was parked on the first turn, rushed up to take command in the second-quarter, which allowed Marion Marauder to get a two-hole trip through the majority of the middle-half. Maximuscle reached the half in :58.4 and three-quarters in 1:28.2, while Marion Marauder followed closely behind and was tipped out just before the third-marker. In the stretch, Marion Marauder displayed his impressive final-quarter abilities and trotted home with powerful strides in :27.3 to win by 16 lengths. Trained by the team of Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling, Marion Marauder moves up to join the older ranks this season after winning 10 of 15 starts during his magical three-year-old season. The champion son of Muscle Hill carries career numbers of 11 wins, a mark of 1:51.3 and over $1.9 million earned into his four-year-old year for owners Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling. Marion Marauder's four-year-old debut could come on home soil in next week's Graduate Series leg at Mohawk. The Triple Crown champion is eligible to the event restricted for four-year-olds.   Mark McKelvie

MANALAPAN, NJ -- December 23, 2016 -- Harness racing’s trotting colt Marion Marauder has been named the winner of the Secretary of Agriculture’s Trophy as New Jersey Standardbred of the year for 2016. Marion Marauder will be honored on January 29, 2017 at the 60th Annual New Jersey Breeders Awards Luncheon at 1:00pm at O’Connor’s Restaurant in Eastampton, New Jersey. Marion Marauder is one of only nine trotters in the history of harness racing to win the coveted Triple Crown. The son of Muscle Hill - Spellbound Hanover finished his three-year-old campaign with a lifetime mark of 1:51.3.  Capturing 11 wins, eight seconds and three thirds out of 15 starts, banking more than $1.5 million toward a career total of $1,766,518 for the ownership of Marion Jean Wellwood and Devin W Keeling.  The Paula Wellwood trainee was regularly driven by Scott Zeron. In addition to his Triple Crown feats of the $1 million Hambletonain at the Meadowlands, the $500,000 Yonkers Trot at Yonkers and the $431,000 Kentucky Futurity at the Red Mile; he also won the $209,040 Goodtimes at Mohawk and the $153,250 Stanley Dancer at the Meadowlands. Bred by William G Mulligan he sold for $37,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale At two he raced 13 times with one win, and earning over $200,000. His sire, Muscle Hill was the 2009 New Jersey Standardbred of the Year. Tickets for the luncheon cost $45.00 per person and may be purchased from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Markets & Development, Horse Industry PO Box 330, Trenton NJ 08625.  For further information call 609-984-4389 or email lynn.mathews@ag.stat.nj.us Courtney Stafford Publicity Consultant SBOANJ cstafford@sboanj.com 732-462-2357

The five-year-old stallion, Always B Miki, on Monday was named harness racing's Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association while 3-year-old colt Marion Marauder was named Trotter of the Year in the closest vote in the 46-year history of the award. Always B Miki, who on Friday was named the Dan Patch Award winner for best older male pacer, defeated 4-year-old gelding Wiggle It Jiggleit in the voting for Pacer of the Year, 109-37, and for Horse of the Year, 102-32. Wiggle It Jiggleit was the 2015 Horse of the Year. Marion Marauder, who this year became the ninth horse in history to win the Trotting Triple Crown, edged 4-year-old mare Hannelore Hanover in the voting for Trotter of the Year, 73-72. The previous closest finish for Trotter of the Year was in 1971 when Speedy Crown defeated Fresh Yankee, 71-68. Hannelore Hanover finished third in Horse of the Year balloting, with 10 votes, while Marion Marauder was tied with 3-year-old male pacer Betting Line with four votes apiece. Video highlights of Horse and Pacer of the Year Always B Miki are available by clicking here. Footage of Trotter of the Year Marion Marauder is available by clicking here. Always B Miki was trained by Jimmy Takter, who joins Stanley Dancer as the only trainers to condition at least three different Horse of the Year winners. Takter's previous Horse of the Year champions were trotters Moni Maker, who captured the award in 1998 and 1999, and Malabar Man in 1997. In addition, Takter is the fifth trainer to have both a pacer and trotter receive Horse of the Year honors. He joins Dancer, Blair Burgess, Billy Haughton, and Clint Hodgins in that group. Always B Miki, who was twice sidelined by injuries that forced him to miss the end of his 3-year-old season and the majority of his 4-year-old campaign, paced the fastest mile in harness racing history on Oct. 9 at Lexington's Red Mile when he won the Allerage Open Pace in 1:46. His time eclipsed Cambest's 1:46.1 mark, which was established in a time trial and stood as the record for 23 