New York, October 9-Marion Marauder of Canada drew post position one and was installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite in the $1 million Yonkers International Trot to be contested this Saturday afternoon (October 13th) at Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway. An elite field of 10 trotters representing seven countries will go behind the starting gate in the 40th edition of the 1-¼ mile contest.
The post-position draw was held at the ‘21’ Club in midtown this afternoon.
Casino and raceway president Tim Rooney returned the Yonkers International in 2015 after a 20-year hiatus. The International was inaugurated in 1959 at now defunct Roosevelt Raceway.
A five-year-old, Marion Marauder is the leading money earner in the elite field of 10 with $3,080,380 in lifetime earnings on the strength of 20 wins in 48 career starts. Marion Marauder has shown an affinity for the tight turns of the Yonkers half-mile track with three wins and a pair of seconds previously that include the Yonkers Trot victory as a three-year-old en route to the Trotting Triple Crown, and a runner up finish to Twister Bi in last year’s International. The son of Muscle Hill is Canada-driven with Scott Zeron in the sulky, Canada co-owned Jean Wellwood and grandson Devin Keeling, and Canada co-trained by Devin’s parents, Mike Keeling and Paula Wellwood, with Paula listed as stateside trainer.
Ariana G., representing the United States, will try to become only the ninth mare in history to win the International Trot. She drew post position number three and is a 5-1 third choice on the morning line. Yannick Gingras will drive the daughter of Muscle Hill for trainer Jimmy Takter, and co-owners/co-breeders Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Ariana G. has 26 career victories in 37 starts, and a hefty $2,367.709 in career purses.
She beat the boys in a track-record (1:52.1) effort in the Dayton Trotting Derby in her last start on September 27. Previous mares to win the International include two-time winners Delmonica Hanover, Une de Mai and Roquepine, as well as Classical Way, Armbro Flight, Fresh Yankee, Kit Lobell and Peace Corps, who added their signatures to the ladies tour de force.
Italy’s Ringostarr Treb, a $1.4 million career earner on the strength of 30 career wins drew post position four and is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line. The eight-year-old son of Classic Photo captured the prestigious Elitlopp in Sweden earlier this year. Wilhelm Paal will drive for trainer Jerry Riordan. New England-born Riordan, now an expatriate racing out of Sweden by way of Italy, will attempt a rare feat as he tries to win back-to-back Internationals with a different horse. Riordan conditioned last year’s champ, Italy’s Twister Bi, and will trigger the highly-regarded Ringostarr Treb.
In 1978 and 1979, the immortal Billy Haughton trained back-to-back United States flag-carriers in Cold Comfort and Doublemint, both driven by his son Peter. Ironically the senior Haughton, one of the sport’s great sulky stars, never drove an International winner. A decade prior, Frenchman Jean-Rene Gougeon trained and reined consecutive International champs in the aforementioned French mares Roquepine and Une De Mai in 1968 and 1969, respectively.
The field for Saturday’s $1 million Yonkers International Trot in post position order with morning line odds, driver and country in parenthesis is as follows: 1. Marion Marauder (3-1/Scott Zeron/Canada); 2. Up And Quick (10-1/Jason Bartlett/France); 3, Ariana G. (5-1/Yannick Gingras/United States); 4. Ringostarr Treb (4-1/Wilhelm Paal/Italy); 5. Pastore Bob (5-1/Johan Untersteiner/Sweden); 6. Cruzado Dela Noche (12-1/Brian Sears/Sweden); 7. Will Take Charge (6-1/Tim Tetrick/Canada); 8. Arazi Boko (15-1/Alessandro Gocciadoro/Italy); 9. Lionel (10-1/Goran Antonsen/Norway); 10. Slide So Easy (15-1/Flemming Jensen/Denmark).