The 8th edition of the Balanced Image stakes for two-year old trotters is set to kick off on Saturday night, and in the first year of the event being split by sex, there are some impressive entries into the 2012 edition of the harness racing event.
In the first colts division, OSS Gold competitor Ark Went In will look to topple his foes for trainer Bjorn Noren. Thenovice has tasted Ontario Sires Stakes victory once this season in a Gold series elimination at Mohawk Racetrack by way of a 1:58.4 win on July 16th.
Noren, who will be making his first trip ever to Hanover Raceway, says he expected Ark Went In to be a good Grassroots horse, but has exceeded expectations.
“He trained down very good, and qualified good for me, so we’ve been racing him in the Golds. He raced very good at Mohawk, but got overdriven in the final and didn’t finish well. He’s been a little sick and wasn’t 100% at Grand River, but he trained good this week so we decided to bring him to Hanover.”
The trainer also noted that he raced very well in Clinton despite making a break in the first turn. He has little concern about his rookie getting around the half mile oval in Hanover though, explaining “he cannot rush out off the gate, but after that first turn he gets going.”
Meeting Noren’s colt will be North York, the top Grassroots two-year old colt in 2012. The Rene Laarman pupil has finished off the tote board only once in five OSS Grassroots starts, including wins at Clinton Raceway and Rideau Carleton Raceway.
Race 8 will be the second off three divisions for colts and Dewer Kash headlines the field. He sits fifth overall in OSS money earnings with $54,480 bankrolled in stakes action in his freshman campaign. Joseph Parkinson conditions theson and has slotted regular driver Byron into the bike, looking to steer Dewer Kash to victory, something the talented rookie hasn’t managed in OSS action in 2012.
One colt looking to stand in his way will be Power Move. Ted Jacobs co-owns, trains and drives the first-yearcolt that currently sits fourth in the OSS Grassroots standings.
Consistency has been the key for Power Move in his young career, as he has finished on the tote board in each of his five Grassroots races, including one win in 2:00.1 at Georgian Downs on August 14th.
The finalelimination will be contested as race 10 on the Saturday night program, and it is a wide open affair. Gregg McNair trainee Buddy Hally will leave from the rail with Randy Fritz in tow.
The McNair-Fritz team has had plenty of success at Hanover Raceway in the past including a win in the 2010 Dream of Glory with Krakatoa. Buddy Hally sits 15th in the Grassroots standings with a win, a second and a third in three starts.
The colt’s 2:01.0 victory on August 24th at Rideau Carleton Raceway bodes well for his chances at heading to the colts Final on September 8th.
eliminations will take place on Saturday night with the colts going postward in races 2, 8, and 10. Then, the finals will take place Saturday, September 8th as part of the tenth annual All-Trot Night.
The event is the only full card of trotting races in North America, and will also feature Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots three-year old trotting fillies, and the Walker Memorial Invitation.
by Andrew HUGHES