years, and lowered the race record, shared by multiple horses, by four-fifths of a second. In addition to becoming the fastest horse in history, Always B Miki shares the world record of 1:47 for the fastest mile by a horse on a five-eighths-mile track. Always B Miki paced 1:47 on a five-eighths oval on three occasions, an unprecedented feat. He also holds the record of 1:47.1 for the fastest mile ever paced in Canada. Always B Miki, driven by David Miller, won 12 of 18 races this year and finished worse than second only once. His victories included the Breeders Crown, Ben Franklin, William Haughton Memorial, and TVG Series championship for male pacers. "I think he's the greatest pacer to ever walk on this earth," Takter said earlier this year. "I really do. If everything would have been his way, could you imagine how much even better he could have been? He's a great, great horse." A son of Always A Virgin out of the mare Artstopper, Always B Miki was bred by Joe Hurley's Roll The Dice Stable, which owns the stallion with Bluewood Stable and Christina Takter. "If someone said I could win Powerball for some ridiculous amount of money or have Miki, it wouldn't even be a question. It would be Miki," Hurley said earlier this year. "This is like Powerball on steroids." Marion Marauder, who was named the sport's best 3-year-old male trotter last Thursday, was the first Trotting Triple Crown winner since 2006, sweeping the Hambletonian, Yonkers Trot, and Kentucky Futurity. In addition, he won the Goodtimes Stakes and a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial on his way to $1.48 million in purses. His earnings led all trotters in North America. Marion Marauder won 10 of 15 starts and finished second three times this season for the wife-and-husband training team of Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling. Marion Marauder is owned by the couple's son, Devin Keeling, and Wellwood's mother, Marion Jean Wellwood. Scott Zeron was the colt's regular driver. A son of stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare Spellbound Hanover, Marion Marauder was bred by William Mulligan. Hannelore Hanover, who was named the sport's best older female trotter, won 17 of 20 races and earned $1.11 million in purses, leading all female trotters in earnings. The remaining divisional champion trotters were Walner (2-year-old male), Ariana G (2-year-old female), Broadway Donna (3-year-old female), and Obrigado (older male). Other divisional champion pacers were Huntsville (2-year-old male), Idyllic Beach (2-year-old female), Betting Line (3-year-old male), Pure Country (3-year-old female), and Lady Shadow (older female). All winners will be honored at the Dan Patch Awards banquet presented by Hoosier Park on Sunday (Feb. 26) at the Planet Hollywood casino in Las Vegas. Information about the Dan Patch Awards banquet presented by Hoosier Park is available at www.ushwa.org. For complete voting totals for all awards, click here. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association  

As Hambletonian winner Marion Marauder prepares for Saturday's (Sept. 3) $500,000 Yonkers Trot for 3-year-old trotters at Yonkers Raceway -- the second jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown -- harness racing trainer Paula Wellwood feels the horse is set in his ways. That's great when it comes to being on the track, as Marion Marauder has won seven of nine starts this season, including this past Saturday's Yonkers Trot elimination in his small-track debut. "He just been his normal self," Wellwood said. "He came into the race good and was well in hand the other night. He's sharp, he's healthy, he's happy. There's really no change in him. He's the same horse, and you don't want any changes. He just stays the same every day." In the stable, however, it can lead to a few issues. "He's a very smart horse and he figures things out pretty quick," the Canadian trainer said. "If something's not right he lets you know immediately. One day I mixed his food wrong and he just spit it out like a kid who would spit his food out back at you! "I was trying to stand in there, I went to put the tub in and he just looked at me, and he went 'Bleaaahh!' all over my hand, literally like a kid spitting out something they don't like. I threw it out, changed it and he ate everything." Wellwood, who trains Marion Marauder with her husband Mike Keeling, is not about to upset the routine. If Marion Marauder wants to be pampered a little more, so be it. "The only thing I can say is different is maybe the horse is a little more spoiled," Wellwood said. "He likes what he does, he really has a set routine and he seems to be thriving on it more than anything. It's just a little bit of attitude he's got, like 'Don't screw this up.' "He kind of acts up a little bit at times. He's a little more pushy and he probably should be put more in