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Mass Production threatens OSS record in regular season finale
Ontario’s top two-year-old trotting colts and pacing fillies got clear skies and a fast track at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening to bring the curtain down on their Gold Series regular season.
Division point leader Mass Production got things off to a quick start, capturing the first $105,000 trotting colt split in a sharp 1:55.3, just three-fifths of a second shy of the Ontario Sires Stakes record.
Starting from Post 6 with trainer Rick Zeron in the race bike, Mass Production landed on the rail in third as Themanofmydreams reached the opening quarter in :27.3. Heading by the :58.1 half Zeron tipped Mass Production into the outer lane, and then dropped back in behind Themanofmydreams for a breather heading by the 1:27.1 three-quarters. As the colts squared up in the stretch, Mass Production accelerated away from his rival to a one length win. Themanofmydreams finished second and fan favourite Scene A Magician was seven and one-quarter lengths back in third.
“The way the stakes race schedule was, the month off really enhanced this horse, and he’s fresh as a daisy, straight as an arrow, and he just did everything exactly in tune the way I wanted him to tonight,” said Zeron. “I wasn’t quite sure that he’d trot in 1:55 tonight, but when I moved him at the head of the lane he was full of himself, and he was still full of himself at the wire too.”
Monday’s outing was Mass Production’s first since the Sept. 2 Champlain Stakes at Mohawk, where he finished fifth. In his five Gold Series starts the son of Muscle Mass and All Time Favorite posted three wins, one second and one third and leads the freshman trotting colts into the Oct. 15 Super Final with 187 points.
Oakville resident Zeron shares ownership of Mass Production, a $32,000 purchase at last fall’s Canadian Yearling Sale, with James Walker of Port Perry, Bruno Dipoce of Wasaga Beach, ON and Rene Allard of Matamoras, PA. The Super Final will be the gelding’s last start of the campaign and Zeron said the OSS record could be in jeopardy.
“If it’s a nice night on the 15th, we may take a shot at that,” said the horseman. “My assistant trainer, Shayne Barrington, he’ll do the homework on him and get him prepared, and we’ll speak together and get a game plan for the 15th, and take it from there.”
Tycoon Seelster captured the second trotting colt division with a powerful finish, hitting the wire in 1:58. Paul MacDonell crafted the come-from-behind outing, which saw Tycoon Seelster ease away from Post 9 and settle in seventh as fan favourite Rose Run Speedster led the field to a :29 quarter. Heading for the :58.1 half MacDonell edged the gelding into the outer lane and started to reel in the leaders, picking up cover from Majestic Streak before the 1:28.2 three-quarters. Rolling off the turn MacDonell shifted Tycoon Seelster into high gear and the gelding powered to a one-half length victory over Mister Muscle and Capteur De Reve.
Guelph resident MacDonell piloted Tycoon Seelster to his second Gold Series win for trainer Scott McEneny of Waterdown and owner Chris Storms of Picton, ON. The son of Angus Hall and Travelin Lavec came into the regular season finale off a pair of qualifiers following a break in the Sept. 2 Champlain Stakes, and McEneny said an easier couple weeks are in store for the young trotter, who was a $23,000 purchase at the 2015 Forest City Yearling Sale.
“He’s had a pretty rough last two or three weeks trying to get him qualified, and trying to get him a little better than what he was, so it’s just a matter of, just get him a little freshened up,” said the trainer. “It’s been a long season.
“I think he’s going to be a nice horse next year,” McEneny added. “We’ve seen him grow so much over the last two or three months, so he’s a little bumpy going, but he wants to go forward.”
Three races later the two-year-old pacing fillies stepped to centre stage, and driver Doug McNair and Action Majesty stuck to the come-from-behind script on their way to a 1:52.3 victory.
Starting from Post 6, McNair dropped the fan favourite into fourth on the rail as Fade led the field to a :27 quarter. After the :56.1 half rung up by Future Headlines, McNair tipped Action Majesty to the outside and the filly made steady gains on the leader heading for the 1:24.3 three-quarters. Once she reached the stretch Action Majesty hit her top gear and sailed home a one and one-half length winner in a personal best 1:52.3. Early leader Fade finished second and Yaris Bayama closed for third.
“She raced good again tonight. She has only raced fair one time and she had an excuse,” said McNair, referring to the filly’s fifth-place result in the Sept. 19 Gold Leg at Grand River Raceway. “It was a tough drive and she was a little sick. I think she’s in good shape heading into the Super Finals.”
The Guelph resident pilots Action Majesty for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, ON, and owner-breeder Kenneth Sommer of Sheffield, OH. In five starts the daughter of Royal Mattjesty and Action Grin has logged four wins and one fifth for earnings of $125,250. She heads into the post season ranked third with 105 Gold Series points from three appearances.
Aint Three Ok made it four straight off the pace winners, doing all the work up the outside in the second pacing filly division and then battling down the stretch to a one-half length win in a personal best 1:53.1. Bid Writer and Blameitonthenight followed Aint Three Ok up the outside lane and into the second and third-place spots.
Regular reinsman Trevor Henry of Arthur engineered the win, the filly’s second straight in Gold Series action, for trainer Mike Weller of Georgetown, ON and Chuck Grubbs of Louisville, KY. Weller took over training duties on the daughter of Mach Three and Aint Given Up from Ohio-based conditioner Steven Carter in mid-June and said the filly has surpassed his early expectations.
“She’s awful small, so I said, ‘Well, we’ll give her a whirl,’ and she’s turned out really good,” said Weller from the winner’s circle. “She tries, every day; she loves her job.”
Monday’s victory was Aint Three Ok’s second in Gold Series action and gives her a freshman record of three wins and three seconds in eight starts for earnings of $190,300. She heads into the Oct. 15 Super Final at the top of the division standings with 150 points from two wins and two seconds in four Gold outings.
The top 10 point earners from each division, two-year-old trotting colt and pacing filly, will return to Mohawk Racetrack for their respective $250,000 Super Finals on Saturday, Oct. 15.
The 2016 Ontario Sires Stakes regular season comes to a close on Thursday night at Mohawk with two Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old trotting colts. The first race gets under way at 7:30 pm and the colts will battle in Races 2 and 3.
For complete results please visit Mohawk Racetrack Results — Monday, Oct. 3, 2016