Duly Resolved Ready For Wellwood

Published: September 1, 2021 11:50 am EDT

John Bax knows Duly Resolved will face difficult tests in his upcoming races, but the trainer is happy with the way his two-year-old trotter has prepped for the challenges ahead.

Duly Resolved is a neck from being undefeated in five races this season and heads to Thursday’s first of three $50,000 William Wellwood Memorial eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park as the 2-1 morning-line favourite for Bax and driver Paul MacDonell. The gelding will start from post three in a seven-horse field.

The top three finishers from each elim and one fourth-place finisher selected by lot will advance to the final.

Mohawk also hosts two eliminations for the Peaceful Way, for two-year-old female trotters, on Thursday. The top five finishers from each elim will advance to the final.

The finals of the Wellwood Memorial and Peaceful Way will be September 11 at Mohawk. The connections of elimination winners will choose their post position for the finals.

Duly Resolved began his career with four consecutive wins, three in the Ontario Sires Stakes, before a second-place finish behind Temporal Hanover in a division of the Champlain Stakes last week at Mohawk. Duly Resolved was trapped on the inside before finding room late in the stretch to miss by a neck.

“He finished second last week, but he doesn’t know that,” said Bax. “He certainly was well within himself and came out of it pretty good. I’m happy with the way he looks right now. In the next week or so, he’s going to run into a little tougher competition, and it’ll be interesting to see how he stacks up. So far, he doesn’t look out of place.”

Bax Stable owns Duly Resolved with David Hudson, Don Allensen and Gaelic Stable. The gelding is a son of Resolve out of Motown Muscle and was purchased for $30,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. He has earned $143,509.

“Everybody needs one of these,” said Bax. “In a year like this year, the timing was great. They don’t come along every year, so we’re going to enjoy it.”

Duly Resolved won each of his first four races by a minimum of 1-1/4 lengths. His best win time, 1:56, came July 29 in an Ontario Sires Stakes division at Mohawk.

“We’ve been pretty easy on him, just trying to let him grow into himself,” said Bax. “He’s still growing a lot. You’re trying to baby him, but you’re still trying to get all the money you can. Sometimes those two don’t add up, but so far he’s been pretty easy on himself. He’s not hyper or stressed out; he’s pretty laidback.

“I think that’s one of the things that makes him stand out to me. He’s just out there strolling and acting like an old horse. He’ll go when you ask him, you don’t have to go. You can drive him whatever way you want. He’s not one dimensional, so that’s nice.”

The winner of the Wellwood Memorial gets an automatic berth in the Mohawk Million for two-year-old trotters, which is September 25. The race’s other nine starting spots were purchased for $100,000. Bax hopes the second-year event becomes part of Duly Resolved’s schedule.

“In a perfect world, he wins the Wellwood and I get a free ticket into a million-dollar race,” said Bax with a laugh. “(Otherwise), I think he has one sire stakes race left and then the Super Final. He’s eligible to the Breeders Crown. We’ll see how he is at that point, whether we want to try that or not. If he’s healthy and keeps looking competitive, that would be on the docket.”

Letsdoit S is the 5-2 second choice in the first Wellwood elimination. The Swedish-bred son of Nuncio-Bacio won a Champlain division last week for trainer Marcus Melander and driver Doug McNair.

King Of The North, the undefeated Peter Haughton Memorial winner, is the 6-5 morning-line favorite in the second Wellwood elimination and lightly raced Safe Conduct is the 5-2 choice in the third.

Ray Schnittker-trained King Of The North is five-for-five and also counts the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship among his victories. Mark MacDonald will drive the son of Walner out of Check Me Out from post one in an eight-horse field.

Twin B Archie, a Champlain winner last week, is the 3-1 second choice for trainer Scott McEneny and driver James MacDonald. The son of Archangel-Affair Hall has been no worse than second in five races, winning two.

Safe Conduct has a win in two starts this year, with his victory coming August 19 in the Ontario Sires Stakes. The son of Archangel-Safekeeping is trained by Camilla Christoforou and driven by Chris Christoforou. He will start from post one in a seven-horse field.

Champlain division winner Temporal Hanover is the 3-1 second choice for trainer Melander and driver McNair. The colt, a son of Walner-Think Twice, has finished worse than second only once in six races, winning three.

The Peaceful Way attracted 13 fillies, which were divided into two eliminations. The top five finishers from each elim will advance to the final. Venerable is the 4-5 morning-line favourite in the first elimination and Adare Castle is the 5-2 favourite in the second.

Venerable is undefeated in five career races and has earned $300,255. She won the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship in 1:52.2 on July 16 at The Meadowlands and captured the Jim Doherty Memorial in a stakes-record 1:52 on August 7. She heads to her elimination off a victory in the second leg of the Kentucky Championship Series at Red Mile.

David Miller will drive Venerable, a daughter of Walner out of Jolene Jolene, for trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman. Venerable will leave from post five in the six-horse field.

Adare Castle is unbeaten in four lifetime races and has earned $195,087. She enters her elimination off a victory in a division of the Champlain Stakes at Mohawk. Her prior three triumphs all came in the Ontario Sire Stakes.

James MacDonald will drive Adare Castle, a daughter of Muscle Mass-Pacific Edge, for trainer Mark Etsell. Adare Castle will leave from post three in the seven-horse field.

Norman-trained Delilah Hanover, also a Champlain division winner, is the 3-1 second choice behind Adare Castle. A daughter of Muscle Hill-Danielle Hanover, she is a half-sister to multiple Grand Circuit winner Darlene Hanover.

Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) Thursday at Mohawk. For complete entries, click on the following links: Thursday Entries -- Program Pages (courtesy TrackIT)

(With files from USTA)