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Novice pacing colts head to Clinton Sunday
July 15, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

CLINTON, ON — Just two weeks after the start of their racing careers, the two-year-old pacing colts are back in Ontario Sires Stakes action at Clinton Raceway on Sunday afternoon.

Seventy-eight colts will square off for a total of $150,000 in 10 Grassroots divisions and owner Ray Webb is hoping Cluck Hanover offers up another solid effort to go with the third-place performance he delivered in the season opener at Dresden Raceway on July 4.

"We had to jam things up on him and he had three races there pretty close,” says the Dashwood resident. “So hopefully he’ll be a little sharper in Clinton.”

Cluck Hanover qualified for the first time at Hiawatha Horse Park on June 19, finishing fourth, and then raced eight days later at Clinton in a non-winners of $2,500 event, where he finished fourth once again. However, to be eligible to start in the Grassroots at Dresden colts had to have paced faster than 2:04 on a half-mile track or 2:02 on a larger oval and the Camluck colt had missed the qualifying standard in both outings.

So on June 29 trainer Mark Horner shipped the colt to Mohawk Racetrack where he was once again fourth in a qualifier, but paced home two seconds faster than the required time. The extra effort paid off with a third-place showing and Cluck Hanover is poised for another strong effort from Post 1 in the second race on Sunday.

“He looks like he possibly can go enough,” says Webb. “And he trains on a half so he can go around it pretty good.”

Webb acquired the colt from last fall’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale, offering up $15,000 US for the son of $103,861 winner Cheyenna Mae on the advice of Horner and trainer Gregg McNair.

“I wanted a Camluck colt so Mark and Gregg went down and they picked this guy out. Some of them went a little too expensive for me, but he was more in the price range,” says Webb. “And he’s out of a good mare, I liked her.”

Webb is a veteran of the Ontario Sires Stakes program, having achieved success with horses like Vandango Hanover and The Masters, and he is hopeful that Cluck Hanover can amass enough points this season to earn a berth in the Grassroots Championship.

“Vandango Hanover finished third behind Boulder Creek and Sir Luck in the big race (Super Final) so if this guy can do half as good I guess he’ll be all right,” says the long time owner. “If you’re lucky enough to get to the Final, you’re going to make some money.”

Clinton Raceway sends the first two-year-old pacing colt division onto the track at 1:30 pm on Sunday, with the remaining nine Grassroots divisions showcased in Races 2 and 5 through 12.