Day At The Track

Pacing colts lit up Kawartha Downs Saturday

06:59 PM 14 Aug 2016 NZST
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Sports Authority
Sports Authority boosted his record to six wins, two seconds and one third in 11 starts
Kawartha Downs Photo

AUGUST 13, 2016 - Fierce weather systems rolled across Ontario on Saturday, but at Kawartha Downs it was the province's best three-year-old pacing colts that were lighting up the five-eighths mile harness racing oval.

Sports Authority roared away from Post 1 in the first $18,000 Grassroots division and laid down fractions of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:22 on his way to a personal best 1:51.2. Cobourg resident Gord Brown piloted the colt to the win for trainer Luc Blair of Lochaber Ouest, QC and owner Determination of Montreal, QC.

"Luc and I go back a ways, probably 15 years or so, so I'm very happy for him," said Brown, a perennial leader in the Kawartha Downs driver colony. "He's a gentleman and a great trainer."

Saturday's outing was the first time that Brown had driven Sports Authority, and the reinsman was impressed with the Sportswriter son's effort.

"They just told me to place him forward," Brown noted. "He's a super nice horse. That was a huge mile considering the slop."

Big Place and Big Bang Boom finished second and third behind Sports Authority, who boosted his record to six wins, two seconds and one third in 11 starts with the win. Saturday's outing was just the Sportswriter son's second in Grassroots action. He made his debut in the July 30 event at Hanover Raceway, finishing sixth from Post 6.

Brown and Sports Authority's connections were presented with the Grassroots trophy by Anaheim Ducks winger Nick Ritchie, who was on hand to watch his father Paul Ritchie's colt, Chalk Player, compete in the second division. Unfortunately, the 20-year-old Orangeville native would make just one visit to the Kawartha Downs winner's circle as Chalk Player settled for third behind fan favourite Blaise Mm Hanover.

Starting from Post 7, Blaise Mm Hanover and driver Travis Henry sprinted out to a :26.4 opening quarter and then eased off on the accelerator through a :57.4 half. When Pudong Phil came calling on the outside Henry kicked the tempo up a notch and Blaise Mm Hanover hit the three-quarters in 1:25 and then powered down the stretch to a one and three-quarter length victory in 1:52.4. Pocket sitter Print Media finished second, a length ahead of Chalk Player.

The win was Blaise Mm Hanover's fourth in five starts this season, and his first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. Cambridge resident Casie Coleman trains the Bettors Delight son for her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge and is hoping the gelding is finally on track after battling sickness through the month of July.

"He gives it all he's got every time he's on the track, hopefully he can now stay sound and healthy and drive on for a while," said Coleman. "I've always been high on him; he's from the same family line as Betterthancheddar."

Betterthancheddar earned $1.6 million in his racing career for Coleman and her partners. Through seven career starts Blaise Mm Hanover has netted $38,660.

Driver Bill Davis, Jr. had a floodlit path to the Kawartha Downs winner's circle on Saturday, capturing two overnight events and one Grassroots division. The Guelph, ON resident guided Daylight Rush to a 1:53.2 score in the fourth division for trainer Blake MacIntosh of Cambridge, ON and his partner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA.

"Daylight Rush was a completely different horse tonight, in a good way," said Davis. "Last week, in Hanover, he won, but didn't seem to have the fight in him. Tonight in the post parade I was wondering if Blake brought the right horse.

"Leaving the gate he pushed the car out of way, and I had a very good hold of him sitting in the pocket after letting Bettor Memories go. I was just waiting for room with him in the stretch," the reinsman continued. "He gave me goosebumps crossing the wire."

The win was the Art Colony son's third straight and his fourth of the season. Two wins, one third and one fifth in Grassroots action give the gelding 117 points and third spot in the division standings.

The other Grassroots divisions were captured by St Lads Moonwalk, Arsenic and Imsporty.

St Lads Moonwalk and driver Mike Saftic used the outside lane and a stretch-drive sprint to secure their second Grassroots win in 1:52.2. Inspiration View, after serving as a windbreak for the winner, finished one and one-half lengths back in second and Twomacsonemach was third.

Cambridge resident Jack Darling owns and trains St Lads Moonwalk, who moved to the top of the division standings with 150 points scored through two wins and two seconds. In 11 sophomore starts the Mach Three son has garnered six wins, three seconds and one third for earnings of $64,860.

Arsenic earned his first-ever Ontario Sires Stakes trophy with a 1:54.3 front-end effort in the fifth division. The Bettors Delight son bested Jack Rackham and Day Trade Hanover.

Alfie Carroll of Iona Station piloted Arsenic to the win for trainer Scott McEneny of Cambridge and owners Brad Grant and Teresa Davidson of Milton, and Michelle McEneny of Waterdown, ON.

Imsporty picked up his second Grassroots win in the final division, powering away from the field in the last quarter and reaching the wire four lengths on top in 1:53. Fan favourite Kokanee Seelster settled for second, just ahead of Flaherty.

Mike Saftic piloted Imsporty to the win for trainer Rob Fellows and owners Murray Cox and Yolanda Fellows, all of Rockwood. The mile was a new personal best for the Sportswriter gelding.

The three-year-old pacing colts will make their fifth Grassroots start at Georgian Downs on August 23.

Ontario Racing

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