Day At The Track
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Doug McIntosh missed out on a piece of the eight-foot long cake, but the Wheatley resident still left the harness racing meeting at Dresden Raceway on Canada Day in a celebratory mood after Cincinnati Miss delivered an impressive victory in her $18,000 Grassroots division. "It's now one race at a time, but she kind of made us believers, and I'm very, very happy," said McIntosh. "It worked out great." Sent off as the narrow favourites over Allies Gift and Luc Ouellette, Cincinnati Miss and driver Trevor Henry sprinted away from Post 4 and took early control of the race. As the pair rolled through fractions of :29, :57.3 and 1:28 with Allies Gift tucked in behind them, McIntosh worried the tempo might be too quick, but Cincinnati Miss found another gear in the stretch and pulled away to a two and one-quarter length victory in 1:58.2. "I was a little concerned that the fractions were pretty heavy," admitted McIntosh, who shares ownership of Cincinnati Miss with Ivey Pharm Stable of Cincinnati, Ohio. "But you know what, she made us proud in the stretch, she just dug in and got the job done, and within two-fifths (of a second) of the track record." The win improved the Kadabra daughter's sophomore record to two wins, two seconds and one third in five starts and boosted her season earnings to $25,160. The consistent young trotter will make her next start in the July 14 Grassroots event at Georgian Downs. "I can't say enough for Bob's team, they've done a great job," said McIntosh, who retired from training horses in the spring and handed care of Cincinnati Miss off to his brother Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON. "Daryl (Wayne) that looks after her is a very, very efficient groom, she's had a lot of experience and she knows what to do. She's very, very proud." McIntosh was also pleased to see the enthusiastic crowd gathered at Dresden Raceway to celebrate Canada Day and the Grassroots trotting fillies. In addition to Cincinnati Miss, the fans greeted six other fillies as they returned triumphant to the Dresden winner's circle. The aptly named Summers Jewel kicked things off with a 1:59.2 score in the first Grassroots division, circling out three-wide to claim a two length victory over Pointe Of Inquiry and JLs Too Hot Taj. Mario Baillargeon piloted the fan favourite to her first win of the season for his brother, trainer Benoit Baillargeon of Rockwood, ON, who also owns the daughter of Angus Hall. In the second division Hope Rises tracked down pacesetter Misslarissa heading for the three-quarters and accelerated away to a three and one-half length victory in 2:01. Fan favourite Lady Caterina settled for second, with Misslarissa hanging on for third. Sylvain Filion drove the Windsong Espoir daughter to her first win of the season for trainer Kelly Goodwin and owner-breeders Deborah Spike-Pierce of Lexington, KY and Madelon Spike of Jerome, MI. Local filly Judy The Beauty, owned by Randy Zhok of Dover Centre, had fans on their feet in the stretch of the third division, but finished one-quarter length behind winner Flexceptional in the 2:01 mile. Dave Tyrrell trains Flexceptional for Michael Casalino Jr. of Freehold, NJ and Anthony MacDonald piloted the Federal Flex daughter to the win. Tymal Fireitup rounded out the top three. La Bella Rosa's late sprint in the fourth division paid dividends, as she hit the wire one-quarter length ahead of Giona and fan favourite Kaddy. The Holiday Road filly gave driver Sylvain Filion his second win of the afternoon. Filion engineered the 1:59.4 win for trainer Reaume Bouvier and owners Bella Fortuna Stable of Laval, QC and Patricia McGuirl of Guelph, ON. Kadabra daughter Wing Flash displayed an impressive turn of foot in the fifth division, sailing along on the front end to a seven and one-half length victory in 1:58.2. Sheguindah and Stay In Touch completed the top three. Trainer-driver Wayne Henry of Arthur, ON shares ownership of Wing Flash with Daylon Farms of Komoka, ON. The final Grassroots division saw Trevor Henry make his second appearance in the Dresden winner's circle, guiding Muscle Mass daughter Sumthintotalkabout to a three and one-quarter length win for trainer Stephen Bossence of London, ON and his partner Stephen Palermo of Brampton, ON. Ill Stay Here and fan favourite Oh My Magic finished second and third in the 1:59.3 mile. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their third Grassroots start at Georgian Downs on July 14, with each of the Canada Day winners hoping to add a few more points to their total in pursuit of a berth in the post season. Ontario Horse Racing

Harness racing trainer Doug McIntosh, developer of Hambletonian winner Yankee Paco and countless other stakes stars, is retiring from training to concentrate his time on his McIntosh Pro Line, his business which markets all-natural products for horses, pets, and people. "We started this business in the mid-1990s and it's been rewarding," said McIntosh. "My father was always involved in producing horse supplements dating back to the 1950s, so it was natural for me to pursue this interest. I enjoy working with clients who have all breeds of horses. " The highly-respected trainer never hesitates to credit his father Jack for schooling him and his brother Bob in the fundamentals of horsemanship. The horses Doug currently has in training will be turned over to his brother Bob to train. He thanked his longtime patron and partner Dr. Tom Ivey for his steadfast support over many years. McIntosh was one of the first horsemen to recognize the importance of communication with owners and the media. He started a Doug McIntosh Stables newsletter decades ago that reached more than 400 readers. In the late 1980s, he worked with internet guru Jim Gillies to create stable web site for this stable. "We had a domain name for the Doug McIntosh Stables three years before Standardbred Canada had a domain name," notes McIntosh. In addition to Yankee Paco, McIntosh trained such Grand Circuit stakes winners as Image ofa Clear Day (Breeders Crown winner), Molly Can Doit, Jodys Cam, Sand Chaser, Desert Ivey, and Strong Tea. Earlier in his career, he had the standout pacer Stapleton Place, a winner of $328,544 in the 1970s, in partnership with his childhood friend Fred Drouillard. McIntosh also trained Honest Chance, one of the pioneer sub-1:55 pacers when he took his 1:54.1 mark in 1976. It is, of course, Yankee Paco that gave McIntosh his greatest thrill when he overcame a parked out trip to win the 2000 Hambletonian for owner Dr. Tom Ivey and Harry Ivey. The son of Balanced Image earned $1,361,421 that season while earning honors as the champion 3-year-old trotter. Younger brother Bob McIntosh worked for Doug when beginning his career and Doug says, "I'm very proud of all the success that my brother has achieved." McIntosh has also been active in many industry groups, including serving as a director of Standardbred Canada and a Vice-President of the Ontario Harness Horsemen's Association. Also served on the board of directors at Windsor Raceway under owner Tom Joy. McIntosh says he is saddened by the Ontario Liberal government's decision to end the slots at tracks program. He pointed out that horse racing in Ontario fed many families and provided thousands of jobs. "I'm proud of where I came from, and proud of what I have accomplished," says McIntosh. "I still follow the big races on TV. I won't miss a single stakes race. But I also have a son who is in high school and I've supported his interests in hockey, soccer, and baseball. McIntosh says, "I want to thank all my connections over the years. It is one large fraternity of the greatest people in the world."        

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