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Cass hoping colt can get lucky once more
CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — When the three-year-old pacing colts return to Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday evening for the last Gold Series event of their careers, trainer William Cass is hoping that Firstline Luck can become the only colt in the division to score two Gold Final victories.
The Camluck son posted an Ontario Sires Stakes record 1:50.1 victory in his first Gold Final winning effort, on Aug. 10 at Woodbine Racetrack, and heads into Saturday’s contest off a runner-up finish to reigning champ Dreamfair Vogel in the elimination round. Firstline Luck carved all the fractions in last week’s Elimination before being reeled in by Dreamfair Vogel down the stretch, but Cass expects the colt to be significantly sharper on Saturday.
“He had a foot separation. It happened in Windsor when I shipped him down there (for Sept. 29 Gold Elimination). He kicked a cement wall. So he had a bruise in the foot that we couldn’t do anything about and it popped when I raced him in Barrie (Oct. 19),” explains Cass. “So he will be better because we didn’t have a chance to do any jogging or anything last week. He was kind of in dry-dock while I poulticed him.
“There is a little pulse in that foot still, but I hope by Saturday it will be a lot better.”
Trevor Ritchie qualified Firstline Luck for the $130,000 Final, but was unavailable on Saturday night so Cass selected Mario Baillargeon to drive the winner of $238,098. Baillargeon and Firstline Luck will take aim on the Gold Final title from Post 1 in Saturday’s eighth race.
“I put Mario on him. Mario drove him before and drove him well,” says the Milton resident, who trains Firstline Luck for long time owner John Craig of North York. “I think if he gets out of there good he can pretty well decide who he wants to let go in front of him.
“The thing about him, he can leave the gate so fast I think there isn’t any left that can go with him. They should respect him enough he won’t have to go to the quarter in 26 seconds.”
Cass would like to see Baillargeon and Firstline Luck wind up behind Dreamfair Vogel this week, but the veteran horseman knows first hand that things don’t always go as planned. It was just a few weeks ago when he remarked that Firstline Luck and Dreamfair Vogel looked like the two soundest horses in the sophomore pacing colt division, a statement he had to revise after Firstline Luck’s foot troubles surfaced.
“They’re all going with some little thing or other at this time of year,” he adds. “It’s hard on them, shipping them all over and putting them in stalls they’re not used to.”
In addition to Firstline Luck, Dreamfair Vogel and Armbro Warranty can both become two-time Gold Final winners with a victory on Saturday. Reigning Gold Final champ and Elimination winner Dreamfair Vogel will start from Post 4 with Randy Waples in the race bike and Armbro Warranty gets Post 9 and Paul Mackenzie.
Mohawk Racetrack raises the curtain on its Saturday evening program at 7:40 pm and the three-year-old pacing colts take centre stage in Race 5. The top 10 point earners from the five regular season events will then return to Mohawk on Nov. 16 for their $300,000 Super Final.