Day At The Track

Local colt makes Grassroots debut

06:59 AM 12 Aug 2016 NZST
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David Gibson Lock N Reload
Trainer David Gibson takes a Kawartha Downs fan for a spin in a two-seater jog cart during the track’s ‘Hands On Horses’ event.
Kawartha Downs Photo
Lock N Reload, a three-time winner at his local oval, will make his Ontario Sires Stakes debut in the three-year-old pacing colt Grassroots event at Kawartha Downs on Saturday for trainer David Gibson of Peterborough and his partner Glenn Tarver of Scarbo
Kawartha Downs Photo

AUGUST 11, 2016 - Six divisions of talented three-year-old pacing colts will battle at Kawartha Downs on Saturday and one lucky Ontario Sires Stakes fan will be in the centre of the harness racing action.

By placing their "Be A Winner" contest ballots in the box representing their favourite horse in Race 7, eight fans will have a chance to win an Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) t-shirt, ball hat and lanyard badge, and a $15 win-place-show wager on their chosen horse. Those finalists will cheer on their horses from trackside and the finalist representing the victorious horse will join his connections in the winner's circle for a commemorative photo. The winning finalist will also take home a trophy, an OSS jacket and golf shirt, and a $50 wagering voucher.

Among the colts hoping to be in the centre of the action on Saturday is Lock N Reload, who heads into the first $18,000 Grassroots division off a trio of victories over the Kawartha Downs oval. Peterborough resident David Gibson trains and co-owns Lock N Reload and says the son of Bettors Delight has flourished at his local oval in the last six weeks after starting his career with four starts at Mohawk Racetrack.

"He's learning how to be a racehorse, which was very important," said Gibson. "Bringing him back to Kawartha was probably the best thing I did, because he got to race with horses that he could race with and beat, and he's gotten pretty cocky ever since."

Lock N Reload will make his Ontario Sires Stakes debut from the outside Post 8, facing off against a field of seven Grassroots veterans, including three-time runner-up Derecho from Post 6.

"Really, the reason he's even here is because it was at Kawartha and it's only 15 minutes down the road from where we stable, so we thought we'd give it a chance," explained Gibson. "Unfortunately, drawing the eight-hole, I'm not sure I'm going to really see what I really wanted to see."

Gibson shares ownership of Lock N Reload with Glenn Tarver of Scarborough, ON. The long-time partners purchased the gelding from the 2014 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale for $20,000 and after qualifying him in the fall of his freshman season decided to postpone Lock N Reload's debut until this spring.

"I qualified him, and both him and his training partner Bet Till Dawn got sick, and it was getting later in the season and I just decided that it was probably better just to quit with them and start fresh this year," recalled the horseman. "They both seemed like they had a little talent, so I thought instead of racing them if they were sick, and maybe causing some damage, I better just stop when I did."

Since making his debut at Mohawk on May 30, Lock N Reload has tallied three wins in seven starts for earnings of $7,050. His personal best 1:57.2 came in his August 6 effort at Kawartha. Regular reinsman Reg Gassien of Lindsay will be in the race bike for the gelding's Grassroots debut on Saturday and Gibson says Gassien can map out whatever course suits him when the gate pulls away from the fourth race field.

"He can race pretty much any way you want to," noted Gibson. "He's becoming a little more aggressive since he's actually gotten braver, but nothing that's going to hurt him or anything like that."

The trainer said Lock N Reload's performance on Saturday will determine whether he follows the Grassroots program to Georgian Downs for the fifth leg, or remains at Kawartha Downs in overnight company.

"I'll see how he races against this group and then decide from there," said Gibson.

Lock N Reload and his peers will kick off the Grassroots action in Race 4, with the other five $18,000 divisions going behind the Kawartha Downs starting gate in Races 5, 7, 9, 10 and 11. First race post time at the Fraserville oval is 7 pm.

Ontario Racing

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