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>Guelph resident Bjorn "Bernie" Noren will send four starters out in Monday's (July 16) Gold Eliminations at Mohawk Racetrack and is hoping that at least one of his two-year-old trotting colts can earn a berth in next week's harness racing Gold Final.

Alexander Lukas will start from Post 1 in the first $40,000 Gold Elimination, Ark Went In gets Post 1 in the second split, Any Given Monday will start from Post 7 in the third race and Pocket Trip gets Post 5 in the last elimination.

Both Ark Went In and Any Given Monday head into the Gold Series test off Grassroots starts at Clinton Raceway on July 8, while Alexander Lukas and Pocket Trip will make their career debuts Monday.

Oakville resident Scott Zeron will steer Alexander Lukas in his debut, after piloting the Angus Hall son to third and second-place finishes in his July 2 and 9 qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack.

“In his last qualifier Scotty said he had plenty of horse left, but it didn’t make any sense to make him go faster, because it’s just a qualifier,” notes Noren, who conditions Alexander Lukas, Ark Went In and Any Given Monday for Courant AB of Halmstad, Sweden.

Ark Went In delivered an impressive effort in the Grassroots season opener, making an early miscue that left him more than 20 lengths behind the leaders and then rolling up the outside to earn second-place honours. Zeron piloted the Ken Warkentin son last weekend, but Milton resident Randy Waples will step into the race bike for Monday’s outing.

“He made a miscue in the first turn but he come his back half in :59.3 or something like that down at Clinton,” says Noren. “He’s got some speed, he’s got some go too.”

Any Given Monday also competed in the Grassroots event, finishing fourth from Post 7 in his division. Noren says the Muscle Mass son has unlimited potential, but may take longer to round into form than his stablemates.

“He’s still learning. He’s a nice horse. I kind of have high hopes for him,” says the trainer, who will hand the colt’s lines to Zeron on Monday. “He’s a big nice colt, and hopefully he can start picking up a little bit better than what he’s been doing. I’m pretty sure he’s going to get a bit better when more races get into his body.”

Noren’s final starter is Pocket Trip, an Angus Hall son he owns in partnership with Theodore Gewertz of New York, NY, Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, PA and Order By Stable of Boras, Sweden. The gelding made a break in his July 2 qualifier at Mohawk Racetrack, so Noren opted to add trotting hopples for a second qualifier at the Campbellville oval on July 9.

The gelding, in rein to Rick Zeron of Oakville, controlled most of the fractions in the 2:01.3 mile before being caught at the wire and finishing second by three-quarters of a length.

“He went more than I expected, he went very good,” says Noren. “He (Rick) didn’t want to push him either to make him miscue.”

Rick Zeron will steer Pocket Trip on Monday as he tackles a field that mixes former Gold and Grassroots competitors with first time starters.

The top two colts from each elimination will earn a ticket into the July 23 Gold Final, along with two third-place finishers selected by random draw. Reigning Gold Final champion Musclescorleone will begin defense of his title from Post 4 in the third elimination.

The two-year-old trotting colts will open the Mohawk Racetrack program on Monday at 7:10 pm and also compete in Races 3, 4 and 10.