Updated on 11/06/2013 6:37PM

Balmoral: Maven to face the boys in American National

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Derick Giwner
Maven has accumulated 10 wins in 13 starts this year.

There comes a time when you have to roll the dice. Coming off four consecutive victories against her peers, Maven will tackle the boys in the $200,000 American National at Balmoral Park on Saturday night.

“We wanted to see if she was good enough to go against them,” said trainer Jonas Czernyson. “There was no American National for older mares, so we decided to make this her final start.”

Czernyson, a native of Sweden, had previously discussed the possibility of a campaign in Europe, with the Elitlopp in his former homeland as one of the stops. Saturday’s race against the best trotters North America has to offer could be a stepping stone in that direction.

“We kind of wanted to see where we match up and how we want to prepare for next year,” said Czernyson, who has sent out horses to earn over $2 million in 2013.

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Maven has more than proven herself for owner William J. Donovan against the older trotting mare division this year. The 4-year-old daughter of Glidemaster-M Stewart has earned $465,220 while producing a stellar 10-for-13 record.

Maven has won the Breeders Crown at Pocono, Allerage at The Red Mile, Miss Versatility final at Delaware and Armbro Flight at Mohawk. Those races represent most of the opportunities in the aged mare ranks.

With a year-end divisional title practically sewn up, Maven will get her biggest test of the year on Saturday and driver Yannick Gingras is thrilled about the possibility.

“I wouldn’t be shocked if she beats them,” said Gingras, who admitted he wouldn’t mind a trip to Sweden next year. “If you look at the Breeders Crown, she went a slower time than the boys, but they went on a better track (before the rain).”

Maven will start from post four against a stacked field in Saturday's sixth race at Balmoral. Breeders Crown winner Market Share heads the group from post two. He also leads the older trotting division with $725,356 in earnings this year. Mister Herbie finished just a nose behind Market Share in the Crown final at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs. The Mark Ford trainee drew post nine.

Race 6 - American National - Saturday, November 9

Post Horse Listed Driver DRF Harness Morning Line
1 Upfront Billy Trace Tetrick 30-1
2 Market Share Tim Tetrick 6-5
3 Wishing Stone Yannick Gingras 10-1
4 Maven Yannick Gingras 4-1
5 Guccio Jimmy Takter 20-1
6 My MVP Corey Callahan 25-1
7 The Evictor Marcus Miller 50-1
8 Uncle Peter David Miller 12-1
9 Mister Herbie Brian Sears 3-1