Current NewsCurrent News for July '17
Phantom Seelster more than just a handsome shade
Phantom Seelster caught the eye of many yearling shoppers at last fall’s Forest City Sale, and on Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack the roan pacing colt proved he has talent to go along with his looks.
Starting from Post 1 Phantom Seelster sat briefly in third, but soon after the :27.3 quarter driver Rick Zeron sent the fan favourite after the lead and Phantom Seelster never looked back, rolling through fractions of :56.1 and 1:25.1 on his way to a four and one-half length victory in 1:53.1. Avalon Hanover finished second and Bo Mach was third.
“He’s a pretty serious colt, I’ll tell you,” said Zeron. “Boy, he impressed the living jeezus out of me tonight.
“Jody (Jamieson with Avalon Hanover) chased me a little bit coming out of the top turn and I just spoke to him and hit the wheel disk a couple of times and he was gone,” the Oakville, ON resident continued. “He enjoys his work immensely and every time I spoke to him he responded to a T, he responded right to what I needed him to do, and he took care of himself the rest of the race.”
Zeron drove Phantom Seelster to his first lifetime win for trainer Marcel Barrieau of Cambridge, ON and his partners Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longueuil, QC and Conrad Leber of Montreal, QC. The reinsman also piloted the son of Mach Three and Pantecostal in his July 4 debut at Mohawk Racetrack, where they finished a fast closing second and Zeron suggested that Barrieau had a Gold level competitor on his hands.
“I said, Marcel I think you’ve got a Gold colt here, and he says, well I’m just going to take my time with him,” Zeron recalled. “Marcel’s a pretty sharp veteran trainer, he knows what’s right and what’s wrong, and he did the right thing, he put him in the Grassroots instead of going in the Gold.”
Barrieau and his partners, who purchased Phantom Seelster for $74,000 from the Forest City Yearling Sale last fall, will now have to decide whether to continue in the Grassroots or make the move up to the Gold Series for leg two. The second Grassroots and Gold Series events will both go postward at Mohawk on July 20.
The second $19,150 Grassroots division went to Stock and driver Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON, who hit the wire two and one-quarter lengths ahead of favourite Howmac Dancer and Letjimmytakeover in 1:55. Dany Fontaine trains Stock, a son of Sportswriter and Whycantiforgetyou, for breeder Sotirios Anastasopoulos of Sainte-Therese, QC and Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC.
Master Of Love made a late charge in the third division to earn a Grassroots trophy for trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman and owner-breeder Alfred Ross of South Dartmouth, MA. Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry crafted the come-from-behind victory, which saw the Vintage Master son reel in pacesetter Wind Blast and pocket-sitter P H Hippie for a one-half length victory in 1:55.3.
Bob McClure gave up a full slate of drives at Grand River Raceway to make one appearance in the race bike at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening and fans took notice, sending his mount, Northern Rebel, off as the top choice in the fourth division. The favourites did not disappoint, rolling to a two length victory in 1:56. Phil Dorleans finished a closing second and Lucky Michael was two more lengths back in third.
It was the second straight win for Northern Rebel and Elora, ON resident McClure, who also posted a 1:56.3 victory at Grand River on July 3.
“He seems to get better every week. He has one heck of a brush, I don’t know how far he can carry his speed yet, but I guess throughout the course of the year we’ll find out,” said McClure, who has made five appearances in the colt’s race bike, starting with a schooling mile in early June. “Rene’s done a really great job getting him ready and he’s just like an aged horse to drive, he’s really sweet. So as long as he stays sound and healthy he should have a really good year.”
Rene Bourassa of Fergus, ON trains Northern Rebel and shares ownership of the colt with Roland Trudel of Becancour, QC and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, QC. The partners offered up $22,000 for the son of Sportswriter and $1 million winner Southwind Madonna at last fall’s Canadian Yearling Sale and have recouped $12,750 through the colt’s first three starts.
The final Grassroots trophy went home with Shadow Moon, who rang up fractions of :27.3, :57.2 and 1:25.4 on his way to a 1:53.4 victory. Trevor Henry picked up his second Ontario Sires Stakes win of the evening with the fan favourite, who finished three lengths ahead of JM Jack Of Hearts. Blue Moose was three more lengths back in third.
Dr. Ian Moore of Puslinch, ON trains Shadow Moon for his partners R G McGroup of Bathurst, NB, Serge Savard of St-Bruno, QC and Gordon McComb of Fall River, NS. The group purchased the son of Shadow Play and Lofty Yankee for $60,000 US at the 2016 Harrisburg Yearling Sale.
Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday, July 13 with the third Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing colts. The first race gets under way at 7:30 pm and the pacing colts will compete in Races 3, 6, and 8.
For complete results please visit Mohawk Racetrack Results — Monday, July 10, 2017