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Current News for August '18

Head-turning Ontario Sires Stakes debut for Royal Rob
July 31, 2018
By OSS News

For the second night this week the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings demonstrated a serious level of skill in Ontario Sires Stakes competition, this time in three Grassroots divisions at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

In the first $19,850 division, Carey On and driver Doug McNair took control of the race heading by the half and never had to look over their shoulder, cruising to a one and one-half length victory in 1:59.1. Early pacesetter Cousin Peter, who led the field to a :29 quarter and 1:01 half before the fan favourite took command and trotted to a 1:30 three-quarters, finished second and LMC Picasso was third.

“He behaved tonight, which is key with two-year-old trotters,” said Guelph resident McNair. “I thought if he stayed flat he would have a good shot, and even Grandma was here for her picture.”

McNair piloted Carey On to the win for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and grandmother, Gwendolyn McNair of Walkerton, Ontario, who bred and own the colt. A son of Kadabra and Nellie Mae Lavec, Carey On had started his Ontario Sires Stakes career in the Gold Series season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 16, but made an early break and finished seventh.

All three of the divisions were captured by homebred youngsters, with the other two hailing from the barn of Hall of Fame horseman Bob McIntosh.

Royal Rob was the first of the McIntosh trainees to grace the Grassroots winner’s circle and the youngster arrived in impressive fashion. Getting away fourth from Post 1, Royal Rob made a powerful move to the front heading past the :59.2 half and then maintained his speed through a 1:28 three-quarters and on to a 1:56.1 victory. Pocket-sitter Okeanos made run at Royal Rob in the stretch, but the leader held him at bay and secured a one-half length victory. Royale Elite was well back in third.

“He was a standout all winter training and he got a little bit off in spring, just kind of some growing pains, and I backed off on him, just gave him some time, because you can’t fight with Mother Nature,” said McIntosh of the son of Royalty For Life and Armbro Chelsea. “Now he’s turning out to be the horse I thought he was. I was very high on him last winter. I thought he was one of the better trotters I’ve had for a while and he’s proving me right now I guess.”

Tuesday’s outing was Royal Rob’s first and came after just one qualifier, a 2:01 effort at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 24. McIntosh bred the colt and owns him in partnership with Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, Ontario, Gordon Wright of Charlotte, and Randy Liepa of Livonia, Michigan. Royal Rob’s 1:56.1 clocking makes him the fastest two-year-old trotter in Canada so far this season.

“He’s a heck of an individual, he’s very strong,” said Windsor resident McIntosh. “Last summer, or the summer before I was up at David Heffering’s farm (Tara Hills Stud) and I saw Royalty For Life, and he’s the spitting image of his Dad, same colour and same build, same everything.

“Hopefully he can make half as much money, I’m not greedy, just half as much,” added the horseman with a laugh. Royalty For Life earned $1.6 million in a standout career that included victories in the Hambletonian and Canadian Trotting Classic.

The final division went to McIntosh trainee Judge Ken, who fired out of Post 10 and led the field through fractions of :28.2, :59.1 and 1:28.2 on his way to a two and one-half length victory in 1:57.3. Scarlett Raider finished second and Clothier Hanover completed the top three.

The win was Judge Ken’s first in four starts. The son of Justice Hall and Barbie And Ken finished third in the Grassroots season opener at Georgian Downs on July 17, made a break and finished seventh in a June 28 overnight and stayed on gait for a second-place finish in a June 21 overnight, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. McIntosh, Dave Boyle and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio bred and own the gelding and Bob McClure stepped into the race bike for Tuesday night’s victory.

“He’s a nice little horse, not very big, but really mature,” said McClure. “He did well to overcome the 10-hole. It’s hard for young horses to do.”

Off their impressive efforts, Tuesday’s winners will now have to decide whether to remain in the Grassroots Series for the third leg at Hiawatha Horse Park on August 11 or take on the Gold Series colts at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 9.

This Saturday, August 4 the three-year-old pacing colts will be part of Woodbine Mohawk Park’s Civic Holiday celebrations, which feature fireworks following the races. The pacing colts will battle in a pair of Gold Series divisions, scheduled as Races 6 and 9 on the 7 pm program.

For complete results please visit Woodbine Mohawk Park Results — Tuesday, July 31, 2018