The 2017 Ontario Sires Stakes season will kick off on Sunday, May 21 at Flamboro Downs as part of the Dundas racetrack’s $460,600 Confederation Cup program.
Ontario’s best three-year-old trotting colts and geldings will highlight the Confederation Cup pre-show, competing in the Gold Series season opener. Waterdown, Ont. resident Scott McEneny will send out Tycoon Seelster in the first of three Gold Series divisions. The Angus Hall gelding was a three-time Ontario Sires Stakes winner as a two-year-old and finished second in the season ending Super Final.
“He’s come back pretty good this year,” said McEneny, who conditions Tycoon Seelster for Chris Storms of Picton, Ont. “He was a little bumpy last year, he didn’t have the best gait, but he seems to be coming back a little better this year. He got a lot bigger, a lot thicker, over the winter.”
Tycoon Seelster and regular driver Paul MacDonell of Guelph, Ont. will start from Post 4 in Race 1 of the Confederation Cup program, going postward at 7 pm, with the other two $65,600 Gold Series battles scheduled for Races 2 and 5.
Also making their 2017 Ontario Sires Stakes debut on the Confederation Cup undercard are the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, competing in the first Grassroots event of the season in Races 4, 6, and 8. Prairiecreekprince and driver James MacDonald of Guelph will lead the pacing colts onto the half-mile oval, starting from Post 1 in the first $18,450 division for trainer Dave Menary of Cambridge, Ont.
“He’s a nice big strong colt, he doesn’t have very many lifetime starts so I’m hoping that he can kind of mature into a useful horse,” said Menary, who trains the Mach Three gelding for Ryan Morefield of Brighton, Mich. “I was happy with his second qualifier (May 15) and he drew really good on Sunday — the exact opposite of Sintra — so I’m super happy about that.”
In addition to first-time Ontario Sires Stakes starter Prairiecreekprince, Menary will also send out former Ontario Sires Stakes star Sintra from Post 8 in the evening’s main event. Another son of Mach Three, Sintra was a commanding two and one-half length winner in his Confederation Cup elimination, halting the Flamboro teletimer at 1:52.4.
“That’s a big hurdle to overcome, but if anybody can do it I think he can,” said the trainer of the gelding’s outside post position in the $176,000 Final.
Menary, whose operation is based at a farm about a Dustin Johnson tee-shot from the Flamboro Downs parking lot, shares ownership of Sintra with Brad Gray of Dundas and Michael Guerriero of Brampton, Ont. The gelding heads into Sunday’s final undefeated in the first three starts of a four-year-old campaign that has seen him triumph in an April 29 overnight event at Mohawk Racetrack, the May 6 opening leg of the Graduate Series at The Meadowlands, and last weekend’s Confederation Cup Elimination. Regular reinsman Jody Jamieson of Moffat, Ont. will pilot Sintra in his bid for a fourth win on Sunday.
“The four-year-olds are really lucky, most of the starts are front loaded,” noted Menary. “The Confederation Cup, and the Graduate Series, and even the Prix D’Ete in Quebec, they’re all a little bit earlier in the year so before they have to test, you know these are nice horses, but before they have to test the real deep waters it gives them a chance to get started with their own kind.”
Scott McEneny will also harness a starter in the Confederation Cup Final, sending out Mr Wiggle Pants with Doug McNair aboard from Post 7 in the 11th race. Mr Wiggle Pants, owned by Brad Grant of Milton, Ont., finished third behind Western Fame in his elimination.
In addition to Sunday’s outstanding program of racing, Flamboro Downs fans will be treated to a host of trackside activities during the Confederation Cup program including giveaways and prize draws, stilt walkers and face painters to entertain the youngest fans, a miniature horse race and live music by local band Speakeasy.
For complete entries, click the following link: Sunday Entries - Flamboro Downs.
(with files from OSS)