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Zorgwijk Fortunate impressive in Gold Series debut
July 13, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

REXDALE, ON — Zorgwijk Fortunate stepped off the quickest of three Gold Series Elimination miles at Woodbine Racetrack on Monday evening.

The two-year-old trotting colt made his racing debut a successful one with the 1:59.3 mile, which saw him lead the field through fractions of :29.1, 1:00 and 1:30.2 en route to the one length victory over Classic Lavec and Looks Like Gold. Mike Saftic engineered the impressive victory for owners John Allen of Freelton and Terry Allen of Carlisle.

“He surprised us and he looked really good,” said Terry Allen after the race. “My Dad went to the London Classic sale two years ago specifically to buy this horse as a weanling. He grew up on our farm, my mom raised him, we broke him this year and here I am.”

Trainer Allan Heyman prepped the Wesgate Crown son for his Gold Series debut with a pair of qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack. The colt finished third by half a length in the first qualifier on June 19 and then captured his June 26 outing with a 2:04.2 front-end effort over a track rated one second slower than normal.

“Al stepped in and started training him and he did a good job, so we just left it with Al.,” said Allen. “He has done a terrific job with the colt.”

The half brother to $187,411 winner Michael was sent off as the favourite by astute Woodbine fans and returned $5.40 for the win, $4.10 to place and $3.10 to show. Fans who opted for fifth choice Classic Lavec earned $11.30 on a place wager and $7.00 on a show ticket, while Looks Like Gold returned $3.20 to show. The exactor paid $60.80 and the triactor was worth $276.40.

Fan favourite Brazen also got the job done in the first elimination, hitting the wire in a sedate 2:04, two lengths up on Monsieur Kan Due and Image Bill. The Balanced Image son was driven to the victory by Trevor Ritchie for trainer Trond Smedshammer and the American Viking Racing Stable Inc. of Allentown, NJ.

Like Zorgwijk Fortunate, Brazen prepped for Monday’s $33,756 contest with a pair of qualifiers, trotting to second and third-place finishes over the Meadowlands oval in New Jersey. A $30,000 US purchase at last fall’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale, the full brother to $198,517 winner Village Barrister deposited $16,878 in his owner’s pocketbook with the win.

The final elimination went to longshot Hudd when favourite Mr Willco made a costly break on the front around the final turn. The San Pellegrino son inherited the lead and was able to fend off Howdoyoulikeme and St Lads Speedy to record the 2:01.1 victory by a head.

Dask Realty Trust of Foxboro, MA bred and owns Hudd, who was trained and driven to the win by Angus MacDonald.

“I’m very happy, very happy. He is a really nice colt,” said MacDonald from the winner’s circle. “He can leave and he can still finish.”

The trainer started the colt with a pair of qualifiers and one race at Vernon Downs, but opted to requalify with trotting hopples when the striking grey colt made a series of breaks in his racing debut. A third qualifier at the New York oval saw Hudd deliver an impressive 10 length victory in 2:03.2.

The top three finishers from Monday night’s Gold Eliminations, plus one of fourth-place finishers Ja El Abe, Hallsworth or Sam McCord, will return to Woodbine Racetrack next Monday, July 19 for their first shot at a $130,000 Gold Final.