This Saturday, Mohawk Raceway will be hosting the first Harlequin Invitational for RUS Trotters. The $10,000 Haarlequin will also represent another first; the first parimutuel RUS event at any WEG track. RUSOntario explains why the race is being called the Harlequin Invitational.
While not a multi-national event as the Yonkers International, the Harlequin has an international flavor. Due to the holding pattern of racing under saddle in the United States, a couple of American trotters have been invited to compete and will be heading north of the border to do battle against Ontario's best.
Racing at Hiawatha Horse Park on September 12, the Americans failed to hit the board, perhaps due to being assigned posts 5-7 in the handicapped event. With the Harlequin Invitational being an open draw, the American participants are hoping for a better outcome this time around.
Also giving the contest an international flavor are two European riders who are scheduled to compete in the event as Sweden's Stephanie Werder and France's Philippe Masschaele are expected to ride in the invitational.
With most tracks and ADWs taking Mohawk's signal, for many American punters this will be the first time the opportunity exists to wager on a racing under saddle contest. Not only will a strong handle show Woodbine Entertainment executives and others in Canada there is an appetite for parimutuel RUS racing on a regular basis, it may also help convince American racing officials to take a serious look at changing state laws/regulations to allow parimutuel racing in states with traditional standardbred racing.
The field for the $10,000 event is being drawn this morning and the field will be announced later in the day.