line, but I don't do that. He deserves whatever he wants to do. He's so set in his routine, he has a solid routine and it just seems to be agreeing with him." Wellwood is unsure if Marion Marauder is aware of just what he has accomplished this year, especially winning the Hambletonian. That being said, he has gotten an attitude boost from his feats this season. The colt, owned by family members Marion Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling, has earned $874,905 this year with his other victories including the Goodtimes Stakes and a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial. "He's pretty confident in himself, I will say that," Wellwood said. "I don't know if he knows or not, but it seems like the more big races he wins, he seems a little more pushy. He's got lots of confidence too. He's brimming with it, which happens. That happens with human athletes, they just get more and more confident and that's kind of what he's like." Driver Scott Zeron has been confident in Marion Marauder throughout the season and has not been afraid to share that confidence publicly when entering a race. Wellwood takes the opposite tact. Despite the fact she "couldn't be more pleased," with Marion Marauder drawing the No. 4 post Saturday, the trainer isn't about to handicap the race. "I leave that totally up to Scott," she said. "I don't like to predict how it will go. I'm kind of superstitious that way." She will say, however, that the horse is racing as well as he has all year. "He's so professional now," Wellwood said. "Scott says you can do anything with him. Whatever he asks him to do he does. So I think he's just more adept. In the race he's very focused and he takes it serious and wants to do the best he can. That's how I would describe him." An interesting sidebar to this race is that if Marion Marauder wins he is not staked to the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Futurity at Lexington's Red Mile. To do so, the horse's owners would have to pay a substantial supplement fee. Will it happen? "It's probably doubtful, and we'd have no regrets," Wellwood said. "We mapped out a schedule and we don't usually take them to Lexington to race. Things could always change but I would have to say we're just going to stick with our main plan. He goes back to Canada after this and then he's off to the Breeders Crown, so he has a big break, which I feel is a well-deserved break." And while Wellwood is not completely ruling out the Futurity, her overall concern is for Marion Marauder's well-being. "It's all about whatever is good for the horse," she said. "That comes absolutely first. We're not going to say never, but he's still got hurdles to overcome. So you don't know. You can never predict anything." Following is the field for the Yonkers Trot. $500,000 Yonkers Trot 3-year-old male trotters Race 8/Post 9:30 p.m. (EDT) PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Iron Mine Bucky - Explosive Matter - George Dennis-Greg Haverstick-12/1 2. Celebrity Express - Andover Hall - John Campbell-Staffan Lind-20/1 3. Smalltownthrowdown - Cash Hall - Dan Daley-Dan Daley-7/2 4. Marion Marauder - Muscle Hill - Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-1/1 5. Lagerfeld - Yankee Glide - Mark MacDonald-Jimmy Takter-7/1 6. Steed - Muscle Hill - Brian Sears-Richard Johnson-20/1 7. Hititoutofthepark - Yankee Glide - Corey Callahan-John Butenschoen-20/1 8. Cufflink Hanover - Andover Hall - Jason Bartlett-Chris Oakes-7/1 Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager Harness Racing Communications

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 27, 2016 - Hambletonian winner Marion Marauder and harness racing driver Scott Zeron made short work of his small-track debut, winning Saturday night's lone $40,000 elimination for the 62nd Yonkers Trot. "Marion," starting from post position No. 3 in a Yonkers Raceway game of musical chairs (nine to eliminate one), took things in his own hooves early. The 3-10 choice moved past first leader Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley), then had few issues (:29.2, :58.4, 1:28.1, 1:56.2). The margin was a length-and-quarter over "Smalltown," with Iron Mine Bucky (George Dennis) a drifting, three-hole third. The real fun came in the back of the bus, when the second-tier Gleaming Memory (Ake Svanstedt) made an ugly break that directly wiped out Lagerfeld (Mark MacDonald), while any number of the trailers also broke, were impeded or were just plain outrun. Steed (Brian Sears) was a best-of-the-rest fourth, with Hititoutofthepark (Corey Callahan), Cuffllink Hanover (Jason Bartlett), Celebrity Express (John Campbell) and Lagerfeld also earning berth into next Saturday's $500,000 final (open draw for second jewel of Trotting Triple Crown is Tuesday morning). For Marion Marauder, a 3-year-old son of Muscle Hill trained by Paula Wellwood, who