Harness racing two-year-old pacers of both sexes competed in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series action on Sunday evening at Georgian Downs, and the top performance was turned in by Sportskeeper, who established a new track record of 1:52.3 for a rookie pacing colt. Each race went for a purse of $70,000.
Sportskeeper (Jody Jamieson) competed in the first division for pacing colts and geldings, and he would be in the lead at the :27.1 opening quarter. He then yielded the front to Bob Ben And John (Chris Christoforou), and that one would go on to click off the half in :56.2 and the three-quarters in 1:24.4.
Bob Ben And John brought the field into the stretch, but Jamieson angled his charge to the outside, and he would get up late in the mile to prevail by half a length. Bob Ben And John was the runner-up and Physicallyinclined (Jack Moiseyev) nabbed third.
The time shaved a fifth of a second off the existing track record, which had belonged to Funny Bones since he won a Gold Series elimination in 1:52.4 on June 17, 2006.
Trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge, Ontario, also bred and co-owns Sportskeeper, a Sportswriter colt, with partner Merlin Howse of Langton, Ontario. Sportskeeper, who has won three times from four starts and earned $53,000, is the third foal out of the Nuclear Flash mare Keeper Flying, which means Sportskeeper is a half-brother to former Ontario Sires Stakes competitor Keepers Destiny (Intrepid Seelster, $712,747).
Coleman also won the second section for colt and gelding pacers with Southwind Indy (Christoforou). Southwind Indy led to the :27.4 opening quarter, the :57.3 half and the 1:25.2 three-quarters before he sprinted home in :27.4 to triumph by half a length in 1:53.1. Jamieson had a pocket trip again in this event with Make Some Luck, but he fell half a length short this time. Drachan Hanover (Mike Saftic) tried the eventual winner from first-over past the half, but wound up third.
It was the second win in five tries for Southwind Indy, a colt by Sportswriter who is owned by West Wins Stable, Steve Calhoun of Chatham, Ontario, and Southwind Farms LLC. of Pennington, New Jersey. Southwind Farms also bred Southwind Indy, who was purchased for $45,000 out of the 2013 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Southwind Indy, who shows earnings of $88,497, is the first foal out of the Rocknroll Hanover mare Its Only Rocknroll. Its Only Rocknroll’s dam is Armbro Wallflower (Village Jasper), a multiple-time OSS winner at two and three, including the Super Final for three-year-olds in 2002.
Jamieson did return to win the final contest for the male pacers with Sporting The Look. He had Sporting The Look on the engine through splits of :28.3, :58.1, and 1:26.3, and although pocket-sitter Dialamara (Randy Waples) made things interesting late, Sporting The Look held sway to score by a quarter of a length in 1:54.2. Mikes Powerhouse (Sylvain Filion) finished third.
Sporting The Look, who is trained by Carl Jamieson, finished off a siring sweep of the colt divisions for Sportswriter. The elder Jamieson of Rockwood, Ontario, also co-owns Sporting The Look, who has been victorious in half of his six starts, with breeder 30 Plus Stable of Trenton and Tom Kyron of Toronto, Ontario. Sporting The Look, the third foal out of The Panderosa mare Lyons Mandi ($162,482), did go through last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he brought $72,000.
As for the pacing fillies, Cowgirl Tough (Moiseyev) won the first section in 1:54.2, brushing from fifth at three-quarters to a two length victory in 1:54.2. Heavy favourite Southwind Mischief (Christoforou) led through fractions of :27.1, :57.4, and 1:25.2, but had to settle for second in the end, and Betty And The Jets (Jamieson) grabbed third.
Joanne Colville and Emma Christoforou of Moffat, Ontario, and Sigrid Velten of Hochheim, Germany, bred the victorious daughter of Ponder, and now Colville and Christoforou share ownership. Also trained by Moiseyev, Cowgirl Tough broke her maiden in her fourth try, and she has now earned $35,960. She’s the first foal out of the Astreos mare Almost A Lady ($185,980).
Public choice Sports Chic (Jamieson) didn’t disappoint in the second filly flight, posting panels of :28.2, :58.3, and 1:27.1 on her way to a 1:54.2 victory. Capela (Waples) tracked the winner from the pocket but fell three-quarters of a length short and Northern Starlet (Filion) was up to finish third.
Trainer Blake MacIntosh of Waterdown, Ontario, also co-owns Sports Chic, a daughter of Sportswriter, with partner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Sports Chic has a four wins from six trips behind the gate, and she has now earned $139,500. Sports Chic, a Winbak Farm-bred filly who fetched $35,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, is the 15th foal out of the On The Road Again mare Vesta Blue Chip, which means Sports Chic is a half-sister to the great Rainbow Blue ($1,600,012), the 2004 Canadian Horse of the Year.
In the final filly dash, Code One Hanover (Saftic) broke on the first turn, leaving I Wonder Why (Steve Condren) in the lead at the 29 second opening quarter. Code One Hanover then regained her stride and went back to the lead before the 57 second half. Code One Hanover had opened up a two length lead at the 1:25.2 three-quarters but then went on the gallop again, dropping the top spot back to I Wonder Why. She wouldn’t lose control this time, winning by two and three-quarter lengths in 1:53.4. Win The Gold (James MacDonald) was next, followed by Shesastarreporter (Jon Drury).
Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario, also co-owns I Wonder Why, another filly by Ponder, with partner Mardon Stables of Loretto, Ontario. I Wonder Why, who is now two-for-six in the win column with a bankroll of $42,440, was bred by Doug Ackerman Stables Inc. of Aberdeen, North Carolina, and sold for $12,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. She is the third filly out of the Magical Mike mare Model A.
The next Gold Series event for rookie pacing colts and geldings will occur on September 16 at Mohawk Racetrack while the two-year-old pacing fillies will race the night before at Mohawk.
Ontario Sire Stakes