News ArchivesArchives for September '02
Ontario Sires Stakes stars shine on global stage
MISSISSAUGA, SEPT. 10 — As the Ontario Sires Stakes program heads into its annual September hiatus, it is on track for the most successful season in its 29-year history.
Since 1974 the Ontario-sired Standardbred has improved dramatically. In its inaugural year the fastest mile in OSS competition was 2:01 on a five-eighths mile track. This season Firstline Luck lowered the all time OSS record to 1:50.1 on Woodbine Racetrack’s seven-eighths mile oval, and the fastest mile recorded on a five-eighths surface is a 1:51.4 effort by Master Barney in 1997.
In addition, horses bred and raised in Ontario since the inception of the OSS program have captured some of some of harness racing’s classic events, including the $1 million Hambletonian, the Elitlopp Trot in Sweden and 14 Breeders Crown titles.
This season Ontario-breds have shattered records across the province and emerged victorious in stakes competition against their North American peers at an unparalleled rate.
With just over two months remaining in the season a total of 12 Ontario Sires Stakes records have been matched or broken, including three that were lowered once in a Gold Series Elimination and again in the Final. The two-year-old pacing colts, two-year-old pacing fillies, two-year-old trotting fillies, three-year-old pacing colts and three-year-old trotting colts have set records across the province, from Sudbury to Windsor, on every size of track. Six Canadian records have also been rewritten in Ontario Sires Stakes action.
In addition to their exploits in the provincial program, Ontario-breds have tackled the world and emerged victorious. The highlight of a season of stakes victories came at Woodbine Racetrack when two-year-old pacing filly Remember When captured the $722, 800 She’s A Great Lady Final on Aug. 30 and freshman pacing colt Sir Luck emerged victorious in the $1.1 million Metro Pace Final one night later.
One week following Sir Luck’s lucrative victory, Ontario-sired horses dominated a stakes laden card at Mohawk Racetrack. Three-year-old trotters Cyclone Artie and Semper Fi Hall posted wins in their $123,668 Simcoe Stakes divisions, two year-old pacing colts Sir Luck, Boulder Creek and Mt Vernon Hanover swept a trio of $104,296 Champlain Stake divisions, and The Cammissioner upset heavy favourite Mach Three in a $121,667 Simcoe division for the sophomore pacing colts.
The Cammissioner went into his Simcoe start off a victory on Aug. 25 in the Nat Christie Memorial at Stampede Park in Calgary.
Earlier in the season three-year-old pacing filly Lady Graceful posted victories in divisions of the Scarlett O’Hara Stake at Scioto Downs in Ohio on May 31 and the Tarport Hap at New Jersey’s The Meadowlands on July 19. Her OSS rival Precious Delight won a division of the Mistletoe Shalee at The Meadowlands on July 26.
Ontario-breds also recorded top three finishes in the storied Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks among other top calibre events.
These successes have cemented the Ontario Sires Stakes’ status as the top sires stakes jurisdiction in North America and ensured that horses sired in Ontario will be hot commodities in both Canada and the United States at this fall’s yearling sales. And with the Breeders Crown Championships at Woodbine Racetrack on Oct. 19, Grassroots Championships at Windsor Raceway on Nov. 3 and Georgian Downs Nov. 9 and Gold Super Finals at Mohawk Racetrack on Nov. 16, the OSS talent show is far from over.