kept in the family for co-owners Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling, it was his seventh win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $7.80, with the triple returning $22.60. "I couldn't have been more pleased with the way he trotted the half tonight," Zeron said. "I'm confident in his abilities to get the job done in the final." "We just wanted him to get off the gate clean and command a race on a half-mile, Mike Keeling, husband of the winning trainer, said. "I think he showed everybody that he can do that. He steered great and he trotted well." Saturday's card also featured a pair of events for 3-year-old fillies, the $118,574 Hudson Trot and $109,050 Lady Maud Pace (3YO fillies). The report will be through soon. Frank Drucker

There's really no other way to put it. Scott Zeron is optimistic when it comes to driving Marion Marauder. The Canadian-based trotter drew post six in his $153,250 division of Saturday's (July 16) Stanley Dancer Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters at the Meadowlands Racetrack and will not have to contend with Hambletonian favorite Southwind Frank, who is in the opposite division. Marion Marauder finished second to Southwind Frank four times last season. Marion Marauder is the 5-2 morning line favorite in his Dancer division, with Jimmy Takter-trained Bar Hopping the 3-1 second choice from post nine in the 11-horse field that will go 1-1/8 miles. "I think the Stanley Dancer looks great," Zeron said of the prep race for the $1 million Hambletonian on Aug. 6 at the Meadowlands. "He couldn't be coming into the race any better. Last week when we were just in an overnight to make sure he got prepped for the Dancer, he finished guns a blazin', splitting horses. I didn't have to pull the earplugs and he was as strong as he's ever been going across the wire. I'm excited, and he's lightly raced so he's fresh." Marion Marauder has won three of four races this year, including the Goodtimes Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack on June 18. A week ago, he started from post nine in a 3-year-old open at the Meadowlands and stormed home from last place in :26.3 to finish second-placed-first when Jack Vernon made a break and was eventually placed ninth. Owned by Marion Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling and trained by Paula Wellwood, Marion Marauder has won four of 17 career races and earned $404,862. As a 2-year-old, he won once in 13 starts but finished second five times and third three times. "Last year he had a few quirks," Zeron said. "He didn't like going up to the gate. If he did, you had to follow another horse and then slide him onto the gate at the last second. So that was the main reason we never positioned him in a winnable spot last year. He was always a little too far back. We did what we had to do with the quirks we were working with." Those issues have been resolved this year, not to mention the fact that Marion Marauder has gotten substantially bigger. "I don't usually see a big difference from (ages) 2 to 3," Zeron said. "Not a lot of them get a lot of size and mass to them like I've seen him do this year. That's going to be a great thing, we're going to need that for two heats in the Hambo." Since the Stanley Dancer attracted 11 starters in each division, it will be contested at 1-1/8 miles rather than the traditional one-mile distance. That added distance is another reason Zeron feels good about his horse. "I think it helps me," said Zeron, who leads all drivers at the Meadowlands in wins with 70 this year. "If he was a stone cold frontrunner I think it'd be terrible. But the fact that my horse likes coming off the pace, it's good. The further he goes in the mile, the better he picks up his speed. It's better suited to me. "Obviously having trailers is never a good thing but I'm perfectly fine with the extra eighth. I'm not worried about it being harder for him to win. I feel like it's a little easier for him to win." Of course, it's not like Zeron would complain if Marion Marauder got out front. "But so far I like him a little bit better following the helmet," he added. "I almost feel like he slowly starts to build up his speed the further in the mile he goes. His last quarter is always going to be his best quarter." Zeron has driven Marion Marauder in eight of his career starts, including second-place finishes to Southwind Frank in last year's William Wellwood Memorial and Breeders Crown. "So far the trips have been working out," Zeron said. "We're being patient with him, trying to have him in the right situation heading home, and he'll always give you everything he's got. It's always nice driving a trotter who's good gaited, well mannered and lets me do whatever I want with him. He's very easy for me to drive." As for not getting another shot at Southwind Frank in the Stanley Dancer, Zeron