by Frank Drucker, Publicity Director, Empire City at Yonkers Raceway
Yonkers, NY — The fact that Marion Marauder found himself invited to participate in the 40th International Trot was unrelated to any new North American trade agreement. He’s just pretty good. Three million dollars takes care of a lot of tariffs on any side of the border. The million-dollar Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino goes Saturday afternoon (Oct. 13) with first post at 1 p.m., and you couldn’t legally assemble a field of 10 world-class trotters without including Marion Marauder.
“He’s made that money for a reason,” driver Scott Zeron said.
Actually, any number of reasons.
“He’s always resilient, has never thrown out a bad race, does his job, can take air and knows where the finish line is.”
The Great White North won three of the first dozen Internationals (Tie Silk-1962, mares Armbro Flight-1966 and Fresh Yankee-1970), but it’s been a long time waiting for a fourth.
“I wasn’t even born when those happened,” the 29-year-old Zeron said.
The late addition of Will Take Charge gives Canada two legitimate chances in this International.
Marion Marauder, a 5-year-old son of Muscle Hill, is Canada-driven, Canada co-owned (Marion Wellwood and grandson Devin Keeling) and Canada co-trained (Devin’s parents, Mike Keeling and Paula Wellwood, with Paula listed as stateside trainer).
“I have a great rapport with Paula and Mike,” Zeron said. “They’re laid back and love their animals.”
Despite bleeding all that Canadian, Marion Marauder had not once been in the penalty box.
“I’ve never had to use him hard, go down to the half in :54 seconds or some crazy number,” Zeron said. “His schedule (the International is just Marion Marauder’s 11th race of the season) has always been planned to give him time off between starts. He purposely skipped (the) Dayton (Trotting Derby) and didn’t go to Lexington because Paula and Mike were hoping Yonkers would invite him.”
In fact, Marion Marauder has made his $3,080,380 in only 48 career starts (20 wins, 15 seconds, 5 thirds), with six of those wins and four seconds this season ($544,680). His Westchester resume reads three wins — including the 2016 Yonkers Trot en route to the Trotting Triple Crown — and a pair of seconds in five starts. He’s come away with a pay envelope in 45 of those 48 starts.
Marion Marauder enters the International 22 days between races, the last a come-from-behind win in Hoosier’s $200,000 Caesars Trotting Classic.
A year ago, Marion Marauder was runner-up in the International, some 5-1/2 lengths behind stakes- and world-record-setting Twister Bi’s 2:22.1 frolic for the mile-and-a-quarter distance.
“He (Marion Marauder) was very good, but the winner was amazing,” Zeron said.
Last season’s race did provide some teachable moments for Zeron.
“I’ve driven a lot of the added-distance overnight races here (Yonkers), but that race was completely different,” Zeron said. “In the overnights, guys want to find the pylons as quickly as possible to save ground. In the International, with the best trotters coming over, those drivers aren’t looking for any shortcuts. They don’t mind sitting outside. They won’t leave anything to chance as far as getting locked in.
“Honestly, if Marion Marauder wins (the International), it wouldn’t mean as much to me personally as it would for people to say he’s the best trotter in the world.”
Not bad for the one originally named Marion Monopoly, who sold for $37,000 at Lexington (2014) and, according to Zeron, “was so mentally not there when he started out, he’d get to the gate and try to bite the horse next to him. Then, he figured it out.
“The horse deserves all the credit,” Zeron added. “Me, Mike and Paula, we’re just along for the ride.”
- Up And Quick eyes one more win on world stage (Tuesday, October 02, 2018)
The curtain is about to close on the final act of Up And Quick’s racing career and Delon hopes his trotter can deliver one more thrill on the world’s stage. Up And Quick will reach the mandatory retirement age in France when he turns 11 in 2019 and will no longer be able to target France’s biggest trotting spectacle. Instead, Delon set his sights on New York, sending his star across the Atlantic to compete in the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. The representative of France would be the first Prix d’Amérique winner since Lutin d’Isigny in 1985 to win the International Trot.
- Gingras to drive Ariana G in Yonkers International (Tuesday, October 02, 2018)
Harnessracing.com is reporting that Yannick Gingras will be driving Ariana G in the $1 million International Trot at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Oct. 13).
- USA hopes rest on Ariana G in Yonkers International Trot (Tuesday, October 02, 2018)
The ladies have been champions of women’s rights to win in the famed International Trot, indelibly etching their names among the greatest performers in the history of the global classic. The American standouts, two-time winner Delmonica Hanover and Classical Way; and the French flag-carriers Une de Mai and Roquepine, both two-time titlists. The names ring true to rank among the greatest of International Trot champions.
- Ringostarr Treb cleared to go (Wednesday, October 03, 2018)
Ringostarr Treb is cleared to go to the United States to race in the International Trot at Yonkers Raceway, after he won a qualifier Wednesday (Oct. 3) at noon at the Bahrenfeld track in Hamburg, Germany.
- Cruzado Dela Noche returns stateside for Yonkers International Trot (Wednesday, October 03, 2018)
Anders Ström will have a chance to make history of his own in this year’s renewal of the Yonkers International Trot. His stable, Stall Courant AB, will start Cruzado Dela Noche as a representative of Sweden in the $1 million stakes. Gerard Forni photo.
- Canadian Will Take Charge replacing Dreammoko in International Trot (Wednesday, October 03, 2018)
There has been a change in the cast of characters for the million-dollar Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino. Dreammoko, who was to represent the Netherlands, has been sidelined with a sore throat and won’t make the trip. In his stead, the fleet Canadian Will Take Charge has been chosen.
- Riordan brings Elitlopp winner Ringostarr Treb to International Trot (Friday, October 05, 2018)
Winning the Elitlopp this year with Ringostarr Treb was surreal for Jerry Riordan, but the trainer quickly realized the experience wasn’t for the claustrophobic. Just after the race, Riordan and driver Wim Paal led Ringostarr Treb up the track along the outside rail. The track apron at Solvalla is elevated from the racing surface and the thousands of fans along the fence leaned over and reached out. Their extended arms hung over the trainer, driver, and horse, enclosing them in a tunnel of humanity. The newly crowned Elitlopp winner took it all in stride.
- Foreign fleet is in for $1 million Yonkers International Trot (Friday, October 05, 2018)
Six overseas trotters have arrived in New York in advance of next Saturday afternoon’s (Oct. 13) $1 million Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino.