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Atlanta races to four-length victory to capture the $560,000 Maple Leaf Trot

MILTON, Ont. — Atlanta was driven to a four-length victory by Yannick Gingras to capture the $560,000 Maple Leaf Trot on Saturday, while driver James MacDonald engineered his second consecutive Canadian Pacing Derby stunner by guiding Dorsoduro Hanover to a 40-1 upset.

Atlanta, who finished last year’s Maple Leaf Trot as runner up, won the 2020 edition in 1:50.40 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

The five-year-old mare, trained by Ron Burke, matched the stakes record held by Guardian Angel As (2019) and Mister Herbie (2012).

In the stretch, Atlanta stormed by her competition for her third win of the season and 23rd lifetime.

“(Atlanta) felt so strong and I had a handful of trot in the last turn and when I tipped her she came off cover like a sports car,” said Gingras.

Lindy The Great placed second, while Gimpanzee, the even-money favourite, finished third. Crystal Fashion was fourth, and Manchego finished fifth.

“She’s a great mare,” said co-owner Brad Grant. “I don’t know what to say, but to do it here (at Mohawk Park), I wish it was crowded.”

Atlanta has now earned over $400,000 this season to bring her career total to $2,525,160 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Grant and Howard Taylor. She paid $7.60 to win.

The Maple Leaf Trot has now seen a mare win three of the last six editions, as Atlanta joins Hannelore Hanover and Bee A Magician as recent winners.

Meanwhile, Dorsoduro Hanover and MacDonald sat fifth before turning for home and swept by rivals for a 1:48.4 victory in the $540,000 event.

Dorsoduro Hanover’s victory gave Burke a sweep, tagging alongside Atlanta’s win in the Maple Leaf Trot.

“I always though the seven claimer was my race,” joked MacDonald, who also drove Courtly Choice to a 34-1 upset in last year’s event. “I’ll take the Derby, it’s a real honour just to be in it and to win it…I can’t even put it in words.”

Dancin Lou placed second, while Century Farroh was third after sitting second-over turning for home. Sintra finished fourth.

This report was first published on Sept. 5, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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