is not complaining. He hopes it will materialize a few weeks down the road. Southwind Frank, trained by Ron Burke and driven by Yannick Gingras, is the 6-5 morning line favorite in the first of the two Dancer divisions. "Any time you can miss one of the favorites, it's good for all of us," he said. "To beat Southwind Frank, if we have to do it on Hambo Day than that's the time we'll try to do it. But it's perfectly fine he's in a separate division. By the same token, my horse isn't a frontrunner. I'm not saying he can't do it, but horses like Southwind Frank, when they're in a race they push it and that's always a good thing." It seems everything about Marion Marauder is a good thing where Zeron is concerned. "He's given me no inkling as to why he would be not capable of winning (on Saturday) and I feel like he's only gotten that much better every start he's raced this year," he said. "The extra eighth should be suited for him. Everything is prepping into solid form for the Hambo and I'm excited about it." It's not hard to tell. ROAD TO THE HAMBLETONIAN A look at open stakes for 3-year-old male trotters and state-restricted stakes featuring Hambletonian eligibles Date - Track - Event - First - Second - Third May 7 - Freehold - Dexter Cup - Dante - Cufflink Hanover - Credevie May 7 - Pocono - PA All Stars - Tyson - Edinburgh - Will Self May 7 - Pocono - PA All Stars - Mikkeli Hanover - Granite State - Marion Gondolier May 7 - Pocono - PA All Stars - Hititoutofthepark - Lagerfeld - Cloud Nine Hanover May 14 - Meadows - PASS - Cufflink Hanover - Love Matters - Southern Cross May 14 - Meadows - PASS - Truemass Volo - Marion Gondolier - Hanks Tank May 14 - Meadows - PASS - Milligan's School - Hititoutofthepark - Desert Runner May 14 - Meadows - PASS - Lagerfeld - Tyson - Hollywood Highway May 20 - Meadowlands - NJSS - Southwind Frank - Brooklyn Hill - Bar Hopping May 21 - Meadows - Currier & Ives - Iron Mine Bucky - Steed - Hititoutofthepark May 21 - Meadows - Currier & Ives - Cufflink Hanover - Hollywood Highway - Truemass Volo May 27 - Meadowlands - NJSS - Mavens Way - Jack Vernon - Double L Lindy June 2 - Philadelphia - PASS - Hollywood Highway - Taco Tuesday - Sliding Home June 2 - Philadelphia - PASS - Lagerfeld - Truemass Volo - Dupree June 2 - Philadelphia - PASS - Milligan's School - Reigning Moni - Iron Mine Bucky June 2 - Philadelphia - PASS - Love Matters - Tight Lines - Alexander Hanover June 4 - Meadowlands - NJSS Final - Southwind Frank - Brooklyn Hill - Mavens Way June 12 - Pocono - PASS - Love Matters - Taco Tuesday - Desert Runner June 12 - Pocono - PASS - Trolley - Lagerfeld - Cufflink Hanover June 12 - Pocono - PASS - Hititoutofthepark - Hollywood Highway - Dupree June 18 - Mohawk - Goodtimes - Marion Marauder - Will Take Charge - Blenheim June 19 - Vernon - Empire Breeders Classic - Dante - Just For Today - Thats A Bad Boy June 26 - Buffalo - NYSS - The Royal Harry - Crazycat - A Jersey Contract July 1 - Tioga - Tompkins-Geers - Dominion Beach - Cufflink Hanover - Waitlifter K July 1 - Tioga - Tompkins-Geers - Hititoutofthepark - Blownoutofthewater - Steed July 2 - Pocono - Beal Memorial - Southwind Frank - Trolley - Bar Hopping July 14 - Yonkers - NYSS - Dante - The Royal Harry - Credevie Hambletonian eligible winners in bold by Rich Fisher, USTA Senior Correspondent

Louisville, KY --- It’s a tough question to answer summing up a human or horse’s personality in one word but harness racing trainer Paula Wellwood had no problem describing 2-year-old trotting colt Marion Marauder, who has had the misfortune of chasing Southwind Frank around the track frequently this season, with pinpoint accuracy. “He’s a terror,” said the colt’s co-conditioner. “He is constantly on the go, getting into everything and continuously trying to amuse himself. You have to watch him every minute and then when he decides something is not fun anymore, he’s out like a light. “Whenever he decides he is done -- and it can be in an instant -- he is sleeping. You can yell at him, make all kinds of noise and try to do anything you can to get him up, but it will not happen. He is so much fun to be around and has one of the best personalities I have ever seen in a horse.” Of which Wellwood has seen many. She is the daughter of the late Canadian Hall of Fame trainer William Wellwood and was responsible for guiding the careers of O’Brien Award winners Was It A Dream and Laddie. In conjunction with her husband, Michael Keeling, Wellwood also added to her O’Brien collection for the couple’s success with dual winner Elusive Desire. Keeling and Wellwood will seek to add another piece of hardware to their collection when they send out Marion Marauder on Saturday (Oct. 24) at Woodbine Racetrack to contest the $600,000 Breeders Crown 2-year-old colt and gelding trot. The colt will commence from post position three with Scott Zeron