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Coventry looks for first Gold Final title Saturday
REXDALE, ON — Ontario’s top three-year-old trotting colts return to Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday evening for their second Gold Series Final.
Leading the group of 10 talented youngsters into the race is Coventry, who reeled off the fastest elimination win last weekend and will make his bid for a Gold Final title from Post 1 on Saturday.
“Every week he seems to get a little better,” says trainer Doug Ackerman. “I thought he was fit when we started with him, and he was fit enough that we didn’t hurt him, but I guess he hadn’t reached his peak. Whether he reaches the top level or not we don’t know yet, but he’s good enough in Ontario right now.”
The Mr Lavec son opened his sophomore season with a pair of winning qualifiers at Hazel Park then made an atypical break in stride in an overnight event at Hazel Park on May 6. After rebounding with a solid qualifier at Mohawk Racetrack, Coventry captured an elimination of the Gold Series season opener at Mohawk on May 15. Narrowly beaten by Witness Perfection in the May 23 Final, the colt then finished second in his elimination of the William Connors Memorial at Hazel Park and posted a 1:56.1 victory in the June 5 Final.
Back at Woodbine for the Goodtimes Trot on June 12 Coventry was a fast closing third in the 1:54.3 elimination won by American Mike, but was hampered by Post 10 and finished out of the money in the June 19 Final. Last week the colt and driver D. R. Ackerman opted for a front-end strategy and powered around the Woodbine seven-eighths oval in 1:56.2.
“He couldn’t leave quite as good before, but now he’s got so he can leave,” notes Ackerman, who also bred the colt. “We thought he would be stronger this year because the whole family is that way. The whole family weren’t really great two-year-olds.”
Following Saturday’s Gold Final the three-year-old trotting colts head to Kawartha Downs on July 10 and 17 for their third Gold Series event, leaving the top colts two weeks to contemplate entry into the prestigious Hambletonian Trot at The Meadowlands on July 31.
“We’ll see how he races Saturday,” says the Warren, MI resident, who owns the colt with his wife Ada Jean. “We’ll go to Kawartha Downs for the next two weeks and then we’ll see.”
Focusing on Saturday’s event, the Ackerman’s will be keeping an eye out for the other elimination winner, Witness Perfection, who starts from Post 5 in the fifth race, and In Conchnito, who will start from the outside Post 10.
In addition to the sophomore trotting colt Gold Final in Race 5, Woodbine Racetrack’s Saturday evening program features four divisions of the first leg of the Summertime Pacing Series. The action-packed card of racing gets under way at 7:40 pm.