Darling On His Thursday Starters
Published: September 6, 2016 3:57 pm ET
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This Thursday evening’s (September 8) Ontario Sires Stakes test at Flamboro Downs is the final opportunity for the novice pacing colts and fillies to earn points toward a berth in the September 15 Grassroots Semi-Finals. Trainer Jack Darling of Cambridge, Ont. will send out three colts in pursuit of Grassroots points, and two of them need a big effort to extend their season.
Master The View will lead off for the Darling Stable, as he will start from Post 2 in the first $18,000 division. The Vintage Master gelding recorded two seconds, two thirds and one fourth through the first five regular season events, which gave him a total of 82 points, enough to secure a post-season berth.
“He’s been racing well. He hasn’t quite fired in the stretch the way I’m hoping he will, but he’s got lots of talent,” said Darling. “He’s been racing decent, but we need him to step up a notch.
“He just hasn’t got that real killer instinct yet, he’s just kind of having fun out there,” added the trainer.
Master The View and driver Jody Jamieson will have their hands full on Thursday, as they will face off against current points leader Silverinyourpocket from Post 1 and fourth-ranked Test Ride from Post 4.
Darling’s second starter, Trident Seelster, currently sits right at the cut-off for the post season, with 28 points earned from one second and one sixth. Jamieson will steer the son of Big Jim from Post 1 in the second pacing colt division, and Darling is hoping the return to a half-mile track will suit the youngster.
“I’m hoping the half-mile track helps him. He was a nice second the last time on a half (August 17) and then his last start (August 29) was kind of a disappointing finish,” explained Darling. “He’s one, we’re just hoping for a cheque with him.”
Trident Seelster will face the division’s No. 3 colt, Down On My Luck, from Post 6.
The Dark Shadow will anchor the Darling entry from Post 4 in the final Grassroots division of the season. After having started his OSS career at the Gold Series level, where he was second on one occasion and fifth twice, The Dark Shadow dropped down the Grassroots level for the August 29 event at Mohawk Racetrack, where he finished second.
“He did okay in the Golds, but then it just got tougher — and now I’ve got Southwind General for that — so I just dropped him down to the Grassroots. He fits in there pretty good,” said Darling, who also owns all three colts. “We’ve got to have a good finish in there to make the final, so we’re hoping for the best. He’s a quality horse.”
With just 25 points, The Dark Shadow currently sits below the post season cut off. A win or a second would advance the Shadow Play son to the semi-final round.
All the on-track action will get underway at 6 p.m. on Thursday, with the two-year-old pacing colts squaring off in Races 1, 3, and 9 and the pacing fillies waging their last Grassroots battles over the Flamboro Downs oval in Races 2, 5 and 8.
While the two-year-old pacing colts and fillies wage their last regular season Grassroots battles at Flamboro Downs on Thursday, September 8, fans can enter the final Ontario Sires Stakes ‘Be A Winner’ contest of the 2016 campaign.
Ballot boxes for the seven two-year-old pacing fillies competing in Race 8 will be set up at the Be A Winner contest table and one finalist will be selected from each ballot box. Each finalist will receive an Ontario Sires Stakes t-shirt, ball cap and lanyard badge and a $15 win-place-show wager on their chosen filly. After enthusiastically cheering the fillies home, the finalist who chose the victorious filly will join her connections in the winner’s circle for the blanket and trophy presentation. The winning finalist will also go home with a trophy, a commemorative winner’s circle photograph, an OSS jacket and golf shirt, and a $50 wagering voucher.
In addition, early arrivals to the Dundas oval can pick up an Ontario Sires Stakes ball cap with their program purchase and get in on the racetrack’s weekly Thursday Survivor Challenge. More information about the Survivor Challenge is available at flamborodowns.com.
To view the harness racing entries for Thursday at Flamboro, click the following link: Thursday Entries – Flamboro Downs.