Current NewsCurrent News for August '19
Local drivers dominate Grassroots action at Kawartha Downs
A collaborative effort between Per Henriksen and Richard Moreau put two-year-old trotting colt Ripped And Ready in the Grassroots winner’s circle at Kawartha Downs on Saturday evening.
After Ripped And Ready made a break and finished eighth at the Gold Series level in the July 4 season opener, trainer Moreau enlisted the help of friend and mentor Henriksen. The men have often worked together on horses each is having trouble with, so Norwood, ON resident Henriksen was happy to turn his trotting specialist eye on Ripped And Ready and also agreed to steer the colt from Post 2 in Saturday night’s fourth $23,150 Grassroots division.
Ripped And Ready left the gate cleanly and proceeded to pull away from the field with every step, rolling through fractions of :28.2, :58.2 and 1:27.4 before reaching the finish 13 lengths ahead of his peers in 1:57.2, just shy of the Kawartha Downs track record. Fan favourite Gamblin Road settled for third, just ahead of French Twist.
“All the power to Per,” said Moreau. “It’s a pleasure teaming up with him. I’m still learning every day."
“All I did was — he was ready — all I did was give him a little trotting touch you know, I changed his shoes a little bit and he was a different horse,” said Henriksen, who also drove two other trotters for Moreau, finishing fifth with The Reins Of Titan and sixth with Freedom Express.
“I am just happy he asked me to drive them and give him feedback if there was anything I saw,” said the horseman. “And they stayed trotting and everybody is happy.”
Moreau and owner-breeder Dr. Ruth Irving of Russell, ON will now have to decide whether Ripped And Ready, a Muscle Mass colt out of $297,969 winner Cumin First, will remain in the Grassroots or go back to the Gold Series for his third Ontario Sires Stakes start. The Grassroots colts compete at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 6 and the Gold colts on August 8.
Henriksen was not the only local reinsman to grace the Grassroots winner’s circle on Saturday, Doug Hie and Doug Brown also won divisions.
Fraserville resident Hie kicked off the Ontario Sires Stakes festivities in the first split with Lovedbythemasses. The pair replicated their July 13 qualifying effort over the Kawartha Downs oval, floating away from Post 5 into fifth spot by the :30 quarter, shifting into the outer lane heading for the 1:02.1 half and taking command before the 1:31.3 three-quarters. From there Hie never had to look over his shoulder as the Muscle Mass son cruised home a three length winner in 2:00.4. Remember Titans finished second and Our Van Gogh was well back in third.
Peterborough resident Edward Peconi Jr. trains Lovedbythemasses for his co-owners Nicholas Peconi of Lakefield, ON and Wade Peconi of Stanchel, PEI. Saturday’s outing was the gelding’s first lifetime start.
Bowmanville, ON resident Brown gave Chocolate Pie a textbook pocket steer in the third Grassroots division, getting away second from Post 3 and stalking Tuscan Titan through fractions of :29, :59.3 and 1:29.4 before getting a head in front at the 2:00.1 finish.
“Chocolate Pie is a very nice colt. He does everything right; very smart, good gaited, going to be a very nice little guy,” said Brown of the Archangel colt owned and trained by Kyle Bossence of Arthur, ON. “Kyle does well, so I expected him to be good.”
Like Ripped And Ready, Saturday’s victory served as a bit of redemption for Chocolate Pie, who made a late break in the July 7 Grassroots season opener at Georgian Downs and finished ninth. With a runner-up finish in his June 30 debut at Georgian Downs the colt, who was a $17,000 purchase out of last fall’s London Selected Yearling Sale, has now earned $13,200.
The other Grassroots division went to Fit Bitt and driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON who took command before the half and sailed home two length winners in 2:00.3. Rubbleonthedouble finished second and fan favourite Aussie Lover was third.
Henry engineered the win for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON who shares ownership and breeding credit with C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. With Saturday’s win and his runner-up finish in the Grassroots season opener the son of Muscle Mass and $462,826 winner Armbro Affair currently sits atop the freshman trotting colt standings with 75 points.
Complete results for Saturday’s program are available at Kawartha Downs Results — Saturday, July 20, 2019.