at the lines. This son of Muscle Hill and the 2000 Nova 2-year-old trotting filly champion Spellbound Hanover, was bred by William Mulligan and purchased for $37,000 at the 2014 Lexington Selected Sale by Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling. His dam, who was second in the 2000 Breeders Crown 2-year-old filly trot final, is by Donerail and out of the Super Bowl mare Sounds Swell. She has produced some top females in Spellyuptothebar (Malabar Man, 4,1:57.3h, $156,213), Sweetspellosuccess (Credit Winner, 3,Q1:58.4, $206,024) and Fifty Shades (Malabar Man, 3,1:59.2h, $205,659). “This is one very, very nice colt,” Wellwood said, with her voice full of pride over Marion Marauder. “He was really small when we first got him as a baby, but then he really grew up. He’s still not a big horse, but he is nice-sized and just oozes with all that character. We are extremely happy with him.” Marion Marauder closed swiftest of all with a last panel of :27.2 into a stiff headwind to come home second in his Crown elimination, five lengths behind division leader Southwind Frank. Pilot Scott Zeron was content to settle Marion Marauder in seventh in the early stages of the contest, then advanced to sixth by the three-quarter pole and fifth at the top of the stretch off Dupree’s cover, before he unleashed his closing kick on the far outside of the track. Although he packed a powerful late punch, the colt was no match for the winner who stopped the clock in 1:55.2. Marion Marauder started his racing career with a break behind the gate when leaving from post position nine in an $11,340 2-year-old conditioned event on June 23 at Mohawk Racetrack. The colt was fourth in his second engagement, which was a $20,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes race at the Meadowlands on July 3. He was then second in the next leg and third in the $100,000 final on July 17. Returning to his Canadian home-base, Marion Marauder was third in a $10,500 conditioned race at Mohawk and then fourth in an $88,055 Champlain Stakes race over the same surface on Sept. 4. He was second to Southwind Frank in a $22,500 William Wellwood Memorial elimination on Sept. 11 and also in the $283,480 final the following week. With that foe not a member of the field, the colt finally broke his maiden on Oct. 1 at Woodbine in a $12,160 2-year-old conditioned event directly prior to his Breeders Crown appearance. After his second in the elimination his record now stands at 10-1-4-2 and he has earned $107,392. “He had some problems early on in his career with breaking at the gate,” Wellwood said. “He’s not a bad mannered or bad horse, but when you would put him on the gate he would want to jab out at the other horses. We think it is something he will grow out of, but we worked with him so he doesn’t really do it anymore. We don’t want to take a chance though, so we never put him right on the gate and back off with him. We don’t feel there is any sense in rushing him along, but because we do that with him he will never get away from there very fast.” Although Keeling has captured an elimination for a Breeders Crown with Elusive Desire and Wellwood one with Laddie, a triumph by this colt in the final would be the first title for this horse’s connections. “Coming into the stretch, I thought we would get fourth,” Wellwood said about the elimination. “Frank was long gone, but this horse loves to pass other horses and he loves a target. We even trained him down to race that way because he enjoys it so much. He saw those other two horses and he was going to get by them. It was a huge mile for him and I think he trotted the fastest last quarter of the night and he’s only a 2-year-old. We think he is a very talented colt, so we will just see how we do in the final. “We will always let him tell us, but he might have one more race after the Breeders Crown, depending on if he is sound and happy. We just think the world of him and that he has a very bright future. Fortunately, he is family owned, so he owes us nothing, so there is no need to rush him, but we do think his time will come.” $600,000 Breeders Crown 2-year-old colt trot Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1 - Muscles For Life - Doug McNair-Gregg McNair-30-1  2 - Deep Impact - Steve Condren-Brad Maxwell-20-1  3 - Marion Marauder - Scott Zeron-Michael Keeling-8-1  4 - Sliding Home - David Miller-Jonas Czernyson-15-1  5 - Southwind Frank - Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-2-5  6 - Lagerfeld - Johnny Takter-Jimmy Takter-4-1  7 - Tony Soprano - John Campbell-Robert McIntosh-12-1  8 - Dupree - Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-20-1  9 - Milligan's School - Andy Miller-Julie Miller-15-1  10 - Will Take Charge - Paul MacDonell-John Bax-20-1 by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

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