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MARION MARAUDER ONE OF STRATTON'S HALF-DOZEN
The 2016 Trotting Triple Crown winner, in his first local visit since finishing second in last fall's million dollar Yonkers International Trot, was unsurprisingly better than his seven inside foes. Marion Marauder just sat out there, moving from seventh to fifth at the half (27, 57).
He advanced down the backside the second time, making up ground even though they weren't going that much up front. Marion Marauder went three-wide around Madhatter Bluechip (Joe Bongiorno), setting his sights on leading Bluebird Jesse (Brent Holland) passing a 1:25.3 three-quarters.
The odds-on choice took over soon after, opening a length-and-a-half into the lane. He then held off Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Dube) by a half-length in 1:55.1.
It was the 2016 Yonkers Trot all over again, except Stratton (six winners during Saturday's dozen-race card) was cast in the role of Scott Zeron and Dube subbing for Dan Daley behind the runnerup. Daley had Smalltownthrowdown at 2 and 3.
Third went to DW's NY Yank (George Brennan), with Bluebird Jesse and Madhatter Bluechip rounding out the payees.
For Marion Marauder, a 5-year-old son of Muscle Hill co-owned by Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling & trained by the tandem of Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling (Ms. Wellwood is listed stateside), it was his second win in four seasonal starts (career earnings up over $2.6 million). The exacta paid $37.60, the triple returned $169 and the superfecta paid $371.50.
Saturday night's co-featured $44,000 Open Handicap Pace was won by Always at May Place (Brennan, $12) in 1:51.1, a 40th career victory by far a season's-best effort.
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