Day At The Track

Southwind Frank dominates freshman Crown

01:50 PM 25 Oct 2015 NZDT
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Southwind Frank
Southwind Frank with part owner Jerry Silva after winning the Breeders Crown
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Southwind Frank

TORONTO - Southwind Frank made it look easy for harness racing driver Yannick Gingras clearing to the lead by the quarter pole and never looking back to capture the $600,000 U.S. ($778,440 Cdn) Breeders Crown event for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings at Woodbine Racetrack.

The son of Muscle Hill has been a dominant force in the division all season long and the Crown performance was no exception as he cruised over the rain-soaked Woodbine oval in a 1:54.2 clocking under wraps.

Owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi, Our Horse Cents Stables and J & T Silva Stables, Southwind Frank is out of the Cantab Hall-sired Flawless Lindy.

Sent off as the prohibitive 1-10 favorite, Southwind Frank left alertly but Gingras waited for Sliding Home inside of him to clear the lead before hustling his colt to the front before the :27.1 opening quarter.

With little movement behind him, Gingras took the second quarter to shut down the pace with Southwind Frank trotting a :30.2 second quarter while in complete command.

The first horse to pull was Marion Marauder and Scott Zeron. Also by Muscle Hill the colt grinded up towards the winner through the third quarter as Gingras let a notch out and Southwind Frank hit three quarters in 1:26.2.

With Marion Marauder in pursuit, Gingras allowed Southwind Frank to hit his best stride and the colt opened ground effortlessly cruising a final quarter in :28 and winning with ease. Marion Marauder was a determined second-place finisher, the fifth time this year in 11 starts he finished in the bridesmaid role. Early leader Sliding Home earned the final board spot.

The victory was win number 11 in a dozen starts for the impressive colt trained by leading conditioner Ron Burke, who celebrated his ninth Breeders Crown victory.

"He was a bit more aggressive behind the gate this week," said Gingras, who won his 12th Breeders Crown and 11th in the last three years. "Once I settled him down he was all business... From the first time I sat behind him he's been all business."

Deep Impact and Milligans School earned the final checks.

Southwind Frank returned $2.20 as the third consecutive Crown odds-on winner on the Woodbine program.

QUOTES;

Yannick Gingris driver;

Any anxious moments? YG: Maybe a few moments behind the gate.  He was a bit more aggressive than he has been the last few weeks. He was like that in the beginning of the year.  So, I just wanted to get him off on the right foot, because he was not sure footed then. The rest of the way I had no problem.

From the first time that I sat behind him, at Gaitway, he has been all business.  Every time that I have raced him, he has been a perfect professional.

Jerry Silva: I think that he may have surpassed his father, Muscle Hill, and that is saying a lot.  No one knows until next year how good he is going to be. I had this conversation with Ron Burke, trainer,  He should be able to do a lot.  This is his last race for the year.  We are not going to do anything else with him now. 

Hambo:

There is something in August that we like to go to.  The Hambo.  This year we tried it, but we were not good enough.  Next year we will try it again with Southwind Frank.

Nights that make it all worthwhile?

It makes it all worthwhile.  1to9 makes me nervous, trotters make me nervous.  Everything makes me nervous. You saw how relaxed he was out in the Woodbine winner’s circle.  He is just the picture-perfect horse. You love them more when they are that way.

By Jay Bergman

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