Flamboro Downs fans were treated to Gold Series action for both the two-year-old trotting colts and pacing colts on Sunday (Oct. 3) and, in spite of thick fog and heavy rain, the track records for both divisions had been rewritten by the night’s end.
Twin B Archie and driver James MacDonald kicked off the speed show in the first $99,000 two-year-old trotting colt contest, taking command before the half and powering home a 4-1/2-length winner in a track-record 1:57.1. Early leader Luca Hanover finished second and Drinks At Home trotted into third. The mile lowered the 1:57.4 record set by Daylon Magician in 2010.
“He’d never been on a half, but I didn’t think he’d have a problem and neither did James (MacDonald),” said trainer Scott McEneny. “I actually got James to go last trip with him today so he knew what he was like, and he said he was perfect.”
The Puslinch, Ont. resident shares ownership of Twin B Archie with Domenic Chiaravalle of Hamilton, Ont., Floyd Marshall of Jarvis, Ont., and Martwest Racing Stable of Mississauga, Ont. The partners have celebrated two Gold Series wins and a Champlain Stakes win with the Archangel gelding this summer, and McEneny hopes he can finish off the season with a strong effort in the October 16 Super Final.
“Duly Resolved is going to be tough, and there’s still a lot of tough trotting colts in there, especially when they’re on the bigger track. We’ll see what happens,” said the trainer. “If we could get a good piece of the final it would be nice, and hopefully he can come back and be a nice three-year-old.”
Three races later, Erinwood Yves lowered the two-year-old pacing colt track record with a gate-to-wire effort from post four that saw him sail under the wire 3-1/4 lengths the best in 1:53.1. Favourite Magical Arthur finished second and Betterhavemymoney rounded out the top three.
The mile, delivered over a rain-soaked surface that had been downgraded by one second to "good," lowered the previous track record of 1:53.3 set by Warrawee Needy in 2011.
“He’s an exceptional horse and he was on point tonight. Going into this race I felt pretty confident,” said trainer Gabriella Sasso of Erinwood Yves, who had not started since the August 14 Gold event. “We did skip the last Gold [September 4]. He didn’t come out of his last race 100 per cent, and we just wanted to have him as good as we could for this last Gold and the Super Final. We know that he’s excellent on a half, so we just backed him off, gave him a little paddock time, and had him ready for tonight.”
Louis-Philippe Roy piloted Erinwood Yves to his first Ontario Sires Stakes victory for Sasso and her husband Jeff Courchesne of Cambridge, Ont., and their co-owners Martwest Racing Stable and Erinwood Equine Inc. of Rockwood, Ont., who also bred the son of State Treasurer and Zayra Bayama.
“We’re just tickled with him. Erinwood pulled him out of the womb and I think it’s been a pretty exciting ride for them,” said Sasso, who was smitten with Erinwood Yves when she helped breeders Fiona Green and Andrew Carss with their 2020 yearling sale preparations and offered to go halves with them on the colt. “There was something about him, he was a little bit small, his pedigree was not super desirable, it was an unproven mare, but there was just something about him that spoke to me and I kind of thought he would be in our price range, so we made the deal and it worked out really, really well.”
Drivers MacDonald and Roy, who both call Guelph, Ont. home, also split the other two Gold Series divisions, with Roy winning the second trotting colt split with Kipper Whipr Snipr and MacDonald taking the final pacing colt battle with Aviator.
From post four, Roy tucked Kipper Whipr Snipr behind a pacesetting Mr Fritter and shadowed that colt through fractions of :29.3, :57.1 and 1:25.1. When Mr Fritter made a miscue turning for home, Kipper Whipr Snipr was already accelerating up the inside and the Royalty For Life son pulled away to a two-length win in 1:58.1. Favourite Esplosione finished second and Ricky Resolve was well back in third.
Rockwood, Ont. resident Rob Fellows trains Kipper Whipr Snipr and was delighted to see the gelding get his first Ontario Sires Stakes win for owner/breeder Ted Wilson of Seagrave, Ont.
“I was lucky enough I had him for a homeroom teacher in high school, and after high school I was lucky enough to work on his farm for a few years before I ventured outside of the city limits of Port Perry,” said Fellows. “One of the nicest, hardest working people I’ve ever met in my life, to be honest. He bred them, raised them, trained them, drove them, shod them -- he was a one-man-band, he did everything. He still has a few mares and he’s slowing down, but I still have two or three horses with him and it’s a pleasure. It’s so fun having a horse for people like that. It’s just a special place.”
MacDonald had favourite Aviator on the front by the quarter and never needed to look over his shoulder, cruising home five and one-half length winners in 1:57.1. Ridinlikeyastoleit was second and Sports Box finished third.
“We needed a win tonight to have enough points to make the Super Final with Aviator,” said trainer Nick Gallucci, who also qualified Betterhavemymoney for the post season. “We made a couple of changes after his last race (September 4), when he made a break, and he looked like his old self again. We’ll try and have him at his best again for October 16.”
Millar Farms of Stouffville, Ont. bred and owns the Sportswriter son, who moved from 17th in the point standings up to seventh with the win. The top 10 point earners from both divisions, which include all of Sunday’s winners, will compete in their respective $225,000 Super Finals on October 16 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Flamboro Downs.
(Ontario Sires Stakes)