September 13, 2008
The eyes of the harness racing world were on Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night, as Hambletonian and World Trotting Derby winner Dewecheatumnhowe took the outside post 10 in the $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic. Coming to Mohawk last week undefeated in 17 lifetime starts, he was defeated in his elimination heat by Crazed, and looked to avenge that loss in the final. Despite drawing the worst post of all, the Ray Schnittker-trained and driven son of Muscles Yankee was sent off as the 6-5 favorite over 3-2 second choice Crazed, who won the Colonial at Chester after finishing second to Deweycheatumnhowe in the Hambletonian. Clerk Magistrate, who won his elimination heat after finishing third in the World Trotting Derby in DuQuoin, was the 7-2 third choice with the rest of the field at double digit odds. Steady rain fell all afternoon and evening leading to a sloppy track but temperatures remained in the low 70's.
As soon as the gate sped away, Schnittker immediately asked Deweycheatumnhowe to accelerate to the lead, angling over to the inside to save ground on the turn after an initial quarter mile in 27 3/5 seconds. Crazed and driver Tim Tetrick, who stalked the favorite to his outside on the turn, moved up to challenge him on the backstretch and took over the lead getting the half in 56 2/5 and 3/4 in 1:25 1/5. Schnittker stayed on the rail in the pocket spot behind Crazed on the far turn. Crazed continued to lead to the 1/8 pole but began to tire, as Deweycheatumnhowe moved back out to the 2 path for room. Deweycheatumnhowe ran right by the tiring Crazed and opened up through the stretch. Clerk Magistrate, who was 4th early on, closed well late on the outside to pass Crazed but was left with too much to do, as Deweycheatumnhowe cruised under the line 2 lengths in front in 1:53 2/5. It was another 2 lengths back from Clerk Magistrate to Crazed, who was 5 1/2 lengths ahead of the rest of the field.
Winning driver and trainer Ray Schnittker said, said, "I was pretty disappointed last week. But they all get beat. When we drew the 10-hole, I really didn't like my chances, but he just showed me how good a horse he is. He’s an unbelievable horse. I think so (a better horse tonight than last week). Maybe I've shipped him too much. Probably won’t do that again, maybe fly him instead. He goes to the Kentucky Futurity (at the Red Mile in Lexington) in three weeks. He was his old self today. I think he’s a lot better (racing) out of the hole. Everybody could see that. I was thinking before the race about taking him right back to last. But after watching the races, nobody was coming from last and we were going for a million dollars. So I thought if he’s good, he could probably handle them. I left out of there hard. I was hoping someone would come and cover me up, which Crazed did, which worked out great. I knew if I got out (in mid-stretch), I’d win by 10. I got out, that was great."