07/19/2012 8:58AM

Mohawk: Arch Madness has work cut out for him in Maple Leaf


Arch Madness will be making his fifth start in a Maple Leaf Trot Saturday night at Mohawk Raceway. The richest Canadian-bred trotter of all time, he won the race as a four-year-old in 2008 but since then hasn’t been able to find the winner’s circle in Canada’s richest aged trotting event. The prospects for a win on Saturday may be long since the son of Balanced Image landed post nine.

“It’s a tough group of horses,” said Trond Smedshammer, Arch Madness’s trainer.

Indeed with this year’s budding star Chapter Seven landing post four and last year’s best Ontario-bred Daylon Magician starting from post two, the deck seems stacked against Arch Madness. Add Cutler Memorial winner Mister Herbie to the field and there’s certainly plenty of competition to go around.

Of Arch Madness driver Brian Sears feels the horse’s best attribute is his ability to leave. “I think we should be able to get out of there and then see what happens,” said Sears.

While Arch Madness will be racing in his fourth country this season, Chapter Seven will be racing for just the third time, coming into the Maple Leaf off of back-to-back 1:50 4/5 miles at the Meadowlands in the Titan Cup trial and final. The Linda Toscano-trained four-year-old did capture the Breeders Crown last year in Ontario but that came over the Woodbine surface. Tim Tetrick again gets the drive behind Chapter Seven.

Daylon Magician is fresh off a victory in the Ontario Masters on July 7 at Georgian Downs. The son of Kadabra has hit peak form since moving into the Jack Moiseyev stable. In addition to his 1:52 victory in the Masters, the stallion owns a 1:51 1/5 personal best taken at Mohawk on June 18.

Earlier in the season Jeff Gillis appeared to have the best aged trotter around in Mister Herbie. However, after a solid victory in the Titan Cup the four-year-old was a disappointment in the Earl Rowe at Georgian Downs and has been idle for more than a month. He qualified back in 1:52 2/5 two weeks ago in preparation for the Maple Leaf. He’ll start from post eight.

The Maple Leaf has a solid supporting cast including Hot Shot Blue Chip (post 1) and international traveler Windsong Geant (post 5).

The Maple Leaf goes as race eight on the 13-race program, which begins at 7:10 p.m. Co-featured on the program, which includes the Canadian Breeders finals for three-year-olds, is the $391,000 Roses Are Red for the sport’s finest aged pacing mares. Put On A Show, one of two elimination winners last Saturday, is the likely favorite from post two.

Though Sears will drive Rocklamation in the Roses Are Red he thinks Put On A Show is the one to beat. “I’ve driven her and I think she’s a touch better than these,” said Sears.

After missing a year at the racetrack, it has taken time for Put On A Show to regain her stellar form, but trainer Chris Ryder appears to have her pointed in the right direction. In last week’s elimination she seemed mired behind dull cover off a dawdling pace yet somehow exploded with a :26 final quarter pacing over the field effortlessly. Jody Jamieson will steer the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover from post two.

Drop The Ball, one of the fastest three-year-olds from last year’s crop, has come back even better this season. The daughter of Western Terror captured her elimination in a blistering 1:49 mile and looks like the one to catch in the final. Doug McNair has the driving assignment for trainer Tony O’Sullivan.

Tim Tetrick returns to the bike behind Anndrovette, the beaten favorite in last year’s Roses Are Red. She was a pacesetting second in last week’s elimination and figures to be better off that mile. The five-year-old daughter of Riverboat King starts from post six.

Post position could play a major role in the Roses Are Red, especially for Royal Cee Cee N and driver Jack Moiseyev. The imported mare showed plenty of speed and grit in last week’s elimination from post nine. She drew the rail for the final and figures to be forwardly placed. Mark Harder trains and owns the veteran mare that sports 16 wins over the last two years.

Many of the sports top three-year-olds compete at The Meadows on Saturday, but North America Cup pacesetter Warrawee Needy will try his luck in the $230,000 Canadian Breeders Championship, race 10 on the program. The sophomore colt landed post ten in a field that includes Upper Canada Cup winner Michaels Power.