News ArchivesArchives for July '04
Golden tailed colt hoping for golden win Monday
REXDALE, ON — Woodbine Racetrack wraps up an outstanding five week run of Ontario Sires Stakes action on Monday with the $130,000 Gold Final for the two-year-old trotting colts.
Zorgwijk Fortunate leads the talented colts back to the Rexdale oval off the quickest mile in last week’s elimination round. The Wesgate Crown son rolled around Woodbine in 1:59.2, giving John Allen an opportunity to nudge his son and say ‘I told you so.’
“Oh yeah, he loves saying that. It’s one of his favourite sayings,” says Terry Allen. “He said he really liked the colt because he had a golden tail. He says that’s the sign of a good horse.”
The senior Allen purchased Zorgwijk Fortunate as a weanling in 2002 to be a running mate for another foal at his Freelton farm. The other weanling later died, but Zorgwijk Fortunate developed into an impressive looking young trotter so the Allen’s decided to send him to Florida for the winter with trainer Bill Van Katwyk.
“Bill got him gaited and going good and brought him home at the end of March, beginning of April,” recalls Allen. “He grew up quite a bit and Bill said he was the real deal.”
Allen normally trains the family’s stock himself, but at that point he had no room for Zorgwijk Fortunate so they passed the colt on to Milton resident Allan Heyman.
“I was overstocked with horses so we gave him to Al. We figured we were going to geld him and he’d need some special attention,” says the Carlisle resident. “Then the horse was doing so good with Al we decided to leave him. The old story about the little guy who does all the work and then after the horse qualifies the owner takes the horse away, well we decided we weren’t going to do that, so we left him with Al.”
Heyman sent the gelding out to qualify on June 19 at Mohawk Racetrack and Zorgwijk Fortunate delivered a solid 2:04.3 effort, finishing third by half a length. The following week the young trotter captured his qualifier by four and one-quarter lengths in 2:04.2 and Woodbine fans were suitably impressed, sending him off as the favourite in last Monday’s elimination. Leaving from Post 4 the gelding led the field through fractions of :29.1, 1:00 and 1:30.2 before sailing home to the one length victory.
Family friend Mike Saftic handles the reins on Zorgwijk Fortunate and will send the gelding after a share of the $130,000 Gold Final purse from Post 4 on Monday.
“He is good friends with me and my Dad, and we always said if we ever had a good horse we’d get Mike to drive it,” says Allen. “We’ve known him for 20 years; since he worked for Garth (Gordon) as a groom.”
The other elimination winners, Brazen and Hudd, will line up at Posts 2 and 6 against Saftic and Zorgwijk Fortunate in Monday’s fifth race. Post time for Woodbine Racetrack’s first race is 7:40 pm.