Day At The Track

Adios winner Southwind Ozzi returns to Meadows

01:00 AM 23 Aug 2019 NZST
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Southwind Ozzi, harness racing
Southwind Ozzi and driver Brian Sears winning the final of the 2019 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids.
Chris Gooden photo

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 22, 2019 -- Southwind Ozzi, whose eye-popping 1:48 victory in this year's Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids was the second fastest in the 53-year history of the race, will return to the scene of his greatest triumph for Friday's $170,058 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows.

The event for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers, known as the Tarport Effrat, goes as races 2 and 4, with 'Ozzi' leaving from post 7, race 4, with Brian Sears in the sulky. First post for the special twilight card is 5:30 PM.

Trainer Bill MacKenzie has been picking his spots carefully for the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Solara, who's owned by Vincent Ali, Jr. and Alma Iafelice. In fact, since the Adios, he's raced only once, a misadventure in the $400,000 Carl Milstein at Northfield Park. 'Ozzi' was parked the mile from post 7 but managed a fifth-place check.

"It was an awful trip," MacKenzie says. "They went the half in 57; you see $3,000 claimers doing that. It was crazy. He had no chance."

Nevertheless, it was the colt's first test on a half-mile track, and MacKenzie used it to gauge how he might fare in the Little Brown Jug, which is raced on the half-mile oval at Delaware, Ohio. If the Milstein was a Jug audition, 'Ozzi' aced it.

"He got around the track good, and he came out of it good," MacKenzie says. "So we are planning for the Jug. Who knows where we're going after that."

Friday's PASS will be an Adios reunion of sorts, as 10 of the 14 scheduled combatants raced in the Pace for the Orchids. One alum who's likely to acquit himself better is Captain Victorious, who captured an Adios elimination but blew up inexplicably in the final, retreating to last after leading at the quarter.

Trainer Ron Burke said he gave the son of Captaintreacherous-Belclare a complete work-up and found nothing that might explain the dismal performance. But Captain Victorious rebounded in the Milstein with a strong place finish and figures to be a formidable foe for 'Ozzi." He goes from post 3, race 4, for Yannick Gingras.

Friday's card also features a $40,000 PA Stallion Series event for sophomore colt and gelding trotters. In addition, the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) is sponsoring "First Responders Night' to honor the region's first responders and provide them and their families with an entertaining night at the races.

All first responders in uniform or with appropriate ID may receive free wagering vouchers and race programs while those whose names are drawn in a lottery will participate in a match race. Family Fun activities include a bounce house, a balloon artist and face painting.

By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

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