Day At The Track

Awesome Armbro to start in $170k Classic

04:31 PM 25 Jun 2010 NZST
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Awesome Armbro
Awesome Armbro
Courtesy Of Race Images, Christchurch, New Zealand

Ontario harness racing trainer Isaac Waxman didn't hesitate paying the $10,000 supplementary fee to get former Kiwi pacer Awesome Armbro into this Sunday's (June 27) $170,000 Des Smith Classic Pace at Rideau Carleton Raceway. The 29th running of the Classic has attracted six of Canada's high-speed older pacers.

"He's a very nice horse. The best I've had. When he won in 1:50.2 last week I had no hesitation paying the supplementary fee. I've watched a lot of his races back in New Zealand and I knew just how lethal his speed can be. He matched it for pace with Auckland Reactor in New Zealand, and that's something," the Dundas-based horseman said.

Awesome Armbro made up for pacing roughly behind the mobile gate on debut when winning second-up in a $24,000 Mile at Mohawk Racetrack on June 19.

The son of Armbro Operative drew three of nine and settled third for much of that race. He was snookered away on the markers on the turn before driver Luc Ouellette hooked him away from the tight quarters half way down the stretch. Awesome Armbro N's final sprint proved too much for the opposition.

Ouellette is committed to drive Dali in the Classic, meaning Waxman's good friend Jean-Renee Plant will take over the reins.

"He's stoked I've given him the drive. We are good mates and it's a bit special because the race is the biggest we have both trained and driven in. I think he can win the race and Luc also said the horse was good enough to take it," Waxman said.

Awesome Armbro N, as he is now called, has drawn four - one outside likely favorite, the Gordon Irwin trained and Paul MacDonnell driven Bigtime Ball. That 6-year-old Presidential Ball gelding comes into the race with two Open Class wins at Mohawk (best time: 1:49).

Waxman believes his 8-year-old will be fitter for last week's win.

"I wouldn't think he's tight yet. In fact I know he will improve. He's really adjusted well to the conditions here. We shaved him and we also have a fan on him. He's certainly not sick. We took him to the clinic and his blood was perfect," Waxman said.

He believed perhaps one of the reasons Awesome Armbro N was so happy was because of his stablemate, close buddy and former Kiwi pacer - Scapa N (who will race in the third event at Mohawk today - Friday).

"They get on so well, I think they might be gay. He really loves it here. He's happy and enjoying his training," Waxman said.

Awesome Armbro N was jogged yesterday and again today (Friday) in preparation for his biggest Canadian assignment. If he finishes in the first two Waxman has plans:

"I'd like to start him in all the open events at Mohawk and then maybe next season, if he goes well, I will stake him," he said.

By Duane RANGER (editor)

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