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Freshman trotting colts prepare for Gold debut
July 8, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

REXDALE, ON — On Monday evening Woodbine Racetrack will raise the curtain on the Ontario Sires Stakes careers of the most talented two-year-old trotting colts in the province.

Twenty-seven colts have completed their early season lessons and will line-up behind the gate in three Gold Series Eliminations and Ron Waples expects the colts will have to match or better the best times their filly counterparts logged on July 6.

“The fillies went in 1:59.3 and 2:01.3 and these will probably go the same or around there,” says the Hall of Famer.

Waples will harness Mr Willco in the third elimination, sending the Mr Lavec son after a top three finish from Post 6. The colt heads into the $33,756 event off a pair of impressive qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack. In his first effort the young trotter made an early break and finished well off the pace, but Mr Willco redeemed himself on June 26 with a 2:04.1 victory and on July 3 with a 2:01.1 effort that saw him finish second by a nose.

“He qualified awful good. He made a break leaving the first time I qualified him, which wasn’t entirely his fault,” notes the trainer-driver. “The second time he got off on his own and got a little lazy at the end of the mile then last week I thought they went real good. He fought the other horse off all the way through the stretch, which I like to see.”

Dean Zaimes of Canonsburg, PA and Amphilaniklou Inc. of Pittsburgh, PA share ownership on Mr Willco and Zaimes broke and trained the colt at The Meadows prior to sending him to Waples in April.

“Dean Zaimes sent him up about three months ago,” says Waples. “He said he was kind of a nice colt, a little lazy maybe and a little spooky. He’s a big black horse, kind of a good looking horse.”

And while Waples says he has had a tough time getting a good read on the colt, he expects another solid performance Monday in spite of some emergency farrier work on Thursday.

“He popped a puss pocket in his foot this morning (Thursday), shook me up a little, but I think he’s going to be okay on it. We got it all cut out and he seems fine now,” says the trainer. “He should go back to where he went last week or a shade better.”

Mr Willco faces off against eight of his peers in the sixth race on Monday, with the other two Gold Eliminations scheduled as Races 1 and 3. Post time at Woodbine Racetrack is 7:40 pm.