Guardian Angel As swooped in from the United States and flew away with the $600,000 Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk Raceway, became a millionaire and set all sorts of records. Apocryphal.
Last year, as a 4-year-old, he had just managed to qualify for the Maple Leaf Trot final by finishing fourth in the elimination, and then trotted home ninth in the final. What a difference a year makes.
But this year, Guardian Angel As has won seven of 10 starts. It’s hard to defeat this ebony-coated trotter this season, it seems.
Guardian Angel As was facing a stacked field in this year’s event, with four talented mares (Dream Together, Manchego, Emoticon Hanover, and Atlanta) and two Hambletonian winners (Marion Marauder in 2016 and Atlanta in 2018.) And don’t forget that Crystal Fashion trotter trained by Canadian-born Jim Campbell. Crystal Fashion has won $1,774,859 in his career and went off as the favourite in this year’s Maple Leaf Trot.
Guardian Angel As made it simple. He went to the front before the half-mile mark for driver Tim Tetrick and was never seriously challenged, until Atlanta (4 to 1) made a rush in the stretch, and Marion Marauder (5-1) hot-footed it down the centre of the track to finish third.
Guardian Angel As went off at almost 2 to 1 after winning his elimination last week. Crystal Fashion, winner of the Canadian Trotting Classic last year, was the 9-5 favourite after winning the slower elimination.
And just so that you know what you were watching, the field in total had earnings of more than $15.5-million. Six of the 10 horses had won more than $1.5-million each. Guardian Angel As is now approaching that group with his Maple Leaf Trot win. Marion Marauder, a local-bloomed 6-year-old trotter, was the richest in the field with earnings of $3,343,602.
Guardian Angel As slipped around the Mohawk track in 1:50 4/5, a stakes, track and Canadian record for his Swedish connections. He’s trained by Anette Lorentzon, who, without doubt, is feeling heavenly today.