04/28/2016 4:41PM

Mohawk: State Treasurer makes 2016 debut on Saturday

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Nikki Sherman
State Treasurer qualified in 1:49 4/5 on April 15.

Canada’s reigning Horse of the Year is set to return to the track Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack.

The Dr. Ian Moore trainee, State Treasurer will look to start his 2016 campaign off on a winning note in the $34,000 Preferred Handicap. The 7-year-old son of Real Desire has been assigned the outside spot in a field of nine and will reunite with regular driver Chris Christoforou.

State Treasurer put together a dream season last year with nine victories in 19 starts and just shy of $1 million in earnings. He posted victories in the Molson Pace, Mohawk Gold Cup, US Pacing Championship, Roll With Joe and Canadian Pacing Derby en route to being named the top older pacer in both Canada and the United States.

State Treasurer enters 2016 with a milestone in sight. Just a $6,500 yearling purchase, he is just over $51,000 away from $2 million in career earnings for owners Sally MacDonald and Paul MacDonald.

Although State Treasurer has yet to make a start, the veteran pacing stallion has already made headlines this season. Dr. Moore qualified State Treasurer in an eye-popping 1:49 4/5 on April 15 at Southern Oaks Training Center in Sorrento, Florida.

The recorded fractions over the mile oval at Southern Oaks were 26, 52 3/5, 1:19 4/5 and 1:49 4/5.

State Treasurer’s competition in Saturday’s Preferred (race 10) includes stablemate Arthur Blue Chip, who is making his sixth start of the season from post five. The 5-year-old son of Shadow Play made all five previous starts at Pompano Park and scored two victories along with three runner-up finishes.

Nickle Bag, who has six Preferred victories this season, will start from post six. Ellis Park and Boomboom Ballykeel, who have each scored a Preferred victory in the last month, start from post seven and eight, respectively.

State Treasurer will not be the only Dr. Moore trainee to appear at Mohawk Saturday. The veteran conditioner sends out three starters in The Diplomat and former New York Sires Stakes standout Rockin In Heaven in an overnight event.

Some Gold starts from post two in the first Diplomat division for Dr. Moore, while Worthy Art and Sutton Seelster will leave from post position three and five in the second split.

Rockin In Heaven will make his second start of the season in the evening’s fourth race. The 4-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven scored victories in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes and Empire Breeders Classic last season en route to banking over $367,000.

The second leg of The Diplomat Series will feature two $20,000 divisions Saturday night.

The Diplomat Series is for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings, who were non-winners of $100,000 last season. The opening leg of the series failed to fill, as only four horses were entered, but leg two has attracted 13 pacers.

Carmen Auciello trainee War N Munn will headline the first division from the rail. The 3-year-old son of Stonebridge Regal has captured both The Count B and Youthful Series finals this season to help him sport a 2016 bankroll of over $66,000.

The second Diplomat Series division features a strong field of seven

Bill Budd trainee Flaherty has won four of eight starts this season and holds a mark of 1:51 3/5. The son of Up The Credit will start from post two and has been made the 9/5 morning line choice. Flaherty is eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup.

The Diplomat Series divisions are carded as the third and ninth races on Saturday’s card. Post time is 7:30 p.m.

-edited release (WEG)